Norman Finkelstein will speak about Middle-East tomorrow at USF, will be protested listen04/28/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:
Tomorrow, noted Middle East expert Norman Finkelstein will give a lecture on the Israel-Palestine conflict at the University of South Florida in Tampa. But the appearance of the controversial professor will be protested by a pro-Israel group. Finkelstein’s lecture is being organized by five student groups, including the Muslim Student Association at USF and one of their members Laila Abdelaziz.
But not everyone is thrilled with Finkelstein’s visit to USF. Bob Kuntz is president of Shalom International and Defend Israel International based in Miami Beach. He’s organizing a protest at USF before and during the lecture.
Abdelaziz says she doesn’t understand why Kuntz’ outside group wants to limit what information USF students have access to.
Kuntz is running as an independent for Congress against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and uses strong language to describe Norman Finkelstein.
But Abdelaziz disputes Kuntz’ descriptions of Finkelstein such as neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier and self-hating Jew.
Earlier this month, Kuntz wrote a letter asking Governor Charlie Crist and USF leaders to stop Finkelstein’s lecture. Kuntz is upset by the lack of response.
Kuntz says he has not heard back from USF President Judy Genshaft, either: "Nothing. She hasn’t said word one about it."
Laila Abdelaziz made international news in January when she questioned Barack Obama about U.S. policy toward Israel when the President was at the University of Tampa. Despite the uproar over Finkelstein’s appearance at USF, Abdelaziz insists the event will not be canceled.
Norman Finkelstein’s lecture begins at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. A protest will begin at 5 p.m. at the Fowler Avenue and Leroy Collins entrance to USF. We will bring you full coverage throughout the week on the WMNF News.