Norman Finkelstein

(Norman Gary Finkelstein)

Norman Finkelstein
Norman Finkelstein
  • Born: December 8, 1953
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Educator

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Both my father and mother were survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps. Apart from my parents, every family member on both sides was exterminated by the Nazis. Families, Children & Parenting
Conversion and zealotry, just like revelation and apostasy, are flip sides of the same coin, the currency of a political culture having more in common with religion than rational discourse. Religion & God
DePaul's plot to deny me tenure had nothing to do with my faults. In fact, and ironically, it viciously attacked me and destroyed my career because of my virtues. Which, although few in number, they still found threatening.
Every victory of Hezbollah, I celebrate.
Everybody wants peace. That's a truism. There is no point in accomplishing through war what you can accomplish through peace. War & Peace
I am opposed to any state with an ethnic character, not only to Israel.
I don't claim to know Israel. I don't speak Hebrew; my contacts are pretty limited. But I didn't know Vietnam; I didn't know Nicaragua, El Salvador or Honduras. It doesn't mean you can't reach your conclusions.
I don't feel particularly attached to Israel - 'nationalism,' as Noam Chomsky said, 'is not my cup of tea' - but I feel no particular need to demonize it.
I don't think it's a good thing to have Christian states, Muslim states, or any kind of ethnic states.
I don't want to become a rhetorical speaker. My effectiveness is mastering all of the data and being able to respond.
I don't want to pretend to be a prophet or a saint. I'm very conscious of my limitations. I know my flaws. But I don't like lying.
I earn - I'm not - I don't want to claim I'm a scholar of great stature, but I have made a certain reputation for myself, I've published several books, I've never been able to get a permanent teaching job.
I had been a Maoist, and then when the Gang of Four was overthrown, I was completely distraught. I was bedridden for three weeks; it was a very painful experience for me. Not only because I had been wrong, but because I felt really embarrassed that I had been lecturing and pontificating with such self-confidence.
I no longer say I'm unemployed. I say I'm unemployable. It's different. An unemployed suggests at a certain point in the future, you might be employed. That's not the case with me. I'm unemployable, and unfortunately, that's one of the bits of the web, in particular of Google. Future
I think one of the problems when we discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict is people talk too much in terms of, 'What's your preference?,' like politics is a Chinese menu - I'll take one from column A and two from column B. That's not what politics is about. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I think sometimes we underestimate just how vulnerable Israel is on the public-relations front. That's why they spend so much money on propaganda. And that's why they panic every time they feel like they're losing the propaganda war. Time ;Money, Coins & Minting ;War & Peace
I think that people like Bloomberg, they're complete thugs. No question about it. But on the other hand, it must be said that they are politically savvy. They don't get into those positions of power - in the case of Bloomberg, both economic and political power - by being anybody's fool. Power
I voted for Nader, and I have no doubts at all that it was the right thing to do because the Nader candidacy was extremely energising and a terrific phenomenon in American life, and I hope he continues. Life ;Hope
I was bashing Israel in the past because nobody else was exposing its true record. Many people are doing it now, so I switched hats from a critic of Israel to a diplomat who wants to resolve the conflict. I have not changed, but I think the spectrum has moved.
I was probably unusually close to my parents, so I do what I can now to preserve the integrity of their memory. The Holocaust deserves to be remembered.
I would not have stayed at a university if it told me upfront that a condition for me getting tenure. my views have to be filtered through Catholic values. I would consider it a betrayal of my parents' legacy.
If there were an Oscar for best theatrical performance by a country, Israel would win every year. It's a country based on theater. It's a lunatic state - completely insane.
I'm an old fan of the Negro spirituals.
I'm not a good writer, and I don't care. Unfortunately, after I left college, I didn't have time much for literature. I wish I did. Most of the time I read documents, and that's not going to help your writing. But I'm a very logical writer, and you can't get out of me. Once I've nailed you, you're finished. Time
I'm politically on the left, no question about it. I oppose sweatshops, I oppose exploitation of labour in the third world.
Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense if not sheer fraud.
International law says people fighting for self-determination can use force in order to achieve their independence.
Israel has been a stage on which American Jews have played out their fantasies of toughness - often from Martha's Vineyard.
Israel's pro-American orientation exists not just among Israeli elites but also among the whole population. Come what may in Israel, it's inconceivable that this fundamental orientation will change. Combined with its overwhelming military power, this makes Israel a unique and irreplaceable American asset in the Middle East. Power
Mainstream Jewish intellectuals became 'pro'-Israel after the June 1967 war when Israel became the U.S.A.' s strategic asset in the Middle East, i.e., when it was safe and reaped benefits. To credit them with ideological conviction is, in my opinion, very naive. War & Peace
My books don't sell anymore. There are many reasons why they don't sell, but one of the reasons is because people don't read anymore. Forget about reading books of detail - they don't read at all.
My original interest in the Nazi holocaust was personal. Both my father and mother were survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps. Apart from my parents, every family member on both sides was exterminated by the Nazis. Families, Children & Parenting
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.
No conditions justify torture.
No doubt one can, in light of further study and life experience, come to repudiate past convictions. Life
People are motivated by the desires for privilege, for power, for profit. Those are not shocking revelations. Anyone who's had any experience in life knows these things. Life ;Power
People have the right to defend their country from foreign occupiers, and people have the right to defend their country from invaders who are destroying their country.
People have to liberate themselves, because liberation is not a single act. It's a question of eternal vigilance. Otherwise, you'll just become enslaved by someone else.
Personal convictions are not politics. Personal convictions, if they become the subject of a group conviction, they become a cult. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Teaching is in my bones. I love to teach. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The Holocaust only emerged in American life after Israel's victory in the 1967 Six Day war against its Arab neighbours. Life ;War & Peace
The moment you have massive social and political commentary trying to explain a phenomenon, then you know we are no longer dealing with a strictly psychiatric question.
The real goal of politics has to be getting people to act on what they already know was wrong. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The whole purpose of annual reviews is to keep you abreast of whether or not you are fulfilling the requirements of tenure.
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 with beards and black hats. Society
There are contradictory tendencies in American society. There's a huge range of activities that one can engage in that mark it as a quite free society. It's also true to say that the powers that be have so much control over how people think that there are fewer and fewer people who make use of the rights and information available to them. Society
There is no way a non-Jew could say what I did in 'The Holocaust Industry' without being labelled a Holocaust denier. I am labelled a Holocaust denier, too.
When I was a young man, my mother said to me, 'You can't be a communist without being a militant atheist.' So I had to be a militant atheist because I wanted to be a communist.
When you are a people's movement, you have one thing. Your only asset is people. And you have to deal with real people. Not the people of your imagination. Not the people you wish people would be. But people as they exist actually out there in the real world.
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?
You know, frankly speaking, money just doesn't figure largely in my world view. Money, Coins & Minting

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