‘Forward’: Finkelstein has a ‘disease’

on 279 Comments

Also, he hates himself and those who made him, is a bruised apple, and full of poison, and in the grip of of a great force that is compelling him to do and say strange things– all from Mark Cohen’s review of the documentary, American Radical, in the Forward, which is thoughtfully titled, "A Jewish Frankenstein."

Cohen says it’s all because his parents survived the Holocaust. I agree, Finkelstein has some mishigoss because of the Holocaust. And he’s alone? How mean.

279 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    April 14, 2010, 2:44 pm

    In the three years that I’ve read and posted here, I’ve never heard you present a word of criticism of anything that Norman Finkelstein has written and/or said.

    He is the subject of a biography that presents his critical and academic thinking process and products, and some critical reflection on his character.

    I don’t know Marc Cohen (unless it is a Marc Cohen that I went to summer camp with. If you know him, is he our age?)

    I personally find a great deal to criticize in Finkelstein’s method (specifically the distinction between causitive evidence or proof, and supportive evidence which is presented as if it is proof), also a great deal to criticize in his presentation (frequent name-calling, malevolent innuendo, basically an ability to viciously offend anyone that irritates him or his political sensibilities).

    And, I am critical of his audience, which is similar to Chomsky’s who seem to me to be frankly gullible in the teenage sense of looking for cues as to what social litmus tests to use to distinguish us from them (always stated in the name of breaking through the convention definitions of us vs them).

    He’s obviously a very intelligent and articulate man, with a compellingly compassionate side (even nucleus) to him.

    Everything that he has conveyed in his professional life has alienated a dozen for every two converts. When, if stated with a little less vanity and condemnation could result in a dozen informed for every two alienated.

    • Chaos4700
      April 14, 2010, 2:51 pm

      Everything that he has conveyed in his professional life has alienated a dozen for every two converts. When, if stated with a little less vanity and condemnation could result in a dozen informed for every two alienated.

      Anyone else doubling over from the irony of Witty saying this about someone else?

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 4:32 pm

        Yes, Chaos, I, for one, am. ROFL.

      • Pamela Olson
        April 14, 2010, 5:18 pm
      • Psychopathic god
        April 15, 2010, 10:42 am

        well, Chaos, I wasn’t reflecting so much on the laugh-factor of Witty’s wit; my gray cells wanted to calculate the number of people Dersh alienates — perhaps on a per-syllable scale?

    • Richard Witty
      April 14, 2010, 2:56 pm

      The significance of the holocaust in Finkelstein’s process is as a potential model.

      The model criticized is that the holocaust has stimulated in those that experienced it, and in those that sympathize with actual and imagined people that experienced it, to be hyper-sensitive, hyper-reactive.

      Sadly, that is exactly what Finkelstein demonstrates, hyper-sensitivity.

      His content is affected by compassion (I hope), but his tone and reactions mirror many of the people that he criticizes. Specifically, we had an exchange in which I described to him from an interview that I had just read, that Norman Podhoretz prided himself on his pugnaciousness, as Norman similarly described.

      In contrast, Avram Burg described the need for Israel to mature, to invite and experience a transition in character, of which a transition in content would naturally follow.

      • eGuard
        April 14, 2010, 3:39 pm

        Glad to see you write “holocaust” in lowercase, twice. As Finkelstein did in his book to separate it from the capitalized one.

      • syvanen
        April 14, 2010, 3:56 pm

        RW you simply are sounding foolish now. Finkelstein is a national celebrity because of his blazing rhetorical skills coupled with his scholastic talents. Your picking the nit failing to make the distinction between causitive evidence or proof, and supportive evidence which is presented as if it is proof) is just a hoot. We love Finkelstein because he doesn’t beat around the bush — he comes out a plays it straight and will bulldoze down anyone foolish enough to take him on.

        Are next going to give us an essay on how Mohammed Ali should have refrained from ad hominems?

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 4:01 pm

        Thats because you are one of the converted Syvannen.

        He is abusive to those that irritate him, and the range of those people include most liberals, even those that agree with him on his ultimate goals.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 4:11 pm

        “One of the converted?” Who’s turning this into a goddamn holy war now, Witty?

      • syvanen
        April 14, 2010, 4:54 pm

        RW you just don’t get it. Let’s try another analogy. Imagine a music critic attacking Miles Davis for not using proper antiperspirants because of the unseemly sweat displayed during his shows.

      • aparisian
        April 14, 2010, 4:58 pm

        What does “converted” mean? is an anti- Israeli war crimes guy a “converted”?

        I would really be interested to hear real critics on Finkelestein work from you Witty.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 5:06 pm

        Whats the point of the Miles story?

        I think you miss the bush then Syvannon.

        Do you get the difference between causitive evidence and supporting evidence, the difference between proof and correlation?

        Its an IMPORTANT intellectual distinction, that every intellectual must ask him/herself rigorously to be speaking truth. If he consistently stated, “in my opinion”, then at least he would be honestly communicating fallibility, rather than the authority that he presents and the gullible digest.

        “What other conclusion could there be?” A dozen plausible ones.

      • syvanen
        April 14, 2010, 5:35 pm

        RW You are absolutely oblivious. I thought the Miles Davis analogy would blow right past you and you prove my first point by repeating your pompous distinctions on rules of evidence. You are so out of it you cannot begin to comprehend why Finkelstein is an international celebrity. Here is a hint — it has a very real emotional component and it is a needed emotion that was slowly drained out of the IP debate after 17 years of the pointless peace process.

        It is going to take some passion to bring peace and justice to the region and no your orthodox rabbi approved prayers are not the kind of passion that is needed.

      • Eva Smagacz
        April 15, 2010, 1:15 am

        One of the best characterisations of Richard’s debating style I read in a while.

      • Psychopathic god
        April 15, 2010, 10:45 am

        do you have to be jewish to be ‘liberal’? does ‘liberal’ have a different meaning for jews than for just ordinary, ‘we think the 17th century Enlightenment was the greatest shift in human thinking processes’ – type ‘liberals’?

      • Psychopathic god
        April 15, 2010, 10:58 am

        another question about the penchant for categorizing in different ways, relative to jewish vs non-jewish:

        why is a gentile antisemitic, but a jew is a self-hating jew?

        Why not a self-hating semite?

      • Julian
        April 16, 2010, 6:46 am

        “scholastic talents” What scholastic talents? Everything Finkelstein writes is derivative. He speaks no Hebrew or Arabic and can do no original research in his chosen field. As an academic Finkelstein is a dismal unemployed failure.

      • Shingo
        April 16, 2010, 6:56 am

        “He speaks no Hebrew or Arabic and can do no original research in his chosen field.”

        Yes, becasue we all know in this day and age that only through speaking Hebrew can one perfomr research.

        Finkelstein’s expertise is politcial science. How does Hebrew and Arabic serve a political sceintist Julian?

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 4:37 pm

        For every follower of Finkelstein are dozens in more influential places, in the top rungs of government in both the USA and Israel, dozens of Dershowitz minions. Change the US electoral campaign finance laws so they are not mere conduits for outright bribes, and most of the Dershowitze minons will drop out; the Finkelstein followers will only increase. People genrerally are not really fools, just merely practically selfish and full of vanity.

      • Psychopathic god
        April 15, 2010, 10:49 am

        Citizen — indeed, CITIZEN — can you imagine if the US functioned as a Greek polis — a democracy in which groups of ordinary citizens, randomly selected, were called upon to parlay when a question of state arose. They met, discussed, decided, then joined Cincinnatus back home at his/their farm/shop/trade/academy. Sure, it had some flaws, but not so easy to buy and corrupt a shoemaker who spends 2 weeks in a year making decisions about the community’s treasury.

    • Shingo
      April 14, 2010, 4:32 pm

      “In the three years that I’ve read and posted here, I’ve never heard you present a word of criticism of anything that Norman Finkelstein has written and/or said.”

      Oh poor Witty feels let down because Phil won’t throw him a bone a criticise Fink, even for old time’s sake.

      Never mind that Fink happens to be right on the money every time.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 4:37 pm

        Its not a bone, but the distinction between a propaganda site (that you regard as “right on”) and a discussion site.

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 4:42 pm

        Witty, please name one or preferably more sites you view as NOT propaganda sites. We want you to be very specific, so we know which you recommend as sites that are objective. We want to get rid of our
        genuflections to the content of people like Fink. We take you at your word. So, which sites do you recommend so we can become enlightened like you?

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 7:31 pm

        I second Citizen in this regard.

        Where should I be going to get “non-propagandized” material on this topic?

        I’m here for 2 reasons.

        1) I have a deep interest in American foreign policy in the Middle East

        2) I enjoy reading about how Phil comes to terms with his Jewish identity within his own post Zionist narrative.

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 5:12 pm

        In the three years Witty has posted comments here, I’ve never seen him
        agree even once with any fact Finkelstein has brought up via commenters who brought his work into the discussions here. Naturally Witty loves any attack on the messenger, so as to avoid the message. Witty will take Dershowitz or Peters over Fink or IF Stone any day. He needs his ziocain fix.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 5:14 pm

        I’ve agreed with many single Finkelstein points, particularly his support for a two-state solution, at the green line.

        Maybe you consider that incidental.

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 7:11 pm

        Witty, thanks for the correction. What others of the many single Finkelstein points have you agreed with you?

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 7:34 pm

        So basically, Witty hates the fact that he can’t actually topple any of Finkelstein’s arguments. Nice.

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 7:10 am

        “I’ve agreed with many single Finkelstein points, particularly his support for a two-state solution, at the green line.”

        Except that Fink accepts that a 2 state solution is not going to happen and that a one state solution is innevitable.

    • James North
      April 14, 2010, 9:46 pm

      Richard: I’m a little late to this party, but you sound more than a little hysterical. Have you read Norman’s book Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict? It is a calm, persuasive dissection of a series of myths about the Middle East, followed by 65 pages of citations, that certainly taught me a lot.
      You are aware of course that Norman convincingly refuted Joan Peters’ notorious hoax, From Time Immemorial, at a time when most of the mainstream world was praising it to the skies. His essay, included in Image and Reality, was so effective that Peters’s erstwhile champions could only squirm afterward in silence.
      I haven’t see Norman speaking in public, although I don’t think that passion about life and death matters is necessarily a bad thing. But to judge the man just by his style on the soapbox without taking into account his considerable scholarly achievements is simply unfair.

      • robin
        April 14, 2010, 11:08 pm

        ‘Calm and persuasive’ would also describe Finkelstein’s speaking style when I saw him in person. Characterizations of Finkelstein as being in some way shrill, ring false to me. If anything, I found him sort of casually dismissive on matters where we did not agree – specifically on the idea of a one-state solution, and on the (general) significance of Obama’s election. But that is to say that I found much more to criticize in his actual opinions, than in his tone or presentation style (or scholarship).

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:13 pm

        I’ve not read his books. I’ve read articles, seen a presentation face to face, and many on youtube as well as listened to lectures, a few of which I presented in the audio library that I ran for six years.

        I’ve seen Norman be cool and restrained, and then vicious in the same lecture.

        “Passionate” is an embellishment word for it. Certainly energetic, but also certainly abusive.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:18 pm

        I’ve not read his books.


      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 7:12 am

        “‘“Passionate” is an embellishment word for it. Certainly energetic, but also certainly abusive. ”

        When he runs otu f patience with idiots like you in the audience, yes he can be, and who could blame him?

      • James North
        April 15, 2010, 7:59 am

        Richard: I’m more than a little surprised at you. You admit you haven’t read any of Norman’s books, but you started out above by saying,
        “Everything that he has conveyed in his professional life has alienated a dozen for every two converts.” He is a scholar, so his professional life is primarily based on his books. How can you possibly judge his overall effectiveness without having read any of them?
        I suggest you read at least one — I would start with Image and Reality — and then see if you think it is FAIR to persist in your SWEEPING and NEGATIVE opinion.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 8:08 am

        What do you recommend?

        James, in your criticism of my criticism you ommitted the previous sentence and the succeeding one.

        Together, they comprised my argument, not the irritation of the one sentence you highlighted.

        That is that in fact Norman has alienated more than he has inspired, and absolutely certainly has alienated far far more than was necessary.

