Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Rosa Luxembourg Foundaton cancels Dr Finkelstein's lecture

In April 2008 Gregor Gysi delivered a speech that has more or less, determined the stance of his party, "Die Linke", on Israel since, Not only did he congratulated the Zionist state on the occassion of its 60th birthday, while conveniently forgetting to mention that that birthday corresponded to the 60th anniversary of the "Nabka", but he also asked his party to “show solidarity” with the Jewish state. The conference where the speech was given was organised by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

A few weeks ago four lectures, two in Munich and two in Berlin, that were to be given by Dr Norman Finkelstein, were cancelled. The lectures were part of a larger European tour and their organisers gave their reasons for cancellling. It is, however, on one of the lectures in particular that I would like to focus and it is one which was organised by the same Rosa Luxembourg Foundation that gave Mr Gysi his platform to express his support for the Zionist state. The reason the organisers here gave for cancelling Dr Finkelstein's lecture was that they had underestimated the event’s “political explosiveness”, and this from a left wing think tank.  Of course, cancelling the speech was only in line with the directives implicit in Gysi's 2008 speech and as a reason had to be given this reason would appear to be as good as any.

The fact is what we have here is not only a Gregor Gysi who is more concerned about this ratings, about making his party "Salon Fähig" and, in the manner of a Tony Blair, establishing it as a main player in the German political landscape by getting its members to march "no more left, right, left, right, but right, right, right", but also a Rosa Luxembourg Foundation that doesn't deserve to carry the name of the Jewish philosopher and activist who always maintained that  "Freiheit ist immer die Freiheit des Andersdenkend" (freedom always means freedom for those who think differently). Nevertheless, we might have hope and when Shimon Peres spouted out his drivel in the "Bundestag" recently Sara Wagenknecht, from the left of "Die Linke", remained seated and refused to join in the standing ovations after the speech. There is some evidence to suggest that "Gregor's party" and with that the rest of Germany is not quite "Gleichgeschaltet" (coordinated) when it comes to Israel.

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