Interested Readers Might Want to Respond

March 3, 2006

In News

To: normangf[at]
Subject: Your Mother.
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2006 17:30:21 EST

I read your little polemic about Dershowitz and your mother. But the question remains, how do we know your mother wasn’t a collaborator of some sort. Perhaps has a whore for the German soldiers. What proof do you have that she was actually in a camp. What was her tattoo number for example?

Bill Pearlman

Reader letters

Dear Norman,

This Bill Pearlman is up to the old lawyer’s trick of trying to make fools
of his adversaries by enticing them to “prove” negative statements. One
could challenge him to answer the same kinds of dumb insulting questions:
“Pearlman, what evidence do you have that your father was not a practicing
pedophile?” But we are not going to learn anything useful from replicating
his tactics. Making fun of his name only insults many accomplished “Bill
Pearlmans” – several educators, a renowned jewelry designer, an electronics
engineer, a prize-winning poet, or even the local pharmacist – whose
integrity he has put under suspicion that any one of them might be the
writer of his sick letter.

As Pearlman’s vicious insults and responses to earlier letters posted here
indicate, it is impossible to have a rational discussion with him because he
apparently lacks the ability to reason. Such people invariably resort to ad
hominem attacks rather than critique substantive issues. In fact, virtually
all of the negative letters you have posted on your website over the past
five years resort to ad hominem attacks and seldom ever express any
disagreement with the substance of your research.

Since Pearlman has offered no criticism of your academic positions, yet
spews the rhetoric and anger of an outraged fundamentalist, his goal seems
only to inflict distress on his target. Pearlman’s behavior made me very
curious to know just what he stands for. So I’m going to focus on an
analysis of what facts we do know about him, and then try to develop an
hypothesis to explain his sordid behavior. For this we need to study his
existing public record, including his email to you.

Even though Pearlman’s email contains hateful rhetoric in the form of
negative questions, as “projective” behavior, such writing can be useful in
analyzing the personality and hidden motives of the writer. The words chosen
by Pearlman tell us something about the cognitive structure of the his mind
– even when his statements are patently false. From what he writes to you,
he reveals guilty feelings about “betrayal,” and he tries to hide these
personal deficiencies by constructing hurtful attacks on others.

Pearlman displays a deep seated hatred toward women, especially mothers,
>whom he characterizes as prostitutes. His letter to you is but one example.
n a recent disagreement with a fellow poster on a Ha’aretz “Talk Back,” he
lashes out with, “Evidently your mother the courtesan had an extremely
mentally challenged list of clients” (1), instead of expressing the
substance of his concern. One can only guess what he thinks of his own

Politically, Pearlman characterizes himself as “an extremely right wing
guy.” Not a “conservative,” not a “right wing” person, but rather “an
EXTREMELY right wing guy” (my emphasis) (2). Maybe in today’s parlance he
would be labeled a “neocon”; but in more academic political science
terminology, this is a clear admission that he is a fascist. Further
evidence that Pearlman is a fascist is his declared support of French
neofascist Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the right-wing Front National. When
the FN was created in 1972, the “Leadership Team” of Le Pen’s new political
movement included convicted war criminal Pierre Bousquet, former Vichy
militia member Francois Brigneau, and Jean Castrillo who had served with the
Waffen SS (3). In 1990, Le Pen was convicted of casting doubt on the
persecution of Jews by the Nazis and of making jokes belittling Auschwitz
and the gas chambers (4). A recent article in the New York Sun refers to Le
Pen’s Front National as a “coalition of Neofascists and Christian
right-wingers” (5). This is Pearlman’s preferred candidate for president of
France (6).

Now that we know he’s a fascist, we may consider where his fascist leanings
might have originated. In Pearlman’s case, it’s unlikely that just being a
Jew living in Chicago inspired his embracing fascism. We need to look into
the possibility that persons in his background were fascist, perhaps even
Nazi sympathizers. Possibly his family took on Jewish identity to escape
post-WWII reprisals. Again, my first inclination to look for a Nazi past
(rather than, e.g., to something in his education) is his attempt to
manipulate the reality of the Holocaust in his email to you, as well as his
support of Holocaust denigrator Jean-Marie Le Pen.

If one re-reads Pearlman’s email in the context of a fascist projecting his
own thought structure, the theme “denial” stands out: was your mother
“actually in a camp” at all? If that’s a possibility in Pearlman’s mind, he
has doubts that there were camps in the first place. If Pearlman sees truth
in this, for him, the entire Holocaust becomes a myth. Isn’t that just what
one might expect a Le Pen fascist to think, even if his primary and overt
intent is just to be insulting? In spite of some statements to the contrary,
is Pearlman a closet Holocaust denier?