        And, that that works against his stated aim.

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 9:19 am

        James North recommended you read Image & Reality, at least.
        Further, Richard Witty, from what source do you derive your alleged fact that Norman has alienated more people than he has inspired? That’s certainly not my experience. I grant you Norman alienated Peter’s and the devotees of her sham and sentimental book, and also Dershowitz, who feistly echoed her without acknowledging her lying content, but instead, praising it.

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 9:20 am

        Further, of course Norman alienated all those engaged in the Holocaust (patent pending) business.

    • David
      April 14, 2010, 10:59 pm

      “Richard Witty April 14, 2010 at 2:12 am
      More accusations of “sickness”, “monsterhood”.”

      That’s in the post on Richard Cohen’s piece in the Washington Post.

      Now. Phil Weiss posts a link to an article that describes Finkelstein as an example of “unsavory Jews,” “sick,” having a “disease,” “one of the bruised apples,” “hating himself.”

      So Witty–where is the condemnation of the accusations of sickness and monsterhood? Why, instead of saying “it is wrong to call people sick” on this one, you instead accuse Phil and talk about how grating Finkelstein is?

      • David
        April 14, 2010, 11:06 pm

        Just to clarify, that first quote is from Richard Witty, on an earlier post.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:17 pm

        Cohen referred to Finkelstein’s own allusions to himself. It probably went too far, frankly. But not nearly as too far as Finkelstein has and continues to go in presentation periodically.

        The warring of words on this can easily relax (the hysterical), by someone charitably acknowledging, “I see how people could perceive that”, not even agreeing, but at least acknowledging.

        Insensitivity is one too present component of political approach. In 1971, following the end of the draft, the vast majority of anti-war activists soured at the unnecessary, the indulgent negativity of the fixated political approach, even as they agreed with the assumptions and conclusions.

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 7:13 am

        In 1971, the vast majority of anti-war activists were moving on with their lives and dealing with other priorities.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 7:21 am

        In reaction largely to the insensitivity and negativity of the rabid political approach.

        The war continued, even escalated. The draft was slightly winding down.

        The people were still committed, principled, but largely determined that the political ranting was not a viable path for a life, for many lives.

        As I said, radicalism can only be a temporary state of being. It either morphs to productive commitment (in contrast to movements) or to fascistic politically oriented conformity.

        Every setting. Zionism, Palestinian solidarity, anti-Vietnam War, communism, anarchism. And, the only ultimate resolution is reconciliation comprised of a conspiracy of willingness.

        And, that is the conspiracy that I seek.

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 7:35 am

        The people got older Witty and succumbed to hedonism and the repssures of every day life.

        “As I said, radicalism can only be a temporary state of being.”

        Is the plight fo the Palestinians a temporary state Witty? Radicalism feeds off on injustice and inhumaity. Without those, there is no radicalism. Pragmatism comes when bvreakthoughs are made, not before.

        “And, that is the conspiracy that I seek. ”

        No, the conspiracy you seek it to keep Israel’s skeletons in th ecloset.

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 9:30 am

        Witty, what on earth is your last paragraph about, please clarify what you think happened following the end of the draft. Thanks.
        Also, do you acknowledge General Petraeus’s observation that the general Middle Eastern perception of the US as (in essence) Israel’s lackey is interfering with his CENTCOM mission and endangering American troops?

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 9:45 am

        Re: “The people were still committed, principled, but largely determined that the political ranting was not a viable path for a life, for many lives.”

        A more accurate view:
        During the 1968 presidential election, Richard Nixon campaigned on a promise to end the draft. He had first become interested in the idea of an all-volunteer army during his time out of office, based upon a paper by Professor Martin Anderson of Columbia University. Nixon also saw ending the draft as an effective way to undermine the anti-Vietnam war movement, since he believed affluent youths would stop protesting the war once their own possibility of having to fight in it was gone. He was right. But by then the American people as a whole finally realized it had all along been a poor man’s war; this realization
        united patriots with the especially symbolic group Vietnam Veterans Against The War. The rest of mass American followed them, not the college anti-war protest movement per se.

  2. Scott
    April 14, 2010, 2:45 pm

    The intensity of Zionist rhetoric is heating up to a crazy point. It’s like the difference between the Port Huron statement and a Weather underground communique. I was pretty shocked when some major Likud figure called vice president Biden “a diseased leper” in the Jerusalem Post the other day. But for the Forward to begin speaking like this is actually worrisome. Collective psychosis is one thing, but collective psychosis with nuclear weapons a good deal worse.

    • Richard Witty
      April 14, 2010, 2:57 pm

      It is absurd certainly, Scott. I hope you candidly observe a similar phenomena in anti-Zionist rhetoric.

      In fact, both have been heated and extreme at moments over and over.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 3:01 pm

        Yeah, phony moral equivalence, huh?

        Do us a favor? Go over here and comment on that article, why don’t you?

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2010, 3:07 pm

        I know how you feel Richard. When I think of the number of people Anti-Zionists have dispossesed and even murdered or imprisoned, I could plotz.

        But it was when anti-Zionists started raining down white phosphurus on innocent people I got really worried. Perhaps, I thought, this is too heated, too extreme.

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 4:52 pm

        Me too, but then I thought, hey, what can little old me do about all those
        anti-Zionists in the top rungs of my own government and MSM? How can I match their moneybags? I murmured the Tranquility Prayer of the AA. So, like Witty, I just humbly trek on here, voicing my concerns about those poor Israeli babies covered in white phosporous, with nothing to arm themselves with except some pebble snatched up in frustrated desperation, along the wall heroically built on the stubborn olive tree ground.

      • Avi
        April 14, 2010, 3:11 pm

        I hope you candidly observe a similar phenomena in anti-Zionist rhetoric.

        Israeli politician Moshe Feiglin referred to Biden as a “diseased leper” and implied he was a Nazi.

        If Feiglin is representative of the Zionist camp, then who in the Post-Zionist camp with the same (I don’t want to say stature) access/platform and position as Feiglin has used similar “rhetoric”?

        I’m really curious about this.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2010, 3:11 pm

        “I hope you candidly observe a similar phenomena in anti-Zionist rhetoric”

        And when you think about all those anti-Zionist atom bombs. Worst of all, anti-Zionists have never, ever listened to fanatical bigoted Rabbis who act as military officers. I guess there’s just no hope, when you think about it. With no atomic or other weapons, and no religious fanatics, do we dare even pray that anti-Zionists won’t destroy the world.

        Richard, go stroke your lingham.

      • Stateless American
        April 14, 2010, 3:29 pm

        Candidly, the singular is “phenonmenon.”

      • Cliff
        April 14, 2010, 4:42 pm

        All you do is prop up shoddy equivocations, Dick. You’re pathetic.

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 7:16 am

        “In fact, both have been heated and extreme at moments over and over.”

        For Richard, heated debate abotu human righs is more offensive that calm, poltice discussions about ethnic cleansing and mass murder.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 7:32 am

        Is that discussion Shingo, or is it an attempt to impose a politically correct thought-police?

        I know, you are up to the action stage, rather than the discussion stage.

        Whereas I regard every moment as discussion stage, communication, and that by definition mobilization becomes less than democratic in the name of democracy.

        Phil’s site used to be stated as “the war of ideas”, which he has taken down. He still presents this as a discussion site, not as a mobilization or propaganda site.

        Maybe he’s changed in his intentions. I don’t know.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 7:33 am

        Sorry, I just noted that the banner is back.

        This is back to the war of ideas.

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 7:46 am

        Speaking to you Witty reminds me of a story I once heard about a Holocaust survivor who satin the front row of the Nuremberg trials as the worst of the worst Nazis were tried. The old man hanged on every word spoken by the accused, looking for a sign or something to explain hwo these men could be so evil.

        The story goes that the man broke down at the completion fo the trils because he realized that the monsters who were on triak were perfectly normal in every way.

        That’s what youé like Witty. You’re just an everage guy with a very sick mind.

    • Richard Witty
      April 14, 2010, 5:20 pm

      I just reread your post Scott, and I think you have gone off the deep end in attributing fanaticm to the Cohen review.

      In using the term “frankenstein” for example, Cohen referred to Finkelstein’s self-description using that term. (I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I don’t know the actual context).

      Further, the forward doesn’t possess nuclear weapons, or affect anyone else’s use of them.

      Again, I found the review informative, not persecutorial. Have you heard the language that Finkelstein uses to describe those that disagree with him, even on elements that are truly incidental (but strike a nerve in him obviously).

      Now, that is worrisome.

      • Cliff
        April 14, 2010, 5:27 pm

        Except, the people he criticizes in action, like you – a freak who describes international law as ‘political correctness’, are doing far worse things which warrant the labels he attaches to them.

        So you oppose BDS because it spreads awareness about Zionist apartheid, injustice, and empowers the powerless.

        You want to subjugate Palestinians and their supporters. You want Israel – a criminal State, which exists because it dispossessed the indigenous population of Mandate Palestine – to be treated w/ kid-gloves for it’s crimes against humanity and against the Palestinians.

        As we speak, your Jewish country club (which is what it is, w/ the n****** in the servant clothes, dehumanized but dressed up like ‘people’ – ‘impudent’) is stealing more land and adding more bureaucratic BS to it’s arsenal.

        Its like that ridiculous thing you said earlier about how anti-Zionists should appeal to crooks and liars like you. You’re only mainstream because your side has hijacked the debate, discussion for so long.

        Zionism has required so much lying, violence, oppression and Stalinism to exist.

        It’s a destabilizing ideology which you want people to convert to.

      • robin
        April 14, 2010, 11:51 pm

        You found the review informative, not persecutorial? What review did you read?

        To Cohen, Finkelstein is “conspiracy monger”, “vitriolic”, “fixated” (certainly not “dedicated”, to try a different spin), friend to “Palestinians who hate Jews” (huh?), “earned the scorn of many scholars”, “conspiracy-minded”, “insupportable”, “earned scathing criticisms”, “extremist”, “unsavory”. “diseased”, “unreasonable”, “angry”, “does and says strange things”, “delusional”, “hates himself and those who created him” (self-hating Jew).

        These are mostly Cohen’s own, unsupported assessments of Finkelstein. In what sense does this towering pile of insults inform? Cohen’s reporting of other’s critiques (also glaringly unsupported) is also never balanced with an alternate view.

        Your criticism of Finkelstein for “abuse” here is beyond ironic.

  3. eGuard
    April 14, 2010, 3:33 pm

    The critic Mark Cohen: A researcher in the 1980s seeking to expose unfairness could hardly have done better than to focus on Israel and the Palestinians. No sir. Indeed the eighties we focused on apartheid, boycott, and those who suddenly wanted to spare those poor a boycott they asked for themselves. But that was South Africa, you know. Now it’s different.

  4. javs
    April 14, 2010, 3:36 pm

    I had read somewhere that the reasoning behind all the control the israeli’s have in our government is because they are holding the world hostage with nuclear devices set, “if they do not get their way” they will wipe out civilization as we know it today. To me it wouldn’t matter let them push the button they will die too as a result. Evil can not have its way ! There has been a lot of articles which show the hate for the israelis at an all new level which includes usa jews with the zionist for supporting these tactics of the usa and aparthied israel. who will win….no one ever.

    • syvanen
      April 14, 2010, 4:08 pm

      Israel likely has 200 and maybe, at the most, 400 nuclear weapons. If they were to detonate those weapons all at the same time at strategic points around the world it would be insufficient to wipe out civilization as we know it. Kill many people to be sure but life would go on. The danger of the Sampson option is if such an act precipitated world war with nuclear weapons then that could be curtains.

      • Keith
        April 14, 2010, 6:00 pm

        SYVANEN- While the ultimate consequences of nuclear/thermo nuclear explosions are inherently speculative, I have read estimates that indicate that as few as 200 nuclear explosions would be sufficient to cause cataclysmic environmental consequences sufficient to result in planetary annihilation.

      • syvanen
        April 14, 2010, 6:12 pm

        This has been modeled extensively and there was at one time a nuclear winter scenario that looked worrisome. This was after the realization that KT extinction event (end dinosaur time) was associated with sudden global cooling caused by a dust cloud. However, the bolide impact that released the dust and caused the subsequent fires released 1000 times as much energy as all of the world’s supply of nuclear weapons. The nuclear winter predictions failed to find support based on some recent major firestorms.

