Schedule of Professor Norman Finkelstein’s lecture tour of South Africa

July 23, 2009

Professor Norman Finkelstein’s visit to South Africa

The organizations/bodies listed below will be hosting political science professor, Norman G. Finkelstein, during his visit to South Africa from the 12th to the 22nd August, 2009. Professor Finkelstein will be delivering a series of lectures in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. He is an outspoken critic of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians and has questioned the use of the Holocaust for devious purposes and the misuse of the term anti-Semitism. Both his parents are Holocaust survivors. In his book Beyond Chutzpah he exposes Professor Alan Dershowitz’s book The Case for Israel, (which was re-launched in South Africa on Tuesday, July 21, 2009) as containing plagiarism and fraudulent research. Dershowitz conducted a vigorous campaign against Finkelstein which, amongst other things, resulted in DePaul University, Chicago, denying Professor Finkelstein tenure.

Afro-Middle East Centre

Centre for Study of Democracy – University of Johannesburg

Not in My Name

School of Social Sciences – Wits University; Johannesburg

Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal

School of Politics, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Journalism Dept, Durban University of Technology

Diakonia, Durban

History and Current Affairs Society, University of Cape Town

Stellenbosch University

University of Western Cape

Palestine Solidarity Group (Cape Town)


For more information and to book media interviews kindly contact:

Johannesburg:  Melissa Hoole 011- 7826754    073 9060017

National: Ms Sony   cell 0735709944     email


NF Co-ordination Committee




Thursday 13 August

Topic: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of knowledge. (40 minutes talk 30 minutes questions)

Venue: Wits University, Graduate School Seminar Room, S.W. Engineering Bldg, East Campus

Time: 1.15 pm

Topic:  What’s wrong with Zionism: A Jewish Perspective (45 minutes talk 45 minutes questions)

Venue: University of Johannesburg, Council Chambers, University, Administration Bldg. Auckland Park, Kingsway Campus.

Time: 5.30 pm for 6 pm

Friday 14 August

Topic: Israel/Palestine: Roots of the conflict, Prospects for peace (45 minutes talk 45 minutes questions)

Venue: University of Johannesburg

Time: 2pm

Saturday 15 August

Topic: The Israeli lobby and the misuse of anti-Semitism (60 minutes talk 60 minutes questions)

Venue: Amec

Time: 2.30pm



Monday 17 August
Topic: On the Place of Civility in Academic Life (50 minute talk and 30 minute questions)
Venue: Stellenbosch University, “New Social Forms” Seminar, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Humanities Bldg, Room 401

Time: Lunch Time

Topic: Israel and Palestine : Roots of Conflict and Prospects for Peace (60 minutes talk and 30 minutes questions)

Mowbray Town Hall
Time: 7 pm.

Tuesday 18 August

Debate with Denis Davis: Topic:  The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (25 minute talk by NF, 15 minute response from DD and 15 minute response by NF, followed by 30 minutes questions from floor)  
Venue: Kramer Lecture Theatre 1, University of Cape Town
Time: 7.30 pm

Wednesday 19 August

Topic: The Holocaust Industry (40 minutes talk and 20 questions)
Venue: University of Western Cape, Centre for Humanities Research Building, Main Campus
Time: 1 pm



Thursday 20 August

Topic: Media coverage of oppressive state regimes: The case of Israel (30 minutes talk, 30 minutes questions)

Venue: Arthur Smith Hall, City Campus, Durban University of Technology, Cnr Pixley Kaseme (West) St and Anton Lembede (Smith) St.

