Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Samuel Sheinbein Yes, Norman Finkelstein No

The government of Israel has had its revenge on Norman Finkelstein. The former college professor is a courageous critic of the Israeli government. That is how he came to be a former professor. Alan Dershowitz and other pro-Israel propagandists waged a successful scorched earth campaign to deny him tenure at DePaul university last year.

Finkelstein is Jewish and an American citizen and as such should have had no problem entering Israel. Not only was he denied entry into Israel last week, but he was banned from entering for another ten years. If Israel doesn't like being compared to apartheid era South Africa, it shouldn't act like it.

Israel's Law of Return gives Jews the right not just to visit Israel, but to show up at any moment and get citizenship. I guess the law doesn't apply to critics of that government.

It does however apply to cold blooded thrill killers. In 1997 Samuel Sheinbein told friends he wanted to rape or murder someone. When Alfredo Tello got into a fight with his friend Aaron Needles, Tello became the object of his violent fantasy. Sheinbein and Needles murdered Tello and dismembered and burned his body.

To make a long story short, Sheinbein got away with murder. Sheinbein's father was an Israeli citizen and Israeli courts saw fit to bestow the same right on the fugitive son too. At the time Israel did not permit its citizens to be extradited to any nation on earth, not even to the United States, their patron and partner in crime.

Sheinbein now walks freely in Israel, without fear of ever being brought to justice. If Sheinbein is acceptable and Finkelstein isn't, Israel has reached a new low.