      • Keith
        April 14, 2010, 10:31 pm

        SYVANEM- I remain unconvinced. What you say may be true, but to gamble on the future of life on this planet based upon projections is dubious, to say the least. The consequences of 200 nuclear/thermo-nuclear explosions would be catastrophic, to say the least. Terminal? I wouldn’t discount it!

      • Richard Parker
        April 15, 2010, 5:42 am

        No ‘ nuclear winter’ is required at all. Israel has embassies or ‘consulates’ spread through most of the major cities of the world.

        All of them receive ‘diplomatic bags’ containing anything at all they want to import, without any security checks whatsoever. (If a security check was ever done, there would be the biggest diplomatic row ever). To smuggle in a nuclear bomb is nothing.

        Only a few prominent points need to be hit; obviously New York and Washington would be first, Peoria to convince the heartland, and perhaps London and Paris to work on the others.

        These tiny little directed strikes wouldn’t affect the rest of the world at all.

      • Psychopathic god
        April 15, 2010, 3:25 pm

        bottom line, syvanen, bottom line: should I pay my taxes?

      • Chaos4700
        April 15, 2010, 3:37 pm

        All of them receive ‘diplomatic bags’ containing anything at all they want to import, without any security checks whatsoever. (If a security check was ever done, there would be the biggest diplomatic row ever). To smuggle in a nuclear bomb is nothing.

        There are logistical and purely physical limitations that make this scenario impossible, though, Mr. Parker. First in foremost, the nuclear fuel in the bomb is “hot” — it radiates a not inconsiderable amount of radiation that is easy to pick up. Radiation shielding is possible, but I’m not sure it’s practical for moving the required quantities of fissile material around — you could keep chopping the fuel up into smaller bits, but you’d need the equipment at the other end to recombine them, and one isn’t going to smuggle that in diplomatic bags. And then, a diplomatic bag with that much shielding would be painfully obvious — it would be heavy as hell, being made mostly of solid alloy.

        You also need to shape the warhead and have an adequate triggering device. Merely reaching critical mass “only” ellicits a meltdown — not that that’s trivial, but it would serve the consulate no good if there was enough of all one got was a cloud of radioactive matter bursting forth very obviously from the building. Those components would have to be smuggled in, and then assembled as well — and they aren’t necessarily all that rugged in their disassembled state.

        That said, one notes that moving conventional explosives via diplomatic bag is child’s play.

      • Richard Parker
        April 15, 2010, 11:08 pm

        A ‘diplomatic bag’ is not just a suitcase; it’s a term that covers anything imported under diplomatic immunity, from a hand-carried briefcase to a container-load of whatever. The embassy it’s going to is the sovereign territory of the nation that sent it, and that privilege is respected.

        If you can fit it into a missile warhead, you sure as hell can fit it into a container, if not a suitcase. And just when did the US even begin to make radiation checks at their ports?

      • yonira
        April 15, 2010, 11:24 pm

        LOL nukes in a diplomatic bag, now that is straight out of a Vince Flynn book.

      • Chaos4700
        April 15, 2010, 11:29 pm

        We weren’t aware you could read, yonira. You can barely type, after all.

      • yonira
        April 15, 2010, 11:37 pm

        i am not trying to impress you chaos, i could give a shit about grammar or punctuation. you act like you are some sort of pseudo journalist trying to use big words and sound smart all the time. you aren’t fooling us.

      • Chaos4700
        April 15, 2010, 11:42 pm

        I’m sorry, did you need me to slow down for you, yonira?

      • yonira
        April 15, 2010, 11:47 pm

        LOL, you are a broken record, basically all you do is repeat stuff you’ve said in the past, or repeat stuff said by other commenters. No need to slow down, basically everything you’ve said you are on the 10th time saying it.

  5. Richard Witty
    April 14, 2010, 3:46 pm

    I found the review stimulating.

    It reminded me of Phil’s journalistic style, a lot of irony.

    Certainly not the simplistic diatribe implied by the headline.

    • Chaos4700
      April 14, 2010, 3:48 pm

      So what kind of disease do you think Finkelstein has? Is it fatal? Is it related to the cause of whatever it is Israeli Jews seem to think will cause American Jews to just slowly disappear?

    • eGuard
      April 14, 2010, 3:51 pm

      Ah, so now you’ve read it. And your first post, an hour ago, was about … ?

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 4:02 pm

        Phil’s comments.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 4:12 pm

        Okay, so you commented on the Phil’s comment before you even read up on what he was talking about?

        We’re all sensing a pattern. Have you read the Goldstone Report yet?

      • tree
        April 14, 2010, 4:21 pm

        Your first post was about how much you disliked Finkelstein. It had nothing to do with either the review or Phil’s comment. The name Finkelstein came up and you had to share with us for the umpteenth time how much you don’t like him or his style.

      • eGuard
        April 14, 2010, 5:19 pm

        Indeed, tree, as I read it. Probably his text was prepared in Tel Aviv and by high-tech Pavlov-software triggered into this thread.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 5:25 pm

        There are things that I admire about Norman.

        I consider him inneffective at making positive change in the region.

        I wish that he were more considerate of others, so that those comments that are insightful (not all of them are by any stretch) can be heard.

        And, so that he opened his conclusions up to actual criticism, actual exploration of facts, contexts, interpretations, goals, rather than call those that disagree with his interpretations “nazis”, as I’ve seen him do to progressive and kind intellectuals and experienced personally in correspondence.

      • tree
        April 14, 2010, 5:31 pm

        Richard, we’ve heard all this before, ad infinitum. That was my point. You weren’t commenting on Phil’s post or on Cohen’s piece, which was quite condemnatory but elicited no response from you on that basis (double standards again, quelle surprise!).

    • Citizen
      April 14, 2010, 5:18 pm

      As distinguished from what, the style of Peters’s From Time Immemorial that your mentor Dershie so loves?

  6. javs
    April 14, 2010, 3:50 pm

    why did the aparthied occupation not have to admit to nukes or even an inspection of the illegal facilities they have….they seem to be the screw loose, not iran. Remember the existance of these peoples across the mid east it had not included the zionists or israel in too many years to count. Does there seem to be a reason the zionist whom iffiltrated usa government by the will not be called out eventually. Is the prices the very populous they are trying to protect come to grips with reality? doubtful . The zionist will execute obama when he has served his purpose, just as all the rest, even sharon paid the price for reality. You can never ever trust a hoodi, they would sell their mother if she would let them. Such disrespect of the president whom gives unfeathered loans and money and weapons, let hope someone just drops a nuke on them and finish this all off once and for all time, never to have a state called israel ever on the planet again and then stop all these religous fanatics in all religous arenas, (cults) they lie everytime they open their mouths, it comes natural to them, judges lawyers doctors politicians etc..a world without hate is a world with out zionist israel or its followers & supporters. The world wants peace, they all want your piece and you to pay for their piece, enough money has gone to israel to stop all financial problems the usa has, GET OUR MONEY BACK FROM THIS APARTHIED

  7. javs
    April 14, 2010, 3:51 pm


  8. radii
    April 14, 2010, 3:59 pm


    turn down the heat-setting on your rhetoric a bit, man

    any rational view of the holocaust and anti-jewish “hatred” needs to be put in perspective and context … it is doubtful jews are hated any more than any other people – conditions are usually local (this tribe hates that one in Africa, the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, gays vs. straights, etc etc)
    … what is different is how zionists have commodified the holocaust and anti-jewish sentiment into useful political tools that have paid immensely rich dividends over the past several decades and this commodified culture of victimhood has unfortunately bled over into actual perception among some of the jewish population (along with more ancient stories)

    the current israeli right-wing-nutjob regime is apoplectic at the loss of these valuable propaganda tools and is foundering and lashing out – its host organism, the United States, is now trying to scratch it off and free itself from the parasite’s influence and this is most unsettling (no pun) to parasitic israel – hence the outrageous comments from some in the wingnut faction

    the sooner the public in israel wakes up the new reality and demands a sound peace deal the better for everyone

    • Richard Witty
      April 14, 2010, 4:06 pm

      And, in contrast to the condemnation of “commodifying the holocaust”, the reality is that the holocaust traumas still play in real people’s lives, including Norman’s.

      And, condemning people for their wounds, is a way of keeping them wounds, never healed.

      The same is true for Palestinians. The continuation of the expansion and persecutions, rather than turning the corner to satisfaction with “enough”, keeps what would otherwise be healed, still a wound, fresh, tender.

      In that way, maximalist Palestinian solidarity and the Zionist right are similar, both willing to wound, and blindly.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 4:14 pm

        And, in contrast to the condemnation of “commodifying the holocaust”, the reality is that the holocaust traumas still play in real people’s lives, including Norman’s.

        And yet, you seek to actively deny the Palestinians recognition of their trauma. Which is an ethnic cleansing that has continued for sixty years and continues to this day. Which you might know if you ever bothered to read any of the articles you can’t use as a spring board to knife Mr. Weiss in the back.

        At least the Holocaust was made finite.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 4:40 pm

        Perhaps you misread Chaos.

        The opposite is true. More imagining what I think.

      • Cliff
        April 14, 2010, 4:44 pm

        No one but you and the other Zionist cultists, speak your bullshit obfuscatory language, Dick.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 4:56 pm

        And not bothering to respectfully understand what I and other liberal Zionists and liberal Americans say, will keep you isolated, fringe, ineffective, loud and harmful.

        Whereas you are smart enough to be productive, effective, probably even kind.

      • Cliff
        April 14, 2010, 5:01 pm

        You are not a liberal. There is no such thing as a ‘Liberal’ Zionist.

        And what keeps your opposition marginalized if anything, is your money/guns/influence.

        A Christian Zionist can channel his or her politics legitimately. Our political system is not moralistic. It is about maximizing profit. We don’t ‘spread freedom and democracy’ in any idealistic, meaningful sense.

        So I couldn’t care less about appealing to incompetent baboons like you.

        You have yet to make a substantiated argument for your POV on this blog for years.

        You’re a coward. And a liar.

        Keep calling yourself a ‘Liberal’. Who do your ‘liberal’ values appeal to? Other ‘liberal’ Zionists? It’s supposed to mean something you goddamn robot.

      • Cliff
        April 14, 2010, 5:02 pm

        Whoops, I meant ‘our’ position.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 5:11 pm

        In contrast, I believe that I have kept the moderate flag flying here, rather than allowing your brow-beating to be the political norm of “discussion”.

        The critical line was made by Sumud yesterday, and you reiterated here “I don’t care what Zionists experience is”.

        That is the definition of warring, rather than reconciliation. I get how people get to that position, how right-wing Zionists get there, and how right-wing Palestinians get there.

        I don’t get how progressives get there and still call themselves advocates of “Justice” (big J justice that is mutual healing, rather than retributive).

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 5:39 pm

        Hey, Witty, are you in favor of establishing APPAC in line with
        mainatining and securing favorable American-Palestininian relations, serving, of course, in the best interests of all Americans, and all Palestinians around the world? How about that Caucasian
        organization recently asking to be regocnized by the local authorities, who’s first volunteer enrollee was a Hispanic-American woman, down there along the US-Mexican border, something to represent others than those in, e.g., The Hispanic
        sheriff groups, or Afro-American sheriff groups, say in Texas?

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 5:43 pm

        A zionist is not a progressive; rather, a zionist is for the “progression” of one group, no matter the cost to any other group.
        The facts on the ground clearly have revealed this for many decades.

      • Taxi
        April 14, 2010, 5:45 pm

        Zionism is a supremist ideology impossible for humanitarians and true adherents of democracy to reconcile with.

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 6:14 pm

        So, let’s see, Witty, how have you demonstrated your respect for what Finkelstein has had to say on the issues, as referenced by commenters here for the last three years? Finklestein might as well be Rodney Dangerfield, that’s how much respect you have shown his work. And Phil Weiss is not far behind, you snipe. The only thing keeping objective criticism of Israeli activity isolated, fringe, and ineffective, is American campaign finance law and system, and the bias nature of US MSM news corporate minions when it comes to anything touching on Israel.

