This is an older interview, and I don’t how many have seen it. Electronic Intifada did a good write-up of it back in June 2012. And so anyway, I think that pro-Palestinian activists should definitely give it a view. Dr. Norman Finkelstein really destroys years of activism, in my opinion in the interview. He makes himself out to look like an obtuse, belligerent bully, and a buffoon. Additionally, he even goes along with those who would blame the victim too. The Zionists have made the two-state solution untenable, and so I guess, at least according to Dr. Finkelstein, those who say a one-state solution is the only option are now nutters or some such — or at least exceedingly irrational according to his view! Well I think it’s Zionist apologists — like Finkelstein seems to have apparently become — who are the ones who are nuts! They don’t seem to be able to see what is plain as day to so many. That the two-state idea has run its course, and that a one-state just remedy is the only starter capable of succeeding as its heir.
Seemingly inexplicably the issue of Arabs being second, or even third class Israeli citizens doesn’t seem to rankle Dr. Finkelstein. When a peace deal is all “banged out” and “tied up”, I guess the “good” Dr. will be fine with such a stasis! Knowing he has at least contributed to ending a lot of unpleasantries surrounding the Jewish supremacist state — and of course the world’s largest open air prison — even if it may not be the democratic ideal (for either one of them). The fact that it may work for those fortunate enough to be born Jewish or convert to the faith is A-ok apparently for Finkelstein, and he’ll consider his life’s work a success then as well too, I guess! If that is where peace takes the Israelis and Palestinians, and if that is what contributes to an “acceptable” coexistence. Rather than what I think — by the standards of most persons of good will, would be the rightful one.
I still listen to Finkelstein, I still view his voice as having some merit. This interview though, I think must have to be the nadir of the man’s career. And additionally for those who may not be aware, Chomsky isn’t at all with the one-staters too. He says that while he advocated what he calls a bi-national solution as a young man in his 20s (by which he means a decentralized federated nation-state), he says that that ship has now sailed! Even though illicit encroachment on the occupied territories has currently made the two-state solution no longer tenable, if not being in the final sands of possibility; Chomsky nevertheless has abandoned those “boyhood ideals”! Instead, of those “fantasies” he now thinks that the two-state “remedy”, at present, is the only sane and pragmatic way to go.
It seems odd, for sure in this humble observer’s opinion, that two (once) titans of this arena — now seem to be appearing to be left behind, and indeed with the bus passing them by! Most assuredly, they appear to be inextricably attached to a paradigm that increasingly doesn’t appear to have any relevancy to the current situation (as it exists today on the ground). As has been said due to the callousness, and intransigence of the Zionists, in not recognizing the Palestinians as proper human life.
Dr. Ilan Pappe recently gave some testimony to a War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia (in which Israel was found guilty of genocide), where he stated that his driving force on the Israel/Palestinian issue is in having parents who were intricately effected by the Nazi genocidal polices of WWII and the Holocaust. And so he doesn’t want to be part of replicating anything akin to that in another land. He does not want anyone in his name to destroy, and expel another people! Additionally, Dr. Pappe also feels that he is a man of comfort, and as such feels a duty to help those who are oppressed. Which, of course, would unequivocally include the aforementioned secondary — if not tertiary — if not even lesser status of Arab-Israeli citizens in the state of Israel! What other solution or remedy could present itself to this conundrum, than one democratic state with equal rights and protection under the law for all?
If Israel had worked in good faith, the two-state solution, undoubtedly, would have been accomplished by this time. The myopic Zionists, having shot themselves in the foot, should embolden and empower those both Palestinian and international supporters, to advocate for the one just solution. The true pragmatic solution that has been presented to each and everyone of us, but that has not gained the popularity and currency that so often the best social justice remedies — for whatever reason — frequently do not achieve.