Controversial scholar Norman Finkelstein will speak at the University of California, Irvine.
Finkelstein will appear May 7 at the UC Irvine Student Center in an appearance co-sponsored by the Muslim Student Union. The former DePaul University professor is a vigorous critic of Israeli policy and the author of the controversial books “The Holocaust Industry” and “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.”
UC Irvine has been at the center of controversy over what some Jewish students have alleged is repeated instances of harassment and anti-Semitic speech that the university has refused to condemn. Other students reject that assessment, saying the situation at UC Irvine has dramatically improved and that the administration has been responsive to Jewish concerns.
The issue came to a head last month when UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake was invited to participate in a discussion about civil discourse at a Hillel conclave in Washington.
Some students, in cooperation with the Zionist Organization of America, protested Drake’s participation, saying he wasn’t entitled to a platform to engage the Jewish community. Hillel responded that engagement was a better strategy to improve Jewish student life at UC Irvine.