      • VR
        April 14, 2010, 6:44 pm

        RW, I know your argument, and looking at it dispassionately it is nothing but so much equivocation. I doubt if you have even read a book that Frankenstein has written, let alone delved enough into the footnoting and evidences to bay like you do – in fact, I am almost certain you have not read anything. If you have, you have no concept of academic rigor and do nothing but spuriously frame and title, you are an ignorant piece of work.

        In essence you have offered nothing, nothing that any compassionate person would want to embrace, just a sterile mentality of excuses, running interference. I have a song for you, it is something for the entire camp of Zionism – you have nothing to offer, whether it is served with sweet or sour sauce that I would accept. You can attribute the song to the context of this site and your “contributions” –


      • Sumud
        April 14, 2010, 8:29 pm

        “The critical line was made by Sumud yesterday, and you reiterated here “I don’t care what Zionists experience is”.

        Why the quotation marks? You are a liar. I said here (comment ~ 154 & 156):

        link to mondoweiss.net

        …I’m not interested is string quartets instead of justice for Palestine.

        You confirm what I wrote on the same thread (~ 210), you are a troll – intent on injecting white noise and distracting others to derail dialogue.

      • Citizen
        April 14, 2010, 5:26 pm

        Hey, Dick, why don’t you write a book showing how the world’s 6-12 trillion dollars has supported HAMAS all these years, 3 trillion of it coming from Uncle Sam? You can show us how the Palestinians have been milking the world’s sympathy for so many decades. Then we can do a film documentary called “The Palestinian Frankenstein.” Can show with heavy irony how selected pro-Palestinian writers and scholars not given tenure have been effected by their mother, who lived through the Nakba.

    • Chu
      April 14, 2010, 4:42 pm

      well said radii. The sooner this lamprey gets off our skin, the quicker we can swim into new territory. They are a detriment to our foreign policy decisions and hurt our self interests.

  9. Keith
    April 14, 2010, 4:18 pm

    FOLKS- Norman Finkelstein is an American radical. Michel Warschawski is an Israeli radical. The Real News Network ( link to therealnews.com ) has an eight part series of short (12 to 15 minute) interviews with Michel Warschawski that I highly recommend.

    Also, JAVS, are you a Zionist counterintelligence operative engaged in black propaganda?

    • Keith
      April 14, 2010, 4:22 pm

      Interviews are titles “On the Border”

    • Taxi
      April 14, 2010, 4:29 pm

      Great link, thanks Keith.

    • VR
      April 14, 2010, 6:25 pm

      Great recommendation Keith, probably the one of the best people from the “inside” that can be interviewed. When we were having the initial conflicts about the Goldstone report perhaps the best response to the Israeli “liberals” that denied BDS was given by Warschawski, his answer to Uri Avnery was unanswerable. The Alternative Information Center in Israel is a gift that keeps on giving –


      (if you scroll down a bit you can turn off the music…LOL)

  10. sherbrsi
    April 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Cohen frothing at the mouth, calling Finkelstein diseased and all sorts of slandering typically at the lobby’s disposal.

    Is this just the “excommunication” of Finkelstein from the tribe?

    Notice how Cohen misses no opportunity to make criticism of Israel the sole credentials of the people he rails against.

    “Denunciator of Israel” “Israel critic extraordinaire”

    Just what kind of saintly presence is this state of Israel, whose criticism is a cardinal sin?

    • Citizen
      April 14, 2010, 5:51 pm

      But things stirring afoot; hey cheer up–some priest recently called for the impeachment of the pope. See Pangloss. We might yet uncover
      Israel’s on-going war crimes, just as the cover up of the predator priests have been uncovered. Separating out those priests, uncovering their cover-up, is like uncovering underground Israel, the Israel never mentioned by any US congressman or MSM news pundit, uncovering the hard-core zionist predators.

  11. Chu
    April 14, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Obama hints that Two-State Solution may be Impossible
    link to juancole.com

    • Citizen
      April 14, 2010, 5:53 pm

      Obama regime spokesperson just said that the US stands behind the Israeli people–carefully not saying the US stands behind the current Israeli regime. The teapot is getting larger, the tempest brewing…

  12. MHughes976
    April 14, 2010, 4:48 pm

    I’d suggest that the survival of Finkelstein’s parents did not make him crazy, guilty or obsessive but increased his sense of cultural continuity with Old Europe and therefore made him into an effective renewer and populariser of Hilberg, who did not want to blame cultured Europeans, at any rate those faithful to their culture. Hilberg was one of them, after all.
    Hilberg seemed (as well as I understand him) to be reacting to fifties historiography which (as well as I understand it) regarded the evil events as the result of the successful manipulation by Hitler of the fundamentally reluctant German army leadership. Hilberg’s point was that bureaucratic/military machines can break loose from what should have been their guiding culture and values and just run on amorally and under their own steam, rather than at the impulse of an evil genius. Hilberg was particularly down on the Jewish Councils, which were apparently a doomed attempt to fight bureaucracy with bureaucracy. As far as I recall Finkelstein does not share Hilberg’s emphasis in this regard but he very much takes the view that a bureaucratic/military machine designed and tended by Jewish people (and this is how he sees both Israel and the Jewish campaign for reparations from Germany and Switzerland) is no more likely to behave well than any other machine of that kind. He is deeply alienated from Wiesel’s basically theological explanations of history which do give a kind of unique sacredness to everything Jewish.
    I don’t think that F has spoken the last word on these things but his position is a humane one, not a sign of mental illness or obsession, a characteristic of some of his opponents.
    This is a rather clumsy attempt to assess F’s place in intellectual history and I await correction.

    • Citizen
      April 14, 2010, 6:05 pm

      You are astute, MHughes. No critic of Finkelstein has been able to
      dislodge his factual support for what he says. His mentor may indeed be his mother, who apparently strove all her life to find universal principles
      to be learned from her personal Shoah experience. That’s universal principles, not merely tribal principles. Kant lives in both Finklestein and his memory of his mother. Contrast our luminary here, Dick Witty, or his side kick Dershie boy. You can make suck on crushed lemons, or make lemonade out of them.

    • Sumud
      April 14, 2010, 8:48 pm

      MHughes – you’ve reminded me of this web extra from a Democracy Now interview NF did in March.

      link to democracynow.org

      I agree, despite occasional outbursts he’s very humane in his position, and damn funny on occasion. At about 28 minutes he speaks about Goldstone and his trepidation on going to Gaza – touching.

  13. Taxi
    April 14, 2010, 5:48 pm

    Thanks MHughes,

    Your sound voice and well informed posts are always an educational treat. Thanks too for correcting and/or expounding on some of my postings.

  14. Les
    April 14, 2010, 5:50 pm

    I believe Finkelstein’s mother was a communist. She would have understood the Holocaust from that perspective. While a psychiatrist (which I presume Cohen is not) treating Finkelstein might diagnose the Holocaust as the driving element in Finkelstein’s thinking, everyone else using his writings would be forced to notice that Finkelstein’s radicalism is what shaped his appreciation of the meaning of the Holocaust and how there came to be a Holocaust industry.

    • yonira
      April 14, 2010, 8:42 pm

      Finkelstein used to bring his mom to his lectures, with out introducing her, she would be the first person he’d call on. She would ask in her most Jewish voice, what about the Palestinians?

      Maybe this dishonesty had something to do with his not getting tenure, that and he was a shotty professor.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 8:43 pm

        I suppose you have a MEMRI video to back that one up, huh?

      • ahmed
        April 16, 2010, 12:01 am

        All that subterfuge, but everyone found out that it was his mother!

      • Chaos4700
        April 16, 2010, 12:16 am

        I wouldn’t count on that yonira is describing anything actually truthful. And I’m not kidding about MEMRI — they’ve taken a stab at slandering Finkelstein with their propaganda B.S., too.

  15. javs
    April 14, 2010, 5:56 pm

    I am using a library pc and soon to be on the streets as our administration nor the z- one have me on a payroll. I also do not hate. I just can not comprehend the illogical steps taken, they are producing hate. However I do not believe in any god that is were my gulibility ends. the true propaganda is in the facts of whom wrote the bible and whom is benefiting from the propaganda it sends through the mass media, whom is benefiting in all this

    • Citizen
      April 14, 2010, 6:08 pm

      Beware of those who claims God as their own. They don’t need a uniform belt buckle saying “Gott Mit Uns” for you to recognize them. They don’t even need functioning legs, witness Charles Krauthammer.

  16. RoHa
    April 14, 2010, 6:31 pm

    F does have an annoying voice that grates on the ears, so clearly we should reject him and all his works.

  17. Larry
    April 14, 2010, 7:24 pm

    Cohen calls him a Jewish Frankenstein?
    Couldn’t it at least be a Jewish Finkelstein?
    Loved the review. Pure bullshit – but what does anyone expect?
    I am waiting for a second review from Dershowitz coming up soon in The Forward. This whole gang loves to beat up on one guy.

  18. Nevada Ned
    April 14, 2010, 8:11 pm

    I have always found Finkelstein’s writings to be measured, and his judgment to be sound. For example, his book on the Holocaust was not hysterical, unlike quite a bit of Holocaust writings. Finkelstein’s career began when he refuted the Joan Peters book, which had the support of many prominent intellectuals. He demolished Dershowitz’ book on Israel’s human rights record.
    Most recently, he has predicted a split in American Jews’ support for Israel, and he has turned out to be right.
    In his personal example and his writings, he has urged a united front of Palestinians and progressive Jews, campaigning in a nonviolent manner for human rights for Palestinians. That seems to be happening, not just because Finkelstein advocates it but because it make sense.
    Finkelstein is a man of immense courage, and never backs down from a good fight.
    Naturally he had made powerful enemies, including people at the Forward, at the New Republic, Commentary etc. He has all the right enemies. His convictions have cost him his academic career.

    Finkelstein has never questioned “Israel’s right to exist”, but he has objected vehemently to Israel’s racial policies towards the Palestinians. And so should everybody.

    In his most recent book, This Time We Went Too Far, Finkelstein takes up the Gaza Massacre. I haven’t finished it yet, but it seems excellent so far. He documents the decreasing support for Israel among American Jews. And he proclaims that “the Goldstone Report is not going away”.

    And if Richard Witty dislikes Finkelstein, I’m not surprised in the least.

  19. eljay
    April 14, 2010, 8:36 pm

    [QUOTE] … the reality is that the holocaust traumas still play in real people’s lives …[/QUOTE]

    Holocaust traumas – real, imagined, inherited or otherwise incorported into one’s life – have no business being trotted out as an excuse for any form of persecution.

    [QUOTE]And, condemning people for their wounds, is a way of keeping them wounds, never healed.[/QUOTE]

    Wounds also don’t heal if you you keep tearing them open yourself and drawing attention to them.

    “The Holocaust – Keeping the Dream Alive” (TM) :-)

  20. yonira
    April 14, 2010, 9:10 pm

    Holocaust Remembrance Day from Agripas Street in Jerusalem, April 12, 2010 – יום השואה

    link to youtube.com

    • Chaos4700
      April 14, 2010, 9:14 pm

      How come you are pathologically incapable of maintaining any sort of discussion on hand?

      Kudos for highlighting the fact that if these were Palestinians memorializing what was done to them, we’d be watching a YouTube of IDF soldiers or Israeli police firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas into crowds of mourning civilians.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 9:16 pm

        Finkelstein is a millionaire because of the Holocaust, damn right its relevant.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:18 pm

        So in one breath, you claim he’s a discredited phony academic, and now you say he’s so much of a failure, he’s a millionaire, huh?

        Also, are you sure you’re not talking about Simon Wiesenthal? You know, the guy who is planning on building a “Museum of Tolerance” on top of a Palestinian graveyard he plans to demolish?

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 9:21 pm

        nice tactic Chaos, eee been giving you some pointers on deflection?

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 9:24 pm

        Your totally right! Its soooooooo relevant ! =P

        Palestinian suffering is justified by invoking the holocaust.

        Palestinians have to pay for what the Nazis did to European Jews.

        If only those stubborn Palestinians would stop teaching their kids to hate!

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:25 pm

        There’s something ironic about Israelis standing around in Jerusalem trying to remember what sort of horror their ancestors went through, when they could have just gone over to Gaza and got a glimpse of what Warsaw must have looked like, way back when.

