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- Professor of Political Science at DePaul University
- Asserts that the Holocaust has been exaggerated and exploited by Jews to justify Israeli human rights violations and crimes against humanity
- Supported Hezbollah’s “armed resistance against the Israeli Army in Lebanon”
- “The Zionists indeed learnt well from the Nazis. So well that it seems that their morally repugnant treatment of the Palestinians, and their attempts to destroy Palestinian society within Israel and the occupied territories, reveals them as basically Nazis.”
One of the worst anti-Semites in academia, Norman Finkelstein was recruited by DePaul University as an assistant professor in political science. At the time, Finkelstein had recently been fired from two New York-area adjunct teaching jobs (New York University and Hunter College) because of his pseudo-scholarship and rantings against Jews and Israel.
The fact that Professor Finkelstein was hired after his anti-Semitic statements had made him notorious reflects on the university itself. An entire department voted to hire him, and the DePaul Administration approved the appointment. This is the same university that fired an adjunct professor, Thomas Klocek, without a hearing because he asserted in an argument with a group of eight Palestinian students, whom he neither knew nor had ever personally taught, that Israel should not be destroyed. (That September 2004 incident occurred during a student activities fair. Klocek, who is Catholic, told the eight students who were disseminating literature for two rabidly anti-Israel groups — Students for Justice in Palestine, and United Muslims Moving Ahead — that their literature was biased against Israel; that Palestinians were Arabs who resided in the West Bank and Gaza but had no national historical identity as a people; that it was irresponsible and inaccurate to suggest that that Israel was treating Palestinians in a manner similar to how Nazi Germany once treated Jews; and that while most Muslims are not terrorists, most terrorists nowadays are Muslims. For making these assertions, Klocek lost his job.)
Finkelstein is a disciple of discredited historian and Holocaust denier David Irving, whom he identifies as an authoritative scholar. Finkelstein refers to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis as the “Six Million” in quotation marks, and says that nearly every Holocaust survivor is a fraud, a thief and a liar. Finkelstein’s own parents are Holocaust survivors and Finkelstein has long tried to capitalize on this as a way to legitimize his anti-Semitism.) In an interview with Die Welt, he has said: “Not only does the ‘6 Million’ figure become more untenable but the numbers of the Holocaust industry are rapidly approaching those of Holocaust deniers…. Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense, if not sheer fraud.”
In his book The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, Finkelstein wrote, “‘If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one,’
my mother used to exclaim, ‘who did Hitler kill?'” He added that most survivors are fraudulent and that too much money is spent commemorating the Nazi genocide. Finkelstein is
the star on every Holocaust denial neo-Nazi web site on earth, serving as the “Jew who proved there was never any Holocaust.” The New York Times has compared Finkelstein’s book
to the old czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Other excerpts from Finkelstein’s book include these:
- “I do not remember the Nazi Holocaust ever intruding on my childhood. I do not recall a single friend (or parent of a friend) asking a single question about what my mother and father endured. This was not a respectful silence. It was indifference. In this light, one cannot but be skeptical of the outpourings of anguish in later decades, after the Holocaust industry was firmly established. I sometimes think that American Jewry ‘discovering’ the Nazi Holocaust was worse than its having been forgotten. True, my parents brooded in private; the suffering they endured was not publicly validated. But wasn’t that better than the current crass exploitation of Jewish martyrdom?”
- “My parents often wondered why I would grow so indignant at the falsification and exploitation of the Nazi genocide. The most obvious answer is that it has been used to justify criminal policies of the Israeli state and U.S. support for these policies.”
- “The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the world’s most formidable military powers [Israel], with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a ‘victim’ state, and the most successful ethnic group [Jews] in the U.S. has likewise acquired victim status.”
In a December 2001 interview with CounterPunch Magazine, Finkelstein stated the following:
- “[Jewish organizations that seek compensation for Holocaust survivors] bring to mind an insight of my late mother, that it is no accident that Jews invented the word ‘chutzpah.’ They steal, and I do use the word with intent, 95% of the monies earmarked for victims of Nazi persecution, and then throw you a few crumbs while telling you to be grateful. . . . They have disgraced the memory of the Jewish people’s suffering on the one hand by turning it into an extortion racket.”
- “[The situation of contemporary Palestinian Arabs in Israel] is probably similar to the situation to Blacks in the American South before the civil rights movement. . . . In addition to the second-class citizenship of the Israeli Arabs, there is also the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, and that . . . is not really comparable to [the former status of blacks under apartheid in] South Africa because I think it is much worse.”
- “If you understand terrorism to mean the targeting of civilian populations in order to achieve political goals, then plainly the U.S. qualifies as the main terrorist government in the world today, if only because of the sheer force it has at its disposal. I am not claiming that another government were it to be in the position of the U.S. would act better, but given the predominant material and political weight of the U.S. today, means that they are going to be the main terrorist state in the World today, and I think that’s true.”
- “I voted for [Ralph] Nader [in 2000], and I have no doubts at all that it was the right thing to do because the Nader candidacy was extremely energizing and a terrific phenomenon in American life, and I hope he continues. . . . If you attended Nader’s rallies and speeches as I did, he was delivering a very hard-hitting critique of U.S. capitalism, I mean it is as tough as you can really get and he was able to pull it off.”
- When asked whether he thought that “the West was in some way responsible for the tragedy of September 11,” Finkelstein replied: “Let’s put it this way. The so-called West, and really we’re talking about the United States, and to a lesser extent its pathetic puppy dog in England, have a real problem on their hands. Regrettably, it’s payback time for the Americans and they have a problem because all the other enemies since the end of World War Two that they pretended to contend with . . . were basically fabricated enemies. The Soviet Union was a conservative bureaucracy by the end of World War Two, which apart from the sphere of influence it carved out — mostly for defensive reasons — was plainly in retrospect a stabilizing force in international affairs. Then the enemies that the U.S. conjured up as the Soviet Union fell into decline beginning in the early 1980s — enemies like Libya, Iraq, narco-terrorists and so forth — these were basically enemies created by the United States to — among other things — justify repressive policies around the world, and to inflate its military budget. Now they do have a problem on their hands, and it’s going to exact a cost from Americans. The American elites can talk about honor and creativity until the cows come home, but it’s not going to be like the Iraq shooting fish in a barrel situation, like they did when they destroyed Iraq in 1991. Frankly, part of me says — even though everything since September 11 has been a nightmare – ‘you know what, we deserve the problem on our hands because some things Bin Laden says are true.’ One of the things he said on that last tape was that ‘until we [Muslims and Arabs] live in security, you’re not going to live in security,’ and there is a certain amount of rightness in that. Why should Americans go on with their lives as normal, worrying about calories and hair loss, while other people are worrying about where they are going to get their next piece of bread? Why should we go on merrily with our lives while so much of the world is suffering, and suffering incidentally not with us merely as bystanders, but with us as the indirect and direct perpetrators. So that I think that you can summon up all the heroic and self-aggrandizing rhetoric you want, but there is a problem facing all of us now, and maybe it’s about time that the United States starts having to confront the same sort of problems that much of humanity has had to confront on a daily basis for God knows how long.”