Clark U. Will Allow Finkelstein to Talk on Campus

April 27, 2009

Norman Finkelstein, the controversial scholar and critic of Israel who was denied tenure at DePaul University in 2007, will be permitted to speak at Clark University. John Bassett, the president at Clark, called off a planned appearance by Finkelstein, saying that his appearance at the same time that the university was holding a conference on the Holocaust could detract from that event. Bassett called the situation one of "unfortunate scheduling." (Part of Finkelstein's criticism of Israel is his belief that the country uses the history of the Holocaust to justify unjust treatment of Palestinians.) The move led to criticism by the American Civil Liberties Union, and Finkelstein noted that he was invited to talk about Israel's actions in Gaza. Bassett is now allowing Finkelstein to speak at the university today, The Worcester Telegram reported. In a statement, Bassett acknowledged that "the process could have been better" in dealing with the invitation of a student group to Finkelstein to speak.

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