        The Gazans could tell them what it would have been like to be a largely defenseless civilian population, corralled behind walls and barbed wire, then attacked full force by a ruthless military with the most modern weapons available.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 9:26 pm

        hmmm didn’t see anything about Palestinian suffering on this thread. It looked like it was bout Norman Frankenstein, who has made millions off his own exploitation of his parents and the suffering of all those persecuted during the Holocaust.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:30 pm

        Unlike the Israelis? I hear they’re twisting the German government’s arm for another billion euros a year.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 9:30 pm

        Thanks for the video Yonira.

        It was a demonstration that provided an opportunity for dissenters here to show their respect, their humanity, their soft-spokenness, a basis to trust them.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 9:30 pm

        So Israelis can just walk into Gaza now? you have no clue about what goes on in the ME do you.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:31 pm

        How come to Zionists, it’s all about money, anyway? Most Jews aren’t like that. Thank God.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 9:33 pm

        I expected at least a token gesture by Phil this year, but he totally glossed over it. Usually he at least pretends to care about the phenomenon which cut our population by a third. I guess I can’t say I’m surprised though.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 9:34 pm

        thats funny Chaos in previous posts you said Jews were all about the money, are you focusing your hate more now?

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:35 pm

        Wait a minute — the Nakba only happened sixty years ago and both yonira and Witty have insisted the Palestinians should just “get over it.”

        The Holocaust happened almost three quarters of a century ago and we’re all supposed to bow down and prostrate to that?

        And now you guys are using the Holocaust as an excuse to attack Finkelstein, Phil Weiss and the rest of the Mondoweiss community?

        Not only are you guys hypocrites, you’re sick bastards.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:36 pm

        Feel free to post a link proving my anti-Semitism, instead of, you know, hurling baseless accusations peppered with crude pre-teen speech, yonira.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 9:39 pm

        These Israelis had a clear view of what is going on in Gaza:

        link to youtube.com

        Israelis know very well whats going on in Gaza – they just don’t care.

      • dalybean
        April 14, 2010, 9:59 pm

        Yes. The Israelis know. Thus, applying their own standard of guilt with respect to the holocaust, they are all absolutely guilty of the crimes against the Palestinians.

        It won’t be long until the Wittys, the yoniras, the eees and their ilk either cringe in shame at what they’ve supported or try to hide it. There won’t be any hiding from it though, because they’ve established their guilt on the record.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:25 pm

        “Wait a minute — the Nakba only happened sixty years ago and both yonira and Witty have insisted the Palestinians should just “get over it.””

        Actually, I state that Palestinians should find a convincing way to present it.

        How many scholarly books exist on the nakba written by Palestinians? Rashid Khalidi gave me a couple references, but only a couple.

        It needs to be seen in a way that can be digested. The Finkelstein model hasn’t been effective. Even the language the he and supporters use to describe his work, “he demolished hasbara”, rather than “he informed”, or “he clarified”, or “he illuminated for me”.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:28 pm

        A “convincing way” to present it? What, you mean like make a Holocaust industry out of it?

        God, you’re such an asshole, Witty.

      • sherbrsi
        April 14, 2010, 11:34 pm

        Actually, I state that Palestinians should find a convincing way to present it.

        Why? Because the way the message is presented is more important than the content itself?

        I am glad that more people don’t subscribe to your example of spouting gibberish with no substance at its core.

        It would be nothing less than collective punishment (to use your favourite word), otherwise.

      • Donald
        April 14, 2010, 11:36 pm

        “Actually, I state that Palestinians should find a convincing way to present it.”

        Now the Nakba denial is the fault of the Palestinians, not the people denying it. There have been decades of Nakba denial by Zionists and so naturally it’s the fault of the Palestinians that it hasn’t been digested. Well, that sounds familiar. Witty himself jumped on a woman earlier today for talking about the Nakba in a way he didn’t want to hear–ah, that’s the problem. Witty wants the Nakba retold in a way that he can accept and it’s the fault of Palestinians and “dissenters” that they don’t take his emotional needs into account.

      • sherbrsi
        April 14, 2010, 11:39 pm

        Witty wants the Nakba retold in a way that he can accept and it’s the fault of Palestinians and “dissenters” that they don’t take his emotional needs into account.

        And the things that don’t fit into his worldview get conveniently twisted, bent and distorted to justify Witty’s political and “humanist” inclinations.

        Note: “ahimsa” (or Gandhi’s campaign of non-violence) is the “centrality of Israeli military norms,” while the BDS movement is “radical,” “violent,” “brutal” and “collective punishment.”

        The mark of delusion if there was ever one…

      • Shmuel
        April 15, 2010, 1:41 am


        Yom Hashoah is a perfect example of exploitation of the Holocaust for ideological and political ends. It was established by the Knesset, and timed to highlight the armed resistance of the Warsaw Ghetto (as opposed to the less glorious victims, who merely “went like sheep to the slaughter”) and lead up to Yom Ha’atzmaut (celebrated about a week later, with another memorial day – for Israel’s war dead – in between).

        Commemorating the Holocaust when and how the Israeli government says so is neither a mark of respect nor a sign of identification. It is in fact a desecration of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust – no less than their posthumous conversion or the theological co-option of their suffering.

        To imply that Phil is somehow indifferent to the Holocaust because he does not snap to attention when the Israeli government says so, shows either a complete lack of understanding of what this blog is about or a cynical attemot at point-scoring. If is the former, I would be happy to continue the discussion.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 7:02 am

        The absence of even acknowledgement, whether there is an element of irritation in it or not, is telling.

        I didn’t speak of it, so by example to hold a litmus test to Phil individually would also be excessive.

        I apprediated that Yonira presented the video, which was condemned here, rather than respected.

        Its a sign of immaturity, or reactionism, to only hold anger, rather than make some room for respect.

        That some Jews, ME for example in real life, have led prayer vigils for Palestinians killed, speaks to the possibility of honoring mutually, not either/or.

        It poses the question of the basis of one’s political commitments, an important question in fact.

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 15, 2010, 9:17 am

        How many scholarly books exist on the nakba written by Palestinians? Rashid Khalidi gave me a couple references, but only a couple.
        Here you go
        1-All That Remains By Prof. Walid Khalidi
        2-The Palestinian Catastrophe:Michael Palumbo,
        3-Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory By Ahmad H. Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod
        4-The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 15, 2010, 9:18 am

        2 and 4 obviously are not by Palestinians.

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 15, 2010, 9:31 am

        5-. Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought By Nur Masalha,
        6-Plan dalet: The Zionist Master Plan for the conquest of Palestine by Walid Khalidi
        7- The Politics of Denial: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem By Nur Masalha
        8-Palestine: The Collective Destruction of Palestinian Villages and Zionist Colonisation 1882-1982. By Saleh, Abdul Jawad and Walid Mustafa (1987):

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 9:54 am

        Where’s the Palestinian Goldhagen when we need him? Where’s that book, “Begin’s Willing Executioners”?

      • ahmed
        April 16, 2010, 12:06 am

        Forget about a Palestinian Gandhi, we need a Palestinian Leon Uris!

    • Richard Witty
      April 14, 2010, 9:26 pm

      Important post.

      The funny thing about your collective glee, is that in order to make social change in the world, if you alienate people like me, if Norman does, then the only option for social change is via harrassment and abuse.

      Militancy conflicts with morality. They don’t complement each other. They don’t add to each other. They cannot stand in the same room together without fundamentally compromising, for more than a very temporary moment.

      Again, militancy cannot remain progressive as militancy. It either changes to productive approaches and references, or devolves to fascistic approaches.

      Here, it demonstrates the devolution, in name-calling rather than in inquiry.

      Noone here addressed my contention that Norman frequently describes correlative or supportive “evidence” as if it was causitive evidence. He knows the difference, if he is a scholar, and MUST then address the question personally.

      If he doesn’t and doesn’t disclose that in his books and lectures, then he is falsifying. If he is in fact as sophisticated a scholar as you represent, then if/when he does that, he would be falsifying.

      If he discloses his interpretations, his opinions as opinions, not as “fact”, then he would not be falsifying.

      When he adopts name-calling instead of careful and respectful discussion, he applies a fascistic approach, especially with a stacked room.

      I’ve seen him go both ways, leave room for questioners to articulate their questions. And, I’ve seen him harrass questioners after inviting them to ask.

      Harrassment of those that don’t hold the same views as dissenters, is NOT one of the endearing or convincing traits of the left and of Palestinian solidarity (right or left, its hard to tell).

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:29 pm

        “Our collective glee,” about what, exactly? “Militancy conflicts with morality?” Except, you say that the Israeli attack on the Gazan population was justified.

        And then of course, your descent into further ad hominem against Norman Finkelstein. Because unlike him, you don’t have the balls to actually talk about blood when it’s on Jewish hands.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 9:36 pm

        Richard you support ethnic cleansing, apartheid, military occupation, and a medieval siege on a helpless people.

        There is no need to co-opt people like you into a struggle for justice.

        The only just solution is one based on equality for all the people of the land whether they are Jewish or Palestinian.

        You refuse to accept this as a basis for peace – thus you cannot be considered someone that is working for peace.

        Peace to you, based on your comments, involves ignoring the tragedy that was the nakba, denying Palestinian equal rights, and justifying Jim Crow in Israel.

        How can we work for peace with “people like you” when you hold these positions?

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 9:46 pm

        I don’t support ethnic cleansing, the oppossite.

        I don’t support apartheid. I support equal civil rights in Israel and Palestine.

        I don’t support military occupation. I support the two-state solution at the green line (with the exception of Jewish old Jerusalem).

        I don’t support a medievel siege on a helpless people. I support the renunciation of violence by Hamas and unification with the PA, that would result in a state with diplomatic relations with Israel thereby facilitating an independant port, rather than relying on compelled international relations on the part of Israel.

        From 1948 – 67 NO traffic occurred between Israel and Gaza, and there was no international port. The only traffic was between Egypt and Gaza.

        You are agitating for something new, not something old that is to be restored.

        And, in doing so, it is prudent to move forward through the channels that exist.

        You demonstrate the impossibilty of reconciliation in your mischaracterizations of my views, my work, my public presentation periodically. Not surprising.

        You make it hard to remain a dissenter from Israeli policies and practices for your dogmatism around judgements.

        I use the same language on the nakba as you did, “tragedy”. Exactly the same descriptor.

        For you and others that post here, to be so oblivious to sympathy with Palestinians, while choosing to not adopt condemnation in conformance with the party line, itself is a great tragedy for the Palestinians. Their solidarity is so inneffective in that light.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 9:51 pm

        I don’t support ethnic cleansing, the oppossite.

        You deny the Nakba in the same way that Turks deny the Armenian genocide – It was a war!

        I don’t support military occupation. I support the two-state solution at the green line (with the exception of Jewish old Jerusalem).

        What have you ever done to end Israels occupation? And for the record EJ is occupied Palestinian territory (as is the rest of Palestine).

        I don’t support a medievel siege on a helpless people. I support the renunciation of violence by Hamas and unification with the PA, that would result in a state with diplomatic relations with Israel thereby facilitating an independant port, rather than relying on compelled international relations on the part of Israel.

        Where are your calls for the end of the siege? Are you writing your congressman? Are you doing anything tangible? I’ve only seen you justify the siege.

        Furthermore, why does Hamas have to renounce violence when Israel (who holds the monopoly on violence, including nuclear weapons and the regions most powerful war machine) is not asked to do the same?

        Hamas is armed with home made weapons Richard… please spare us the bullshit. This is aside from the fact that Hamas called for an end to suicide bombing, honored every cease fire with Israel, and has shown itself to be incredibly pragmatic since its transformation into a political party.

        Furthermore, Hamas agreed to the 2 state solution based on the 67 borders (the same solution you claim to endorse), why don’t you work with them on that?

        You demonstrate the impossibilty of reconciliation in your mischaracterizations of my views, my work, my public presentation periodically. Not surprising.

        Prove me wrong.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 9:51 pm

        I am committed to what is right, so your militant idiocies won’t deter me from continuing to attempt to humanize Palestinian civilians in the eyes of American Jews and Israelis to the extent that I am able (limited, as they dismiss criticism as much as dissent does here).

