DePaul and the Vatican’s Long Leash

Dr. Finkelstein has made significant contributions in the fields of Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and established, almost single-handedly, the field of critical Holocaust studies, work which required considerable courage as it is contrary to the political position of the United States and the Israeli/Zionist lobby. It might seem a truism to remark that had Finkelstein confined himself to arcane research minutiae in these fields, publishing only in academic journals, the university might well have been able to continue to employ him. However, it was precisely the critical public light that Finkelstein threw upon issues upon which the United States, and other Western countries have used in pursuit of their interests, that seems to have sounded his academic death knell at De Paul University.

His critique connected anti-Semitism and the Holocaust to Zionist protectionism with respect to Palestinians. For decades Israel and its apologists have insisted that a critique of Israeli policies and practices is always a cover-up for a deeply-seated and incorrigible anti-Semitism, the very same poison that led to the Holocaust. Thus anyone criticizing Israel, the Jewish state, is ipso facto an anti-Semite who wishes to bring about second Holocaust upon the Jewish people. The Roman Catholic Church has been in the Jewish firing line for decades, continuing to be charged with both a historical and an enduring anti-Semitism. That there was both collaboration between the Church and some Nazis, and the official Church afforded protection to Nazis both during and after the war continues to serve Jews as a continuing paradigm. Of course it is also true that the Church and many of its members were persecuted by the Nazis, is not politically advantageous to the Zionists and is therefore relegated out of the public purview. In response to the charges, the official position of the Church now insists that Christianity is a “daughter” religion of Judaism and not a “fulfillment” thereof and has removed all language deemed offensive to Jews from its prayers. More importantly from a Zionist point of view, the Holy See has established diplomatic ties with Israel and promotes cultural and religious dialogues, qua Church and qua individual Catholics, with Israel and leading Israeli-Jewish scholars, despite serious outstanding disagreements between them such as and the continuing tax and visa pressures the Jewish state exerts against Catholic institutions. read more

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