Letters To Finkelstein

The View from Romania (a correspondent)

The European Parliament election held these days gave rise to appalling reactions, and somber political fights in Romania, revealing how divided, how torn and conflicted the Romanian society is nowadays. I have recently witnessed one of the saddest moments of hatred and disdain, directed against the most vulnerable categories of population – old, ill-educated, poverty-stricken people. Their sin is that they support, in their great majority, the Social Democratic Party.

Shrewd Analysis of Recent Democratic Party Primary

Hi Norman, I had a long night yesterday. I was at the election night watch party hosted by the Working Families Party with Cynthia, Jumanne & Zephyr. Here are just some takeaways. Writing this in bullet points because my brain is still fried and exhausted.

A Letter on the Situation in Hebron, and What We Can Do

Hi Norm,
My name is Chelli Stanley, I spent time in Hebron, Palestine and met someone who remembered you well, Musa Abu Hashhash, who spoke of you as a friend and good person.  So I wanted to pass that on.
I also wanted to see if you would be interested in being in touch with some people I know in Hebron who are interested in making more networks in the United States.  They are part of the Human Rights Defenders:

A correspondent on why Michael Chetkof and Allyson will burn in Hell

Dear Norman,
I read your quote from the Mishnah in the article DAY OF ATONEMENT:
“He who says, ‘I will sin, and repent: I will sin and repent’; he will never achieve repentance.  ‘I will sin and the Day of Atonement will atone’; the Day of Atonement does not atone.  Transgressions between man and God—the Day of Atonement atones.  Transgressions between man and his neighbor—the Day of Atonement does not atone, until he appeases his neighbor.” (Mishnah, Yoma 8.9.)

A Ugandan Correspondent Remembers Muhammad Ali

Mary Serumaga is a Ugandan writer. She is a law graduate of King’s College London. Her essays have appeared in Transition Magazine, King’s Review, Pambazuka News and Foreign Policy Journal.

How Bernie Might Have Done Even Better

​[From an email correspondent:​] Hi Norman, I have a few reasons why I think Bernie has not done better. Of course it is easy to be an armchair quarterback however I think they are valid reasons. I do not see Bernie actually winning at this point. He is well behind in votes and delegates. Super-delegates already strongly favor Hillary Clinton. It is not foreseeable that these super-delegates will switch to Sanders given he is behind anyway. The only way they would switch is if Clinton is indicted or something extreme like that.

Why Bernie Matters (an email from Canada)

Dear Mr. Finkelstein,
As a Muslim Palestinian living in Canada, I want you to know that my entire family and I have donated money to Mr. Sanders campaign and we pray everyday that he wins. He gives us tangible, genuine hope. Palestinians are feeling the scorching heat of the bern!
Best Regards,


PINK CHAIRS OR BLUE?   I was able to offer someone a project, a well-paid project, something he was very keen to do and he jumped at it. He submitted his quotation and his commitment to perform, this was accepted by all three parties involved and he was given the contract. Once that was signed, sealed and delivered he said, “can I have my money up front please, I’ll commence the work when I get the money up front – ok!” The threat was implied.  

From a wonderful young student from France (yes, they exist, although a very rare species) who sat in on my seminar in Turkey and then journeyed to Iran

Dear Norman Finkelstein, As you can see I&;m still alive and I&;m back since few days in your favourite country: France ! We left Iran one week ago with the TransAsia train leaving Tehran to Ankara. Those weeks in Iran were very rewarding: Iranian are really warm, welcoming and open-minded!

What’s Happening in Greece: From an Old Friend, Who Is One of the World’s Top Computer Scientists and Greek

Hi Norman, The troika (Germany, IMF etc) have been trying to solve the problem of the Greek leftist government  &; and set up an example for other countries that may be tempted to follow the example.
They have been squeezing the country very hard so that the government will either fall or cave in and sign the same harsh austerity measures as the previous corrupt governments and get totally discredited.


Kurdish Votes Changed the Political Atmosphere ofTurkey   By Zana Baykal   On the 7th of June 2015, Turkey held a parliamentary election. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) came in first with 40.9% of the vote, but lost the majority in the parliament.  AKP has been ruling Turkey with a parliamentary majority since 2002 until this election. After 13 years of AKP’s single party-government, a coalition government will rule the state again.

Muhammad from Gaza on Hell, Heaven and Back to Hell

First, a long sleepless night because of Israeli airstrikes.  Then, a heat wave exceeding 113 degrees Fahrenheit with no electricity for air conditioners. We desperately needed a change! So me, Denney, Belal and Nader went to the best and only place for relaxation in Gaza—the beach. It was very crowded, and 50 percent polluted.  But we enjoyed ourselves so much and felt some peace and quiet.

Muhammad from Gaza on Still Alive Dead Poets

Israeli F-16s and drones periodically invade Gaza’s airspace.  Since this past Sunday, they have entered in large numbers at a very low altitude, making terrible noise and terrifying those who have bad memories from Operation Protective Edge. Last night a rocket was fired from the vicinity of Gaza City. Israel announced that it had fallen in an empty area causing no damage.  Hamas denied responsibility, called on everyone to exercise self-control, and evacuated the security centers.