        They certainly do deter many others. There are MANY like me that have attended solidarity demonstrations with the vision of peace (rather than retributive justice) and been harrassed. When that happens, you lose a potential supporter. And, that potential supporter might be the person that adds just the right ingredient, the right communication, to actually touch Israel to change its policies.

        When you condemn Fayyad for example, for having Obama’s and many Israeli’s support, you kill your own effort, at least your own stated one. (Who know what you really hope for?)

        By his work, there will be a Palestine. By his dismissal, there likely won’t be for a long time.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:52 pm

        From 1948 – 67 NO traffic occurred between Israel and Gaza, and there was no international port. The only traffic was between Egypt and Gaza.

        You are agitating for something new, not something old that is to be restored.

        Gee which is why Gaza HAD AN AIRPORT that Israel destroyed when they “withdrew” from Gaza — and promptly established a total blockade.

        You advocate for “separate but equal” for the Palestinians, Witty. We’ve heard you express numerous times how you insist that Israel can merely wait out the clock — Jews have free an open passage to and from Israel, but the Nakba must be made permanent — in order to protect the purity of your so-called “Jewish state.”

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 9:56 pm

        You’re imagining, and maliciously misrepresenting for a change.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:58 pm

        And you’re nothing but a vacant vending machine that disgorges a stream of ad hominems. You just took the Holocaust and used it as a pretext to attack Finkelstein, Phil Weiss and the liberal Jewish community here.

        Congrats, Witty. You proved Finkelstein right about Holocaust exploitation.

      • VR
        April 14, 2010, 9:59 pm

        RW wants “peace” – he wants the peace of a Palestinian graveyard.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 10:00 pm

        the ‘partial blockade’ started 1.5 – 2 years after the disengagement.

        a total blockade wouldn’t allow ANYTHING in, a partial blockade allows goods in (although not enough)

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:00 pm

        Which of course, will be promptly appropriated by the “Jewish state” and bulldozed to make room for a museum dedicated to the Witty-bizarro cracked mirror version of “tolerance”

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 10:00 pm
      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:02 pm

        Yonira, that’s like arguing that six million Jews weren’t killed in the Holocaust because it was really more like 5.9 million.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:03 pm

        On December 12th 2001 GZA was bombed by the Israeli army, which warplanes hit the control tower. In January 10th 2002, the 60 million USD runway was competely destroyed by the Israeli army, shattering hopes for the resumption of flights to the airport in the forseeable future.

        Thanks for pointing that out, Witty!

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 10:10 pm

        I fail to see how calling for equal rights for Palestinians and Jews is “Retributive Justice.”

        I fail to see how allowing refugees to return to their homes is “retributive justice.”

        When you condemn Fayyad for example, for having Obama’s and many Israeli’s support, you kill your own effort, at least your own stated one.

        I’m sorry that you are incapable of seeing that Fayad is selling the Palestinians down the river. Just because the Israelis (the ones doing the occupying, the ones responsible for Palestinian dispossession) like Fayyad does not mean the Palestinians have to as well.

        By his work, there will be a Palestine. By his dismissal, there likely won’t be for a long time.

        No Richard. Again you are completely taking Israeli ongoing actions out of the equation when discussing the Palestinians.

        Israel occupies the Palestinians, subjects them to apartheid and Jim Crow, denies them the right to return, and inflicts an inhumane siege on more than a million people.

        When Israel ceases these activities a Palestinian state can emerge. At the moment the Palestinians have no say in how the Israelis treat them.

        Nonetheless, Palestinians have every right to resist Israeli oppression in whatever manner they choose, I may prefer non-violent methods but that’s not my choice to make – nor is it yours.

        There must be a “Just” peace if there is to ever be peace Richard.

        The issues of 1948 must be addressed, the refugees must be addressed (and Fayyad has no right to throw away their right to return, Israel must negotiate with each Palestinian refugee to determine that issue).

        You can pussy foot around the issue all you like and talk about how much you love peace, but the issue remains that Israel has done a great dealt to prevent peace and is the main obstacle to peace (and you do nothing tangible to effect Israeli policy to the contrary).

        You can sit here and pretend that the occupation isn’t the real obstacle to peace, or that apartheid isn’t an obstacle to peace, or that the siege on Gaza isn’t that big a deal.

        You can pretend that Israel isn’t the most militarily powerful country in the region and constantly subjects the Palestinians to its military might.

        You can pretend that there is an equality in suffering between the two parties when this is not the case at all – One side is the occupier, the other is the occupied, there is no moral equivalency between the jailer and the jailed.

        These are the deal breakers. Israel holds all the cards while the Palestinians hold nothing.

        Only Israel can end the siege, occupation, and apartheid.

        The Palestinians can only resist Israeli policies.

        Your inability to grasp these simple facts continues to baffle all of us.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 10:21 pm

        are you saying the difference between partial and full

        or promptly and 1.5-2.0 years?

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:24 pm

        Children are starving, don’t have access to school supplies, electricity, medicine or even clean water in Gaza, and you want to argue semantics?

        And that’s on top of exploiting the Holocaust as an opportunity to attack Finkelstein — which is exactly the sort of behavior Finkelstein documents.

        You just proved him right, yonira.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 10:47 pm

        I had an encounter with a “dissenter” a few years ago, that ended where you are Chaos.

        The individual quoted Finkelstein frequently to prove that the holocaust no longer important in the world, that “if” it occurred in the way is reported, it was no longer significant. (Finkelstein himself stated that in one scene in the movie, figuratively, apparently thinking that he was clearly speaking about political import.)

        He’s unapologetic for his insensitivities from what I’ve read. He acknowledges that they are there, and deterrent to his work, but won’t apologize for unnecessarily offending anyone, or even considering how his actual work could contribute to holocaust dismissal.

        I am not a violent man, and am very very reluctant to cause others harm in any way, if I can avoid it.

        There were two circumstances in the last decade where I came close to violence. One was in confronting a military recruiter when my sons were 17 and 15, who had spoken to them at an ultimate frisbee tournament (invited by the organizer of the tournament, otherwise a very nice man), then showed up at my doorstep with recruiting literature. I went ripshit.

        I described the recruiter and the frisbee organizer as being the equivalents of pedophiles in my eyes. And, that I would do anything to protect my children from their advances/recruiting, literally anything.

        The second incident involved a musician that frequently quoted Finkelstein on a similar blog, and took that 1/4 step beyond to flirting with holocaust dismissal, and holocaust denial.

        The “progressives” on the site defended him, both his right to post offensive commentary, and then the content of the commentary itself.

        As Shingo alluded to a trauma at the scale of a rape, that that is how he apparently thinks of my “defense” of Israeli military action at all in Gaza in 2008, that is how I and MANY others think about the tentative invocation that is a 1/4 step past Finkelstein’s presentation, constituting holocaust dismissal and a 1/2 step further into holocaust denial.

        Dangerous stuff. Taboo in the range of mass murder, not the scale of dressing innapropriately to an event.

        Dangerous for its insensitivity and carelessness of presentation.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:49 pm

        I never said that the Holocaust was unimportant. I merely pointed out that when honest people try to memorialize it, people like you and yonira come along and use it as an excuse to attack Jews who don’t toe the Zionist line.

        Have you, or have you not, Witty, insisted that the Palestinians “get over” the Nakba?

      • Donald
        April 14, 2010, 11:01 pm

        “Have you, or have you not, Witty, insisted that the Palestinians “get over” the Nakba?”

        Well, in fairness, Chaos, he hasn’t exactly admitted there is much to get over in the first place. The whole ethnic cleansing thing is just an interpretation, you see, unless we’re talking about what Arabs did to Jews, in which case it’s clear as day.

        It never occurs to him that he might be causing the same sort of anger he felt at the Holocaust denier, and for much the same reason and with as much justice.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:36 pm

        I’m not going to “prove you wrong” in response to your condemnation.

        I’ll elaborate on what I do propose and do publicly. I have supported the efforts to relax the siege of Gaza in letters to my Congresspeople, emphasizing the civilian isolation and nearly certain suffering caused (I didn’t see it myself).

        You can use the issue of the Jewish old city (different than the generalization “East Jerusalem”), the Jewish old city is a square mile only, not the expansionist definition of East Jerusalem as annexed that current Jewish only developments are being built.

        There is no way that I have the power to “end the occupation”. I do have the power of my letters and voice and encouragement of humane dissenters in Israel to urge the mutual recognition of people (not demands) that results in consented peace.

        I find the politically fixated to harbor willingness to harm, in the name of opposing harming, much as a car driving down the street feels like its stationary to the driver (just seated), while to pedestrians the car is a projectile.

        That applies to both the dogmatic Israeli right, the dogmatic Palestinian right, and the dogmatic Palestinian solidarity left and right.

        I prefer information, sensitivity and compassion as the driver of politics and political action, rather than force.

        The nakba was caused both by war and by intent, not one exclusively, war originating partially from Palestinian Arab efforts to ethnically cleanse the land of Jews.

        Fundamental conflict is to my understanding a more accurate description than fundamental oppression, though I definitely agree with you and others that the nakba continues.

        My effort is for it to stop towards the trajectory oeace, which I believe is possible so long as maximalist demands don’t overshadow the paths to reconcile.

      • Donald
        April 14, 2010, 11:48 pm

        “I prefer information, sensitivity and compassion as the driver of politics and political action, rather than force.”

        Not in practice, not always. You said the Gaza massacre was justified, but went too far. It was avoidable if the Israelis had lifted the blockade, which was a just demand by Hamas.

        And I notice you talk about the dogmatic this and that, carefully excluding your own faction, the liberal Zionists, from the list. Get over yourself. All factions contain their dogmatic component and each of us has a little dogmatist inside.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:50 pm

        The nakba was caused both by war and by intent, not one exclusively, war originating partially from Palestinian Arab efforts to ethnically cleanse the land of Jews.

        And the Nazi still blames the Jewish victims for the Holocaust, apparently.

      • robin
        April 15, 2010, 1:20 am

        Well said, Donald.

      • Richard Parker
        April 15, 2010, 6:17 am

        Israel has just one single real port; Haifa. Ashkelon and Eilat are worth zilch. They are an import-reliant country, and everything, but everything, comes through there, from oil onwards. The Gadot terminal handles most of the bulk stuff, and is one of Israel’s best-kept secrets.

        Imagine the stand-off when Hizbollah develops accurate rockets able to hit Haifa next time Israel decides to attack Lebanon. A bit of balance, maybe?

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 7:14 am

        “Only Israel can end the siege, occupation, and apartheid.”

        And, in that passivity, that disempowerment, you condemn Palestinians to continued dependance.

        Fayyad will press the question. When Palestinian institutions are close to state status, which they are proceeding at, then if Israel suppresses that effort it will be seen for what it is.

        His work is necessary. Your description of him as quisling is telling, especially as you state that it is none of others business to even comment on what would be good for Palestine and Palestinians. I get that it is irritating to be told by someone that you don’t trust.

        But, the reality is that the resistance approach is warring, with no communciation, no reconciliation, all either/or, ruthless.

        I support allowing refugees to return to their homes figuratively. As, it would involve displacing current residents, other methods of compensation are the only feasible ones.

        I don’t support the maximalist and vague definitions of right of return, either descendants of displaced or even vaguer Palestinian national right to settle in Israel.

        I’ve been converted to revolutionary approaches and renounced them. They didn’t serve me, and they didn’t serve the people that I was pretending to advocate for.

        That is not an “inability to grasp”, but a choice, an informed and reasoned one.

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 7:30 am

        “And, in that passivity, that disempowerment, you condemn Palestinians to continued dependance.”

        You mean, dependence as in how a prisoner relies on his jailer for food to be provided to him Witty?

        “ When Palestinian institutions are close to state status, which they are proceeding at, then if Israel suppresses that effort it will be seen for what it is.”

        What’s state status? Israel has always suppressed Palestinian efforts to that establish self determination, you know, that term “self governance” that you keep yabbering about. They undermined the Palestinians in 2006, right after the Palestinians conducted their first democratic election.

        It was what it is many years ago.