Time: 12 noon

Wolpe Lecture — Topic: Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict: What we can learn from Gandhi (30 to 35 minutes)

Venue: University of KwaZulu-Natal: Howard College Auditorium

Time: 5 – 7 pm

Friday 21 August

Topic: Perspectives on Reconciliation in the Middle East (35 minutes talk and 20 minutes)

Venue: Diakonia, Mirriam Cele Room, Diakonia Centre, Durban

Time: 12:30 finger lunch talk: 1.30




Norman G. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. For many years he taught political theory and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He is currently an independent scholar. Finkelstein is the author of five books which have been translated into more than 40 foreign editions: Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (University of California Press, 2005; expanded paperback edition, 2008) The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the exploitation of Jewish suffering (Verso, 2000; expanded paperback edition, 2003) Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (Verso, 1995; expanded paperback edition, 2003) A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen thesis and historical truth (with Ruth Bettina Birn) (Henry Holt, 1998) The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A personal account of the intifada years (University of Minnesota, 1996) He has just completed a new book entitled A Farewell to Israel: The coming break-up of American Zionism, to be published in 2009

Please also see:

The case for Norman Finkelstein   (The Guardian, UK)

Video: Israel and Palestine: Roots of Conflict, Prospects for Peace. Lecture December 2008

For all his debates on YouTube click here:

Dershowitz v. Finkelstein: Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?

A Conversation with Professor Norman Finkelstein

Website of Norman G. Finkelstein

Wikipedia on Finkelstein


First published in 1995, this highly acclaimed study scrutinizes popular and scholarly representations of the Israel-Palestine conflict. It begins with a novel theoretical inter-pretation of Zionism, and then moves on to critically engage the influential studies of Joan Peters, Benny Morris, and Anita Shapira.

Carefully rehearsing the documentary record, Finkelstein also challenges the dominant images of the June 1967 and October 1973 Arab-Israeli wars. In a comprehensive new introduction, he provides the most succinct overview available in the English language of the Israel-Palestine conflict, while in several new chapters he juxtaposes Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories against South African apartheid, and demolishes the scholarly pretensions of Michael Oren’s recent bestseller on the June 1967 war.

Praise For The 2nd Edition

“Norman Finkelstein is one of the most radical and hard-hitting critics of the official Zionist version of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the historians who support this version. … The book makes a major contribution to the study of the Arab-Israeli conflict and deserves to be widely read, especially in the United States.”

Avi Shlaim,
St Antony’s College, Oxford University

“Anyone interested in seeing justice brought to the Middle East must read ‘Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict’.”

Charles Glass,
former ABC News Middle East correspondent.

“…this thoroughly documented book is guaranteed to stimulate and provoke. It will be required reading in the continuing war of the historians.”

William Quandt,

“…the most revealing study of the historical background of the conflict and the current peace agreement.”

Noam Chomsky,

“… a thought-provoking work which calls into question many of the accepted ‘truths’ associated with the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

“…both an impressive analysis of Zionist ideology and a searing but scholarly indictment of Israel’s treatment of the Arabs since 1948.”


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This gripping account chronicles an extraordinary chapter in modern Palestinian history – the revolt against the Israeli occupation known as the Intifada – from euphoric inception to bitter defeat.

In it, Norman G. Finkelstein an American Jew whose parents were survivors of the Nazi death camps, focuses on the daily lives of the Palestinians to whom he became close during his time in the Middle East.

Finkelstein discusses two very different Palestinian families – one from the Christian Palestinian village of Beit Sahour outside Bethlehem, the other from Fawwar refugee camp outside Hebron. Throughout, Finkelstein provides unique insight into the names and faces behind the conflict, and the human toll of the negotiated peace
Praise For The Book

“In the best sense of the old term, Norman Finkelstein has fulfilled an obligation to ‘witness.'”

Christopher Hitchens
Columnist for Vanity Fair

“This book is that very rare thing, a book of human experience informed by massive historical scholarship, prodigiously detailed political analysis, and exceptional wisdom. I do not know any book like it that deals so intimately and yet so clearly with the tragic quandaries of the Palestinian situation.”

Edward W. Said
Columbia University

“Critical and very well informed… The Rise and Fall of Palestine is also quite unusual, virtually unique, because of the rich framework of past and current history that Finkelstein brings to bear in a most illuminating way, because of the interweaving of very thoughtful (and often moving) personal experiences, and because of the singular nature of Finkelstein’s perspective, which is sharply different from those that dominate discussions of the situation in Palestine.”

Noam Chomsky
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Norman Finkelstein on Radio 702

August 11, 2009

Prof Norman G Finkelstein will be interviewed by Chris Gibbons on Radio 702 on Wednesday, 12th August 2009 at 12h25. Listen live