Keeping the Faith, Staying the Course

October 19, 2022

In Blog Norman Finkelstein

My Mother passed 27 years ago today.  Now my own mortality is rapidly closing in.  Ironically, the thing I am most proud of in retrospect came the most easily to me: staying true to the values imparted by my parents.  In my forthcoming book, I include this remembrance of them:


My Beloved Parents


Except for my Mother and Father, every member of both my parents’ families was exterminated during the war.  From as far back as I can remember, our home was saturated with politics.  On Sunday mornings, seated around the breakfast table, we divided up among the five of us the sections of the New York Times while, later in the day, we sat around the television set watching Meet the Press, hosted by the redoubtable Lawrence Spivak.  But politics wasn’t just intellectualizing words.  When the nightly news flashed war images from Vietnam, my Mother would abruptly avert her gaze, hold her hand up to shield her eyes, and say: “Tell me when it’s over.”  My parents stayed faithful to their decidedly unpopular political beliefs until their last breaths.  They reserved their harshest epithet for those who betrayed their principles for earthly reward.  “Traitors!” they would mutter, with a mixture of disdain and disgust.