        “ Your description of him as quisling is telling, especially as you state that it is none of others business to even comment on what would be good for Palestine and Palestinians. I get that it is irritating to be told by someone that you don’t trust.”

        Yes. It’s telling because it’s true. He and his gang held back on accepting the Goldstone report because Israel threatened him that they would do to the West Bank what they did to Gaza if he didn’t.

        “But, the reality is that the resistance approach is warring, with no communication, no reconciliation, all either/or, ruthless.”

        False. Even Ethan Bronner is reporting about the peaceful resistance taking place. You see it as warring because you regard any and all criticism of Israel as an act of violence.
        “I support allowing refugees to return to their homes figuratively.”

        Don’t you just love the weasel words that come out of Witty’s mind? Figuratively Witty, as in metaphorically, not in practice? What would you say if Hamas said they recognized Israel figuratively?

        “I don’t support the maximalist and vague definitions of right of return, either descendants of displaced or even vaguer Palestinian national right to settle in Israel.”

        Hat it is with you and your buzz words, the most current one being maximalist? That’s just another one of your euphemisms for faux justice.

        “I’ve been converted to revolutionary approaches and renounced them.”

        No one cares Witty.

        “That is not an “inability to grasp”, but a choice, an informed and reasoned one.”

        How does someone who refuses to read any books that don’t support his ideology become informed?

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 11:17 am

        I imagine, Dick Witty, you would have gone ripshit if the recruiter was recruiting for the IDF?

        More like kissing his boots?

      • sherbrsi
        April 14, 2010, 10:03 pm

        The funny thing about your collective glee, is that in order to make social change in the world, if you alienate people like me, if Norman does, then the only option for social change is via harrassment and abuse.

        And who appointed you the guardian of the status quo, or the representative of the opinion of millions of people? And why do you assert yourself as such, Witty? Isn’t that collective punishment?

        Funny. You’ve shown your delusional side, and at times your neurotic angles as well. But Witty the narcissist… how appropriate.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:39 pm

        And you’ve shown your willingness to avoid the content that I present, in favor of character assassination.

        I am not a guardian of anything, just a single real person expressing real and plausible opinions, hopefully ones that lead to improvement in both Jewish and Palestinian lives.

        Is that hope my delusional side to your mind, or something else?

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:45 pm

        And you’ve shown your willingness to avoid the content that I present, in favor of character assassination.

        Says the man who demonizes Finkelstein and hasn’t even read his books.

      • sherbrsi
        April 14, 2010, 11:48 pm

        And you’ve shown your willingness to avoid the content that I present, in favor of character assassination.

        Your repeated arguments have been dissected and proven wrong multiple times. When all that stands are your own character flaws following such debate, why do you blame others? Especially when these traits repeatedly corrupt any actual message that you may have to give (which, as others have stated, you have yet to establish in clear terms for all the years you’ve been on this site).

        I am not a guardian of anything,

        Then why appoint yourself the governor of public opinion? This sudden display of modesty would befit you at other times when you proudly and open proclaim that you must be won over if social change is to made regarding this decision.

        I am glad that you have retracted from that pompous and off-putting decision. Now, why don’t you work on it further by acknowledging the Nakba, the truth of the IDF’s activities and applying the same standards to the Israelis as you do the Palestinians? Or, as you put it, building on “mutual reconciliation,” instead of preaching others to do the same.

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2010, 6:56 am

        Nicely put Sherbrsi,

        Witty’s a pathological narcisist who like all deviants, is capabel of great feats of self delusion. He repeatedly claims the moral high ground and sugegsts that he’s achieved a level fo awareness and evolution that the rest fo us don’t get, when it fact, it’s just another tool he uses to conflate and distract.

        Don’t worry, the pompousness and insufferable vanity will rear it’s head again very soon.

      • robin
        April 15, 2010, 2:09 am

        “Militancy conflicts with morality.” This is one of those occasions when I think you have raised a good point, a true principle. The dissonance comes in how you apply it to reality – in that you see “militancy” primarily in the solidarity movement for Palestinian rights.

        That movement, part of which I have been involved with, surely has its characters and aspects that defy generalization. But we’re talking mainly about groups that form around America’s academic and religious spaces. These are not street mobs or drilled militias. In my experience they are, if anything, incredibly careful, polite and sensitive. Maybe non-aggressive to a fault even, to the point of being too easy ignore (and part of me wonders whether that is the objective of all your browbeating).

        There is almost none of the nastiness and silencing that characterizes its opponents (let alone its targets, the ultimate worshippers of militancy and force) – people like Mark Cohen who apparently think nothing of labeling someone they disagree with, essentially, a “diseased self-hating Jew.” Or his quoted Leon Wieseltier: “poison, he’s a disgusting self-hating Jew, he’s something you find under a rock.”

        So where exactly is this morally compromising brand of “militancy” that you’re concerned about? Because I’m having a hard time finding it in the places you say you’re finding it. And I can certainly see it in the venom of writers like Cohen, and in the organizations – AIPAC, ADL, ZOA – they align with. And most of all in the persistent naked violence that is the first resort of the Israeli state.

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 9:58 am

        RE: “Noone here addressed my contention that Norman frequently describes correlative or supportive “evidence” as if it was causitive evidence. He knows the difference, if he is a scholar, and MUST then address the question personally.”

        Please suggest to us a writer who demonstrates to you he/she knows the difference you seeak of. Peters, Dershowitz, Peretz? Who?

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 9:59 am

        ooops, typo: seeak-speak

  21. Chaos4700
    April 14, 2010, 9:32 pm

    Witty siding with the resident trash-mouth. Gee, what a shocker.

    • Chaos4700
      April 14, 2010, 9:33 pm

      Well, any opportunity to slander Finkelstein is a good for Witty, I suppose. Even if it means trampling a few million corpses of those who died in the Holocaust to get there.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 9:37 pm

        Finkelstein is the only person trampling corpses who died in the Holocaust(and getting rich of it). You are a twisted dude Chaos.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 9:38 pm

        You’re the one angling to use the Holocaust as an excuse to accuse Phil Weiss of not being “Jew” enough.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 9:44 pm

        How is Finklestein dishonoring the holocaust?

        Finklestein could have made a lot more money in life, kept his job at Depaul University, and had Wolf Blitzer’s job if he had stuck to the pro-Israel narrative.

        Instead he decided to be critical of a regime founded on ethnic cleansing and based on ethnic supremacy.

        If anything hes actually honoring all the millions that died in the Holocaust. Unlike the state of Israel and its Zionist supporters, Finklestein is not using the holocaust to justify ethnic cleansing, apartheid, military occupation, and the inhumane siege of defenseless people.

        Instead of blasting the man with baseless accusations you should be applauding him.

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 10:01 pm

        Blitzer isn’t making 25k per speaking engagement.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:04 pm

        Do us a favor and post links to both information on how much it costs to book Finkelstein and Blitzer. Back that up with some actual facts.

      • sherbrsi
        April 14, 2010, 10:06 pm

        Well, Friedman is making more than three times that amount per speaking engagement, and for all intents and purposes the two hawks are interchangeable, so Bradley’s assessment stands.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 10:09 pm

        That would be an abdication of my sense of responsibility in the world, to applaud someone that has empowered individuals to regard the holocaust as something that should be forgotten, should be ignored.

        His work is offensive enough.

        The quarter-step beyond his work amounts to holocaust denial. If you are dismissing the importance of the holocaust and the thankful shift in Jewish consciousness to “Never Again”, then we are in warring territory.

        I’ve witnessed that extreme callousness in a dozen protracted discussion cases. In each case where holocaust denial or holocaust dismissal was invoked, Norman’s name was at the top of the list of justifications. “A child of holocaust survivors told me that the holocaust is used ONLY for propaganda purposes.”

        It is a hateful generalization.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:11 pm

        Witty, you and yonira JUST USED THE HOLOCAUST TO SILENCE DEBATE. Or try to. You have literally — and perfectly inadvertently — demonstrated exactly what Finkelstein has written about, regarding Jews who exploit the Holocaust memory in a cynical fashion to either manipulate other people, or to slander them as anti-Semites.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 10:15 pm

        Just because you view it as a hateful generalization does not mean it is in fact a hateful generalization.

        Finklestein is not in any way shape or form a holocaust denier.

        He merely points out that shills and snake oil sales men have used and abused the holocaust to justify devious political ends.

        Is that so wrong to point out?

        Is it so wrong to point out that one of the most tragic events in contemporary history is being abused by assholes and pricks?

      • yonira
        April 14, 2010, 10:34 pm

        thats bullshit, this thread was dead until I posted that. i wanted to see how you jew haters would respond and it worked wonderfully.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:44 pm

        You’re the one taking snipes at your fellow Jews, yonira. I think you are the Jew hater.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 10:50 pm

        Blitzer isn’t making 25k per speaking engagement.

        I’ve been looking for any sources that show that Finklestein has a policy of charging 25k or any other amount of money for a speaking gig.

        I have yet to find any real evidence.

        Furthermore, I just contacted my colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara and asked them how much Finklestein is charging for his speaking engagement there (which may incidentally be canceled).

        Apparently all hes asking for is an honorarium – a payment to a guest speaker at a conference to cover their travel, accommodation, or preparation time.

        If anyone has any more information on the topic please oblige me.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:52 pm

        So apparently, yonira hates his fellow Jew so intensely that he’s willing to libel him. Good work, Mr. Bradley.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 11:23 pm

        I’m also finding that this libel against Finklestein is being repeated at Jewlicious:

        link to jewlicious.com

        He is the token Jew, who along side Neturei Karta, say whatever they pay them to say

        This insinuation that Finklestein is paid to say what he says is quite rampant across the web =P

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:46 pm

        I NEVER accused Finkelstein of being a holocaust denier, on the contrary, it is obvious that the second-hand experience of the holocaust plays in him, as it does in my wife, who tells me stories of her parents’ repeated and repeated nightmares.

        The accusation that the holocaust is invoked ONLY for political gain, is a hateful generalization. A lie, a very big lie.

        He identified cases where he interpreted that the holocaust was being used for personal gain, and more cases where it was being invoked for political spin.

        Cases is DIFFERENT from generalization. To politically prohibit mentioning the holocaust, is denial, not the same usage of the term “holocaust denial” meaning that the holocaust did not occur, but the actual real meaning of “holocaust dismissal”, as if it didn’t exist, as if it was ONLY past, and not present in memory and invoked in parallel treatment (some by the history of being sought to be chased out.)

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:55 pm

        The accusation that the holocaust is invoked ONLY for political gain, is a hateful generalization. A lie, a very big lie.

        You just used the Holocaust as an excuse to slander Phil, Adam and myself, by name and the whole community by implication.

        We’ve been talking about the Holocaust continuously, but because we didn’t do the Zionist militancy equivalent of wearing a flag pin on camera, you slandered us.

        I think your wife’s parents would be appalled to know that you were using their memories as cheap political capital just to win an argument.

      • Shmuel
        April 15, 2010, 2:07 am

        Yes, good work, James.

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 10:02 am

        Wasn’t it Finklestein who pointed out that the state of Israel’s transfers German reparations mostly to its own agenda, leaving the actual Shoah survivors with comparative pennies?

  22. Chaos4700
    April 14, 2010, 9:41 pm

    Anyone else find it staggeringly, mind-numbingly ironic that yonira and Witty just exploited the Holocaust merely to score points in a political discussion? And to guilt other Jews into submission?

    They just literally proved what Finkelstein has written about, in microcosm!

    Thnaks, guys.

    • James Bradley
      April 14, 2010, 9:46 pm


      Its beyond staggeringly, mind-numbingly ironic…

      I don’t even have words to describe what I just witnessed…

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 10:14 pm

        Thats bullshit children.

        I argued that holocaust was real, important, remains important, and continues to play in consciousness, and the positive response of “Never Again” and productive Zionism is itself a jewel in the modern world.

        There is NO implication that ONLY the holocaust is relevant or deserves attention, or should justify persecution. In fact, the vast majority of survivors derived the exact oppossite attitude of what you generalize. That is they derived compassion for the other. “NEVER AGAIN, to anyone” in sentiment, and in action where it was possible.

        American Jews, Israeli Jews. The invocation that the holocaust is routinely used to justify exploitation is the distortion.

