Norman Finkelstein: “Good For Selma, Good For Palestine.”

by Jerry Alatalo

“I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.”

– MOHANDES (Mahatma) GANDHI (1869-1948) Hindu national leader

373Alphabet After listening to, first, Thom Hartmann talking to former 2nd in command at the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Morell on The Big Picture RT and, second, Paul Jay talking to Norman Finkelstein on The Real News Network’s (TRNN) Reality Asserts Itself, one thing stood out. Whereas Mr. Morell had a habit of looking down or to the side every 5-10 seconds when talking to Mr. Hartmann, Mr. Finkelstein for most his interview looked Paul Jay directly in the eye. Who knows if there’s even anything to gain from such an observation, but noticing the contrast in eye contact by the men in separate interviews was unavoidable.

Norman Finkelstein’s latest book “Method and Madness: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Assaults on Gaza” delves into the Israel-Palestine issue, a subject Mr. Finkelstein has researched for many years. At the end of the book he suggests that, for the Palestinian people, the best option is nonviolent civil disobedience based on the example in America where Martin Luther King led the march on Selma, Alabama for civil rights. Mr. Finkelstein notes in the interview, Part 2 of 3 on TRNN, that a Selma-like action is only his political judgment. But those who’ve studied Israel-Palestine realize he has enough knowledge for Palestinians and their supporters to seriously consider such a strategy.

Thank the Creator/God that international awareness of the urgent need to end apartheid conditions for Palestinians is growing a great deal faster than the movement to end apartheid in South Africa. Much of the difference comes thanks to the internet and masses of people around the world ending their association with any corporate, mainstream media organizations for getting their news about international events. That, combined with apartheid in Israel being much more destructive than the South Africa version, has resulted in a rapidly growing Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement around the world and more rapid condemnation by national governments of Israeli occupation, continuing confiscation of Palestinian lands for settlements construction, and Palestinians’ denial of basic human rights.

Some of the details of last summer’s Israeli 50-day assault on the people of Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – discussed in this segment with Mr. Finkelstein:

  • Hamas’ 4,000 “rockets” launched at Israel were no more than enhanced fireworks, resulted in (5) civilian casualties and $15 million in property damage, and Israel’s Iron Dome stopped at the most 400 of the 4,000 according to MIT physicist Theodore Postol’s analysis of Iron Dome
  •  Israel’s assertion that their missiles/bombs are 99% accurate and those missiles hitting civilian targets such as homes, apartment buildings, manufacturing facilities and United Nations shelters points to Israel’s need of accepting responsibility for the human deaths and injury, plus damage to property
  • Palestinian resistance in the form of violence was morally justified – an example of people (Norman Finkelstein) “summoning up the wherewithal to die in dignity”
  • With the international community closely observing events in Israel-Palestine, armed resistance should be replaced with mass nonviolent civil disobedience for change, in the view of Norman Finkelstein: “…good in Selma, good in Birmingham, good in Palestine”.
  • Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014 began on the night of the day Malaysian airliner MH17 crashed in Ukraine killing all 290 on board
  • After United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the United States administration of Barack Obama denounced Israeli air strikes on United Nations facilities/shelters during Operation Protective Edge – killing Palestinian civilians, ISIS’ brutal murder of reporters turned the international media spotlight away from Gaza, at which point then Israel increased the destructiveness of their attacks
  • Operation Protective Edge ended on August 26, 2014; Palestinians have since joined the International Criminal Court, very little reconstruction has occurred, Palestinians suffer horrendous living conditions, and the Israel government continues its illegal confiscation of occupied territory/land for settlements construction

First and foremost for the sake of the long-suffering Palestinian people – but also for Israelis, people in the Middle East, and humanity, for the millions of men and women around the Earth working for a fair, just resolution to the seemingly endless Israel-Palestine issue… Let the worldwide BDS movement/political anti-apartheid actions grow even more rapidly and powerfully, then relegate the entire decades-old, deeply saddening chain of events to the dustbin of history.


(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)


6 thoughts on “Norman Finkelstein: “Good For Selma, Good For Palestine.”

    1. Indrajit,
      How are you. As far as resolving the Israel-Palestine issue, Mr. Finkelstein’s view that Palestinians would find success by emulating Gandhian/MLK nonviolent civil resistance strategy makes perfect sense. Israel is an apartheid state just as Britain in the time of Gandhi, America in the time of Martin Luther King, and South Africa in the time of Mandela before a global anti-apartheid movement forced change there. On the deeper/higher spiritual level, lack of understanding that there really are no “sides”, that humanity is one, is a huge part of the ongoing problems, not only in Palestine but in all places on Earth where people experience severe circumstances.


      1. Jerry
        the big difference is that palestinians are not a majority in the Israeli territories unlike Indians in india and blacks in america were dispersed all over America making non violent non cooeperation feasable – such action in Palestine by palestinians would not grind the israeli administration to a halt therefore. – not a workable solution im afraid.


        1. Indrajit,
          Agree that the situation in Palestine not the same as in India, but it seems to parallel the experience for African-Americans in the United States. Be that as it may, momentum builds around the world for resolving the too-long conflict, so let’s hope a wisdom-based resolution comes soon.


    1. Hi Indrajit,
      How are you. The situation seems so obviously unfair for Palestinians that one wonders how Israel continues breaking international law with impunity. The only answer to that question one can judge as plausible is tremendous financial power. So much financial power that any serious opposition calling for criminal accountability and a Palestinian state, whether Palestinian human rights groups or nations, risk extreme retribution – especially nations, when dealing in the international banking system. If one imagines living in the only city on Earth with, say, a population of 20,000 people and there is one bank which has the power to control the residents and repress dissent over its unfair banking practices, perhaps that is an accurate analogy. Israel is the headquarters for those wishing to maintain the status-quo and prevent real democracy from sweeping the Middle East. The ability of a small number of multi-billionaires to extract nearly all the profits derived from oil/gas resources becomes threatened when Palestinian statehood is achieved. To put it simply, if there were no such human quality as desire for power and wealth there would be peace in the Middle East. Thanks.


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