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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Arab Culture Club and World Can’t Wait Club to cosponsor Finkelstein lecture

Published: March 23, 2007
Section: News

According to club leaders, the Arab Culture Club (ACC) has returned to cosponsor a lecture by DePaul professor Norman Finkelstein. The speech by the author of the controversial book The Holocaust Industry will also be cosponsored by the World Cant Wait club, and is scheduled to occur on April 24 in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall in the Goldfarb Library.

Yes, the Finkelstein event is finally going to happen, said ACC co-President Farrah Bdour 07. We [the ACC] are back on board because as we had stated previously when, and if, we found a co-sponsor, we would go ahead with it. Bdour added that this is an event that we would like to see happen at Brandeis, and now that we have found a co-sponsor [with the World Can't Wait club] instead of [Students for a Democratic Society (SDS/RSA)], we are happy to work with them in getting everything set up and finalized for April 24th.

The events likelihood had been in doubt several weeks ago, when SDS removed their sponsorship of the event, claiming that event organizer Kevin Conway 09 had used the groups name without going through proper channels. There was no approval made, and he just kept going forward, said SDS/RSA co-facilitator Michelle Lindstrom 07 in an interview with the Hoot. The RSA [had] not consented to bring Finkelstein as an RSA-sponsored event.

After the SDSs disavowal of Conways actions, the ACC also dropped their sponsorship, stating we don't want to be the only group bringing him to campus due to fears of violence and hostility stemming from the speakers controversy. I hope this sort of thing couldnt happen with Finkelstein, but we wanted to make sure that things that happened in the past didnt happen again, said Bdour.

This revocation also took with it the sole funds for the event, which had been granted to the ACC by the Finance Board on Feb. 28.

However, the ACC returned to cosponsor the event after the intervention of the World Cant Wait club, led by Jacob Korman 08. I think its important because we're hearing from the other side of the spectrum, he said. On this campus we never hear anything from the left wing about Israel, and we do everything in our power to silence it, or at the very least marginalize it. I think the student opportunity to hear the other side and listen to it, disagree with it, thats what this is all about.

Conway told the Hoot that while the location and funds had been dealt with for the event, the event organizers would still have to speak with Conference and Events and the Department of Public Safety to discuss security. Conway felt more cynical about the event than Bdour, saying that it sounds like a victory, but you never can be sure around herewe wont be sure until 11 oclock on April 24th, after the event has ended. Still, he said, we have the room and we have the money and everything seems good.