Alan Dershowitz would have been disappointed. Not only did Dershowitz’s occasional debating partner, Noam Chomsky, have to cancel his New School appearance on Saturday (laryngitis, we were told), but his adversary, the controversial scholar Norman Finkelstein, was positively mainstream in his own remarks. Those who are quick to vilify Finkelstein—variations on “self-hating Jew” represent the typical charge—might do well to listen again.

Despite Chomsky’s absence, The New School’s Tishman Auditorium was filled to capacity for an event billed as “The Jewish-American Relationship with Israel at the Crossroads.” While perhaps presumptive in its definitiveness—i.e. “the Crossroads”—the panel name was inspired by the subtitle of Finkelstein’s latest book, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End.

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