Torossian: Shame on Brooklyn Public Library ...

Posted: 3/23/2017 12:08:00 AM
Author: Ronn Torossian
Source: This op-ed first appeared on the Truth Revolt website on March 20, 2017.

NOTE FROM LIBRARIANS FOR FAIRNESS: This is, by no means, the only example of the tax-supported Brooklyn Public Library's sponsorship of anti-Israel lecturers in recent years. Neither is this the only time that the library has engaged Finkelstein to lecture. Just last year, it booked him to teach an eight-session course. Other vehement critics of Israel and/or BDS supporters that the Brooklyn Public Library has booked to give presentations, in recent years, include: Medea Benjamin (who has praised the Hamas terrorist organization), Patti Smith, Oliver Stone, academic Andrew Ross, and Ilan Pappe. In 2015, the library's Info Commons highlighted a book that demonized Israel and had the theme that its establishment was a "Nakba," (i.e. a Catastrophe). Clearly, there is a pattern here.

We are unaware of it ever scheduling any pro-Israeli speakers. We note too, that Melissa Morrone, who has been active in the BDS movement against Israel and is a member of an anti-Israel group of librarians and archivists, has the position of Supervising Librarian in the Info Commons (meeting center) at the Brooklyn Public Library. Librarians for Fairness admits that we do not know, at this time, if she has been booking the anti-Israel speakers, but we feel that it is very important to mention that.

Is the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library the most anti-Israel tax-supported library in the USA? That very well may be the case.

Torossian: Shame On Brooklyn Public Library
Who is Norman Finkelstein?
by Ronn Torossian

Those who stand against Israel should not be afforded open forums uncontested in New York City publicly-funded venues. As New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind recently uncovered, the Brooklyn Public Library is offering a ten-week class taught by Norman Finkelstein whom the ADL has deemed a “Holocaust denier” and Anti-Israel propagandist.

Who is Norman Finkelstein?

In his book The Holocaust Industry, Finkelstein argues that "Jewish elites" have created an "industry" to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust as a ploy to extort money and to gain influence, as well a tactic "to crush any dissent, any criticism, of the State of Israel." The New York Times' review of the book described its premise as a "novel variation" of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the fraudulent essay concocted in the late nineteenth century by the Czarist secret police which purports to uncover a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.

Finkelstein has described Elie Wiesel as the "resident clown," and charges he is responsible for creating a "meaningless version of the Nazi Holocaust" and for only exposing "genocides that serve the interest of the US and Israel" (, Aug. 30, 2000).

Finkelstein “…lavishes praise on the terrorist group Hezbollah. In a letter posted on his Web site he states, "I did make a point of publicly honoring the heroic resistance of Hezbollah to foreign occupation ...Their historic contributions are...undeniable." He appeared on the official Hezbollah television network al-Manar, because, he said, "If I'm willing to appear on CNN – the main propaganda organ for America's terrorist wars–why shouldn't I appear on al-Manar?"

The ADL describes Finkelstein as a “known Holocaust denier and anti-Israel propagandist, Norman Finkelstein.” They note that In his book, “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering,” Finkelstein argues that the Holocaust “has become a straight-out extortion racket.” Finkelstein is well known for his anti-Israel rhetoric and his claims that Jews have exploited the Holocaust to make money. He has said that he “truly honored” Hezbollah ... ,” and that, “I can’t imagine why Israel’s apologists would be offended by a comparison to the Gestapo.”

Finkelstein has written, “The Zionists indeed learnt well from the Nazis ... basically Nazis with beards and black hats.”

In a December 2001 interview with CounterPunch Magazine, Finkelstein said: “If you understand terrorism to mean the targeting of civilian populations in order to achieve political goals, then plainly the U.S. qualifies as the main terrorist government in the world today …”

When asked whether he thought that “the West was in some way responsible for the tragedy of September 11,” Finkelstein replied:"Regrettably, it’s payback time for the Americans and they have a problem because all the other enemies since the end of World War Two that they pretended to contend with . . . were basically fabricated enemies. . . . Frankly, part of me says ... ‘you know what, we deserve the problem on our hands because some things bin Laden says are true.’

According to The Columbia Spectator, Finkelstein (at the foregoing event) characterized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a "contrived and fabricated controversy"; he declared that "regardless of intent, Israel is in effect guilty of state terrorism"; and he alleged that the "only difference between Israel terrorism and Hamas terrorism is that Israeli terrorism is three times as lethal."

At UC Irvine, Finkelstein said " ... Every victory of Hezbollah, I celebrate." In response to this, the audience cheered loudly and shouted "Allahu Akbar" ["God is great"].

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of America’s