A neo-Nazi website has published the schedule of speakers at the Iranian Holocaust denial conference. (His name was mysteriously removed from the schedule this morning.) Prominent among the speakers in the schedule was assistant professor Norman Finkelstein of DePaul University. His name appeared along with Professor David Duke of the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management in Ukraine and other assorted nuts, neo-Nazis, Islamo-fascists, and America- and Israel-bashers.
It is unclear whether Finkelstein actually attended the conference, since the identify of many of the attendees has been kept secret, and the media office at DePaul says it doesn't know. But Finkelstein certainly fits comfortably into the hate club, since he has allied himself closely with the Holocaust denial movement by trivializing the suffering of its victims and denying that many of them were victims at all. It would be natural for the rulers of Iran to have invited this Jew-hater to their hatefest. I don't know if they did, or if Finkelstein accepted any such invitation. But the burden is now on him to explain why his name appears in the schedule and to produce all correspondence with the sponsors of the conference. It should make interesting reading
Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. His most recent book is Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways (Norton, 2006).