A pro-Israel student group delivered a petition to DePaul University requesting that it deny tenure to a controversial faculty member. Granting Norman Finkelstein tenure “would undermine those who support responsible and informed scholarship and debate,” StandWithUs President Esther Rezner said in a statement. “Through this petition, people who hope for better understanding and for peace have been able to make their views known to DePaul’s administration.” Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard University law professor and author of many books defending Israel, has been prominent in the effort to deny tenure to Finkelstein.Finkelstein, the child of Holocaust survivors, has been an assistant professor in the political science department at DePaul, a private Catholic university in Chicago, since 2001. He has argued that Jewish groups “have exploited the Holocaust to enrich themselves or to justify Israeli politics,” and has called Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel “the resident clown of the Holocaust circus.” In April, Finkelstein’s department and the College Personnel Committee voted in favor of granting tenure, while the administration voted against it. The final decision will be made within the next two weeks. The 8,000-signature petition was sent to DePaul’s president, the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, and its provost, Helmut Epp.
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