What does seem a bit odd is that Pearlman’s internet posts are mostly in
response to articles in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. Given his “extremely
right-wing” views, it would seem that he would feel more at home among
readers who post on the more conservative media such as J-Post or
israelinsider. But you won’t find him posting there among his fellow
right-wingers. Maybe this is because Ha’aretz readers are more tolerant of
diverse viewpoints compared to those who read and post comments on J-Post or israelinsider. There, even the conservatives would likely flame some of
Pearlman’s more radical comments.

(1) Response to article by Barkat, Ha’aretz, 25 Feb 06
(2) Response to article by Burston, Ha’aretz, 03 Feb 2006
(3) ADL report, A right-wing extremist and his party, Apr 1997; p.2
(4) ADL report, A right-wing extremist and his party, Apr 1997; p.3
(5) New York Sun, 17 Feb 2006
(6) Response to article by Barkat, Ha’aretz, 03 Jan 2006


From: jamesbo[at]
To: WPearlman[at]
CC: normangf[at]
Subject: Re.: Your Mother
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006 22:32:32 -0500 (EST)

You should be ashamed of yourself for asking such a question, and phrasing it in such a repulsive way. The only thing appropriate about your e-mail to Prof. Finkelstein’s website, sir, is your last name: a Pearl is made up of a kind of hardened mucus.

J. Owen
Vancouver, Canada


Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006 15:45:46 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Mr Finkelstein’s mom

Mr Pearlman, I read your letter to Mr Finkelstein and felt that I should reply – not to make you understand but in order to defend a courageous and brave human being and his family (may he have every success and happiness in the world).

Those who attack Mr Finkelstein and his family increase my belief (and I’m sure those of others) that he is on the truth and that you and others have to resort to attacking his mom. This is really desperate. You can’t criticise his work so you resort to attacking him as a person. When that doesn’t work or isn’t enough, you
guys resort to attacking his mom.

I know which side I am on.


Mister or Miss,

I trust, this is NOT that philosophy “there is too much space
between atoms”, which is a funny discussion sometimes. And YOU do
also not doubt your senses, as many survivors of violence do.
So this email to Professor Finkelstein was planned to hurt – and
you, WP, must be told that you are nothing but scum. I do so.

Rune C. Olwen


From: “Maren Hackmann”
To: WPearlman[at]
CC: normangf[at]
Subject: Your email to Norman Finkelstein
Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2006

Feeling brave that you dare defame a survivor of the Nazi holocaust after her death, in a letter to her grieving son? How very brave indeed. Like Dersh, you’re not only extremely disgusting and cowardly, but also extremely stupid. Trying desperately to be smart, but failing miserably. In the future, keep your filth to yourself, unless you want to provide further illustration of how low a man can sink.

Maren Hackmann

BP: How do we know she was a holocaust survivor, how do we know he is a grieving son? Do you have any proof of that. History is replete with people who make up stories to use to their own advantage. Norman Finklestein gets a lot of mileage out of being the son of holocaust survivors. He casts doubt on other people but we should accept his story on face value. I don’t think so.

Bill Pearlman

MH: It seems you’re not only disgusting, cowardly, and stupid, but also beyond cure.

BP: Come on Maren my friend. If his name was Hoess, Muller, Dietrich, or the king of them all Hitler. He would be just another nazi walking around ranting about the international Zionist conspiracy. But, because he says his name is Finklestein and his parents were holocaust survivors it’s a man bites dog thing. Now personally I don’t figure him for a regular synagogue attendee but how do you know any of this is true. Any of it. Just because he says it is. Where is the proof?

Bill Pearlman

PS Take a valium

MH: I’m not your “friend.” And I have better things to do than correspond with you, Sir.


Mr. Bill Pearlman,

A person shows his depth, his maturity, his character and his moral standards
through his thoughts, his outlook on life, his words, his actions and what he believes in. All this reflects on how he was nurtured through out course of his life time and what he gained from various experiences life has to offer.

Your letter to Dr. Finkelstein reflects so much on your character, your personality and your psyche. If your parents didn’t teach you anything then they are partly to be blamed, but if that is not the case then I am sure they are not proud of you, rather they must be ashamed of you; and same holds for your friends and various learning institutions that you attended (unless of course you were under the care of Mr. Dershowitz).

Mothers are best of God’s creations, and we must respect them above all. And what you said about Dr. Finkelstein’s mother, would disgust any one with any conscience. I pity you for having no character and I feel sorry for your children, because you will only instill filth in their minds and hearts.

As for Dr. Finkelstein I salute his courage and his high moral standards. When people know they can not fight with facts they just throw dirt, without realizing that they get their hands dirty first.

May God knock some sense into you.

(Toronto, Canada)