Norman Finkelstein presents his talk on ‘How to Solve the Israel-Palestine Conflict’ at Edinburgh’s George Square Lecture Theatre, 7th February 2012.
Norman Finkelstein in Edinburgh from Stuart Platt on Vimeo.
In an ideal world the idea of obeiyng international law might have some relevance to understanding the Middle East conflict.In the real world we need to start from where wer’e at-none of the players Finkelstein mentions-from the UN General Assembly and the ICJ to the (somewhat bizarrely) the human rights groups HRW and Amnesty as having the potential to settle the conflict-are real players in any way whatsoever.In a lecture on the Middle East with a highly impressionable audience one can get away without mentioning the real players.They won’t have noticed that he mentioned neither the CFR or the Vatican.In the case of Finkelstein who lost tenure recently at De Paul one would have hoped he had by now detected Jesuitical ambitions for the final say in any settlement re-Jerusalem and the Holy Places.Indeed it is known that Perez gave an undertaking to the Vatican during the Oslo negotiations to the effect that substantial concessions to Rome would be part of the final deal.This is the real reason that the Pope is in Israel today meeting Perez and Netanyahu.They’re not talking about the Holocaust-that’s just part of the mind control-they’re talking about cutting a deal.That Israeli elites and the Vatican share certain offshore banking arrangements is a fact that Middle East analysts ignore at their peril.It seems unrealistic therefore to discount the role of the Vatican as Finkelstein has done.Where Finkelstein gets closer to a more acute analysis is when he speaks of the need for Israeli elites to shore up domestic morale.The up to 96% level of support domestically for the Gaza operation will have delighted the real players among the state elite i.e.the 200 or so families who actually run the country.The unilingual monopoly enjoyed by Hebrew as a means to facilitate the peddling of state propaganda is only one of the less sinister means Israel’s real rulers have used to brutalize and numb the population into a state of spiritual and moral degradation.Notwithstanding the mind-control offensive against its own citizens practised by such Orwellian bodies as the Ministries of Absorption,Labour,and Religious Affairs-the fact that up to 25% of enlistment-aged Israelis do not ultimately serve in the military suggests that a moral outlook among the Israeli youth has not thankfully been entirely eradicated.Finkelstein suggests that the Israeli elite mind-control exercise has achieved an ultimate triumph with the perpetration of the Gaza massacre.This is true only in so far that by enlisting public support on a massive scale for the operation these elites have moved one step closer to their final goal of brutalizing and degrading the population to such an extent that they are only capable of seeing a future of being at permanent war with their neighbours.In fact Israel may be on the point of surrendering far more than anyone ever thought possible.Perez and Netanyahu may seal the final deal.Sadly the final deal will do as little for Israelis as it does for the Palestinians.Only Pope Benedict,Perez,Netanyahu and their friends in the CFR will have smiles on their faces at the end of the day.
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