A Debate on Israel

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Norman Finkelstein v. Shlomo Ben Ami

What happens when a former Israeli Foreign Minister debates a scholar known as one of the world’s foremost critics of Israeli policy? The answer is not what you may expect. We spend the hour with Shlomo Ben Ami, author of “Scars of War, Wounds of Peace,” and Norman Finkelstein, author of “Beyond Chutzpah”. They joined us in our firehouse studio for a wide-ranging exchange. We discussed the origins of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, to the Oslo Peace Process, right up to the present.

Norman Finkelstein argues that some supporters of Israeli government policies have attempted to de-legitimize criticism by disingenuously heaping the charge of anti-Semitism. Shlomo Ben Ami defends Israel’s record on human rights, and says peace will only come about through a negotiated two-state settlement.

February 14, 2006 Norman Finkelstein on the "Not-so-New New Anti-Semitism" and Shlomo Ben Ami on Terror, Torture, and Peace

Fmr. Israeli Foreign Minister: "If I were a Palestinian, I Would Have Rejected Camp David"

In Part Two of our debate, former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami and scholar Norman Finkelstein address the intricacies of a question that has been the subject of much debate–what happened at the Camp David peace talks in July 2000? Both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict say the other rejected peace, leading to the violence that has marked the conflict since. Ben Ami—who was a leading member of the Israeli negotiation team—says he would have rejected Camp David if he were a Palestinian, and discusses the ensuing peace talks in Taba in January 2001.