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Alain Finkielkraut did not back down

Reader comment on item: My Gloom: Back to September 10

Submitted by Nidra Poller (France), Dec 21, 2005 at 06:02

Heureusement, Alain Finkielkraut did not back down. He is fighting back! Daniel Bensimon of Haaretz spread the rumor that Finkielkraut had backed down because he received death threats, and because he wanted to hang on to his job at France Culture.

This is false. Alain Finkielkraut did say, in an interview with Jean-Pierre Elkabach of Europe 1 radio, that he apologized to any group or individual that may have been offended by remarks attributed to him in a "puzzle" of excerpts from the Haaretz interview, concocted by Sylvain Cypel, and published in Le Monde. But, he added, the person who made those statements is not me.

As you yourself observed recently, the statements attributed to Finkielkraut were re-translated from the original French to the Hebrew version published by Haaretz and back to French. The translations are inaccurate, the concoction is deliberately slanted.

And Finkielkraut says he did not receive death threats. Who should be believed? Alain Finkielkraut, a man of integrity, or Bensimon, whose newspaper set him up for public flogging in France? Alain Finkielkraut has expressed himself fully and completely in an interview in Le Monde and on his Sunday radio program "Qui Vive." He will surely expres himself at length, in writing very soon.

It is regrettable that the Bensimon article has so widely circulated, giving the false impression that Finkielkraut backed down.

In an article soon to appear in National Post I give some of the above information, but I see that I will have to go into greater detail.
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Daniel Pipes replies:

It may be a matter of semantics, but I took his saying "the person who made those statements is not me" as a distancing from his original interview. In any case, I am heartened to the extent that Alain Finkielkraut fights for his right to analyze the situation freely.

DP

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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