August 22, 2006
By Alan M. Dershowitz
The level of “academic” discourse on the Middle-East reached a new low—quite a feat considering some of the old lows—when the notorious Jewish anti-Semite and Holocaust-justice denier Norman Finkelstein wrote a screed suggesting that I be targeted “for assassination” because of my views on Israel. The obscene article was accompanied by an obscene cartoon drawn by “Latuff“, a frequent accomplice of Finkelstein. The cartoon portrayed me as masturbating in rapturous joy while viewing images of dead Lebanese civilians on a TV set labeled “Israel peep show,” with a Jewish Star of David prominently featured. The cartoon aptly represents the content of Finkelstein’s piece, which accuses me of being a “moral pervert” who “missed the climactic scene of his little peep show.” He also claims quite absurdly that I “sanction mass murder” and “the extermination of the Lebanese people.” (I’m surprised he hasn’t accused me of kicking of puppy dogs, scowling at little children, and parking in handicapped spaces.)
Finkelstein calls me a Nazi not once, but twice, first saying that I subscribe to “Nazi ideology” and then comparing me to Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, who was prosecuted at Nuremberg by my mentor Telford Taylor.
The peep-show cartoon was even too extreme for the notorious “Counterpunch,” a Stalinist website that glorifies Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist enemies of the U.S. and Israel. Prior to its decision not to run this particular cartoon, Counterpunch seemed to have no standards, but even for them this one was apparently too much (though they kept in the “peep show” reference that inspired the cartoon).
The article itself is typical Finkelstein. He totally distorts my positions, uses quotes out of context, and simply makes things up. He assumes that his readers will not have read the material he criticizes, because if they did, they would not recognize his characterizations of them. Indeed I challenge any reasonable reader to peruse my writings and then Finkelstein’s characterization of them and decide whether his characterizations are even close to what I actually said.
It was President Bush who once famously said, “I don’t do nuance.” Well at least Finkelstein has that much in common with our president. Any effort by a pro-Israel writer to be reasonable, balanced or nuanced is turned by Finkelstein into a justification for genocide.
Finkelstein himself is a well-known Holocaust minimizer and Holocaust-justice denier. He is beloved by full blown Holocaust deniers. Listen to Ernst Zundel, the notorious Hitler lover and Holocaust denier:
“Some people hate it when I pitch Finkelstein and his ‘Holocaust Industry’ yet one more time – because they know, as I know, that what must be for tactical reasons, ‘Stormin’ Norman’ doesn’t go all the way and says what he must surely have come to realize in his heart: That the “gassing-of-millions” stories of the so-called Holocaust are just a pot of crock.
That doesn’t mean that Finkelstein isn’t exceedingly useful to us and to the Revisionist cause. He is making three-fourths of our argument – and making it effectively. Never fret – the rest of the argument is being made by us, and will topple the lie within our lifetime. We would not be making vast inroads in Europe with our outreach program, were it not for his courageous little booklet, “The Holocaust Industry.”
Zundel’s wife and fellow Neo-Nazi, Ingrid Rimland, referred to Finkelstein admiringly as the “Jewish David Irving”—a reference to the well known Holocaust denier and admirer of Hitler. Finkelstein himself admires Irving’s “historical” research.
Finkelstein is also an admirer of Hezbollah, having said that his “chief regret is that I wasn’t even more forceful in publicly defending Hezbollah against terrorist intimidation and attack.”
This academic pornographer, who uses “professor” in his byline even when he is spewing unacademic hate, is now up for tenure at DePaul University, a Catholic school in Chicago that recently fired a teacher named Thomas Klocek for offending Arab students during a discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Finkelstein was fired by several universities at which he previously worked for abusing students who disagreed with his bigoted views. The chairman of one department where he taught said he was fired for “incompetence”, “mental instability” and “abuse” of students with politics different from his own. I wonder whether Finkelstein will submit this “assassination” article as part of his tenure portfolio at DePaul. He certainly should, since it is quite representative of his “scholarship”. If he submits it, will it be accompanied by the masturbation cartoon? It should, because the cartoon too personifies Finkelstein’s academic standards.