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Controversial Middle East scholar coming

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Amidst the recent escalation events in the Middle East, a controversial scholar will speak Sat., Apr. 3 on the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and whether or not there is hope for peace.

The Palestinian-Canadian Student Society is bringing Dr. Norman Finkelstein to campus. Despite being the son of two Holocaust survivors, Dr. Finkelstein is an anti-Zionist. He became famous by claiming Joan Peter's From Time Immemorial, a book asserting there were no native Arabs before Jewish immigration into Palestine, was a fraud.

"Dr. Finkelstein has a very important message to give about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," said PCSS Vice-President Public Relations Shadi Abuid. "As PCSS' stated goal is to facilitate all possible means to promote understanding in the Palestinian struggle and to provide legitimacy to the struggle, Dr. Finkelstein's message falls into that category."

Dr. Finkelstein's speech is entitled "Israeli/Palestine: Roots of Conflict, Prospects for Peace." According to Abuid, the speech will touch on the roots of the conflict, the evolution of Zionism, how the Zionist entity has damaged the people in the land and how it can be solved.

"He's not your mainstream academic when it comes to this conflict," said Abuid. "He'll dispel myths around the conflict, especially in the western media."

With the recent assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin, there are heightened security concerns. PCSS has contacted Campus Security and Calgary Police Service for possible assistance. However, Abdui said reaction has been positive thus far from various groups in Calgary such as activist groups and media.

Dr. Norman Finkelstein will speak Sat., Apr. 3 at 6 p.m. in MacEwan Hall. Tickets are available at the Campus Ticket Centre in MacEwan Student Centre and are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

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