        You, as a “rational” person have the latitude to appeal to the compassionate response, that constituted the majority response that I’ve seen among the hundred or so survivors that I’ve met, and talked politics with to some limited extent.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:20 pm

        You cynically used it as an opportunity to berate Finkelstein, Weiss and the whole community here. You even agreed with yonira wholeheartedly.

        You’re exactly the sort of exploitive, dishonest person Finkelstein wrote about when he wrote about the Holocaust industry. No wonder you take personal offense to being outed like that.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 10:23 pm

        That it is a distortion, and that Finkelstein is quoted so frequently by holocaust deniers and holocaust dismissers (denying the importance of the holocaust), is experienced in personal imagery as a taunt, a repitition of fascism, NOT as an illumination.

        And, it is Finkelstein’s carelessness that led to that. He might claim “I am a victim of persecution”, but dealing with a live trauma responsibly requires consideration and sensitivity, NOT blatant insensitivity and flaunting.

        You may love the man for his disclosures. But, he is literally hated by very many Jews in the world, very many.

        I stay away from his holocaust content, as its insensitivity is too far into the taboo range. When it comes up, I intentionally remind myself that he is overwhelmingly referring to the political spin element, which I actually agree with, that the holocaust should not be trivially invoked for unrelated political ends.

        As I stated many times before, I support his right to speak and am even appreciative of some of his observations and particularly his conclusion to support a two-state solution rationally, rather than the vain ideological imposition of the single state.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 10:27 pm

        Did it occur to you, Witty, that people like you who exploit the Holocaust for political and financial gain are the ones who are fueling Holocaust denial by corrupting the memory and using it merely as a cheap feint in conversation? Did it occur to you that you are the one triviliazing the Holocaust, and cheapening it, by using it as a pretext to verbally assault other Jews?

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 10:36 pm

        And, it is Finkelstein’s carelessness that led to that.


        I fail to see where Finklestein has ever been careless when discussing the holocaust. Professor Finklestein is quite meticulous in his writings and quite adamant about the fact that the holocaust happened. His parents are after all survivors.

        In fact I find that Finklestein has done a lot to bring a lot of people out of holocaust denial.

        When I lived in the Middle East I would occasionally meet a person who did not believe the holocaust happened (or downplayed the numbers). When I asked why, they would respond by saying that its a giant conspiracy created by the Israelis to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine (they didn’t dispute the history, they disputed the holocaust because of how the Zionists controlled that traumatic episode in our history).

        When I presented them with Finklesteins arguments, and when Finklestein became a more regular occurrence on Arab News channels, I noticed that holocaust denial began to decline.

        I would argue that Finklestein has taken away the main animus towards accepting the holocaust reality by showing how the holocaust is abused by Zionists to justify the whole scale oppression of another people.

      • James Bradley
        April 14, 2010, 10:40 pm

        In fact, the biggest group of people that I find accusing Finklestein of holocaust denial are Zionist groups themselves.

        link to normanfinkelstein.com

        I highly suggest you read the interview at the bottom of the Arabic interview program.

      • Donald
        April 14, 2010, 10:42 pm

        “But, he is literally hated by very many Jews in the world, very many.”

        Yeah, Chomsky is hated by a great many Americans (or anyway, those who have heard of him) for the same reason. He tramples on their illusions about America. People love their illusions and they hate with a passion anyone who steps on them. You show a little of that yourself whenever people touch your raw nerve about the crimes of mainstream Zionism (and not just the ones you can blame on the far right).

        I think Finkelstein is insensitive, but then I doubt his insensitivity is the main reason he’s hated. Judge Goldstone is about as mild-mannered and in personality rather different from Finkelstein and I get the distinct impression he’s hated too.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 10:56 pm

        You are right that many hate Chomsky, but MANY more hate Finkelstein. Chomsky, they note as only differing profoundly on Zionism, a political discussion, in which individuals may differ, agree to disagree.

        On Finkelstein’s holocaust commentary, he has entered trauma, terror range. His work has been described to me surprisingly by very kind-hearted individuals (including on issues around Palestine) that were gutturally offended by his comments as constituting the equivalent of a line of nazi taunters.

        That was them sharing their experience, not them calling him names.

        That abusive. Maybe they misunderstood his comments. Hopefully.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:00 pm

        …Okay, so now you’re trying to equate Finkelstein to the Nazis. Passive-aggressively, of course.

        “On Finkelstein’s holocaust commentary, he has entered trauma, terror range.” This coming from the Chicken Little who talks about Europe and his home country as if a Kristallnacht is right around the corner.

        Keep exploiting the Holocaust as a talking point with which to slander Jews like Finkelstein. This is only driving a deeper wedge between Zionist dinosaurs like you and Jews who actually do advocate for peace and justice.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:00 pm

        “Did it occur to you, Witty, that people like you who exploit the Holocaust for political and financial gain are the ones who are fueling Holocaust denial by corrupting the memory and using it merely as a cheap feint in conversation?”

        You must be a plant.

      • Donald
        April 14, 2010, 11:03 pm

        “You must be a plant.”

        And you supply the fertilizer.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:03 pm

        LOL! And how long have you had these feelings that the whole world was out to get you, Witty? Can you describe how you feel about this conspiracy? Also, please tell me about your mother?

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:05 pm

        This is the type of “discussion” that Norman’s content invokes.

        I don’t know if he encourages it or discourages it.

        Do you Phil? What do you think. Do you prefer the approach of Burg or of Finkelstein?

        Do you know ANYONE that has personally financially benefitted from exploiting the holocaust? I don’t know a soul that does, and I now know a few survivors intimately, enough to constitute some statistical significance of confidence.

        Definitely the invocation of the holocaust is periodicially invoked in cases to spin for extra content beyond just the memory and healing of the trauma.

        I don’t see that the Palestinian cause is served by such guttural insensitivity, to the point that an informed individual with the information necessary to engender change in attitudes, would be so counter-productive at that, except by the harrassment path.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:07 pm

        This is rational you, Donald? Fertilzer.

        Insensitivity to trauma as irrelevant in political presentation?


      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:07 pm

        This is the type of “discussion” that Norman’s content invokes.

        Norman Finkelstein isn’t here. You and yonira are the root of this discussion. Two spiteful, hateful Jews who lash out at anyone who disagrees with them — even other Jews. Especially other Jews, in fact.

      • Donald
        April 14, 2010, 11:20 pm

        Richard, that was just my kind and gentle way of saying you spread a lot of bullshit around here, which is good for plants and other living things. Not so good for serious discussion, however. I’ve tried serious discussion with you–your defenses on certain subjects have made it a waste of time. It’s why I won’t be your book study partner. Mainstream Zionism is part of your religion and as I’ve said before, I’ve had experience trying to convince fanatics of other varieties that their belief system was flawed. It’s a waste of time. One can nibble around the edges with you on certain topics, but if we come close to your sensitive spots your brain shuts down and the gibberish starts pouring out.

        As for Finkelstein–I wasn’t talking about Jews hating Chomsky, though I don’t doubt that many or most of those that hate Finkelstein hate Noam as well. I was speaking of Americans in general, and they hate him for his criticisms of America.

        And Richard, I don’t trust your analysis of “kindhearted” individuals, having seen your kindhearted skepticism of the Nakba and Israeli war crimes. You’re so kind, Richard, it makes me wonder if the word means what you think it means. Anyway, I’ve seen what one kindhearted individual did to Finkelstein–Matt Rothschild at the Progressive, who some years ago basically implied that Finkelstein was a Holocaust minimizer. His evidence? Finkelstein used Raul Hilberg’s number (about 5 million rather than 6 million). I lost all respect for Rothschild after that–logically, he was saying that the dean of Holocaust studies was a Holocaust minimizer. That’s the sort of response Finkelstein elicits and while I don’t think Finkelstein is entirely blameless, the “kindhearted” people who hate his guts and choose to think the worst about him are far more culpable, in my opinion.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:56 pm

        It would be wonderful if that limited comment on the political spin of holocaust invocation to justify support for unrelated events were the sum total of Finkelstein’s or his gullible or manipulating readers comments.

        As I said, EVERY occassion where I’ve encountered holocaust denial and holocaust dismissal Norman’s theses have been a primary basis.

        Individuals that would not have felt the “permission” to flirt with holocaust denial, revision or dismissal (current import), did so on the basis of Finkelstein’s pronouncements.

        Those are his voices, granted certainly.

        Thanks for the comment on Palestinians feeling heard, and relaxing their animosity on that basis.

        That is what I hope to convey about dealing with Israelis. That if one only condemns, the content of changing the relations between Israel and Palestinians will not be heard as readily if the content is presented respectfully.

      • Richard Witty
        April 14, 2010, 11:57 pm

        That was meant to state, “those are NOT Finkelstein’s voices, granted certainly”.

      • Chaos4700
        April 14, 2010, 11:59 pm

        What a bullshit propaganda artist you are, Witty, that you continue to slander Finkelstein by falsely associating him with Holocaust deniers.

        Even worse, that you seek to silence Jews and others by wielding Holocaust guilt like a battle ax.

        Throwing in the experiences of your wife’s parents, and milking that for all the political capital it was worth? Priceless, too.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 5:51 am

        There is no intent to silence Finkelstein.

        I’ve publicly defended his right to speak at Clark U for example, if you read my letter to the president of Clark, that Phil published here.

        You are confused.

        I do share my experience of debating his “followers” who have gone the length to quote Holocaust deniers. Is that his responsibility?

        Not directly.

        Does he contribute to that possibility by the content, tone and language that he uses?


      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 10:13 am

        Rather, it’s Bradley and Chaos who are the adult. Finkelstein would be proud of them; they actually saw his long content trajectory. OTH, Witty, you don’t see Finklestein’s light–you miss him completely. What we do see is your selective compassion at every turn over the trajectory of your three years or so of comments here–despite your effort to hide that tribal supremist core under clouds of humanitarian
        platitudes. You are the one who does not evidence Never Again as a universal principle. And you have never answered even one of Finklestein’s points, fully footnoted, that clearly show there’s no biz like Shoa biz.

  23. Richard Witty
    April 14, 2010, 11:09 pm

    It was conspicuous that NOONE here commented in any sense of remembrance of the holocaust remembrance day.

    Not Phil, not Adam, certainly not Chaos.

    I didn’t either. At least Yonira posted an innocuous three minute moment of silence, that was condemned as “opportunistic”.

    How commendable? How moral we are?

    • Chaos4700
      April 14, 2010, 11:14 pm

      GUILT! GUILT!!!! Submit to the GUILT!!! for the Holocaust, you Holocaust deniers!

      Witty, I’ve been berated by the likes of you for mentioning the Holocaust on a daily basis. And now you turn around and try to call me a denier?

      Better yet, you USE THE HOLOCAUST as a tool to slander us?

      You’re exactly the sort of propagandizing exploiter Finkelstein rights about. You don’t give two shits about the Holocaust — you just want to use it as a bludgeon to get what you want out of it.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 12:00 am

        “you just want to use it as a bludgeon to get what you want out of it. ”

        That is true. I want the realization that there is enough suffering in the world, that people should restrain their contempt and their violence, reactive and banal.

        That is the lesson of the holocaust, the witness to cruelty. NEVER AGAIN, in word, action, violence, to anyone, and not by my hand.

        Will you sign on to that commitment, Chaos?

      • Chaos4700
        April 15, 2010, 12:02 am

        You haven’t. Your “NEVER AGAIN” doesn’t apply to crimes against Palestinians, or else you wouldn’t be advocating the stripping of whole families of the homes they’ve had for generations.

        You’re not about peace. You’re not even about rectifying what happened to Holocaust survivors. The only thing that matters to you is getting cheap land that is Jews-only.

      • Richard Witty
        April 15, 2010, 5:46 am

        The question was for you. If you signed on to that does it matter in the slightest whether you evaluate that I do or not?

        Are you dependant on me for your commitments?

      • Chaos4700
        April 15, 2010, 9:32 am

        Why would I “sign on” to any commitment that you put forward? It’s already been established that you have medieval attitudes toward international law. There’s zero common ground between me and you if you aren’t willing to except that the Geneva Conventions are binding.

    • sherbrsi
      April 14, 2010, 11:18 pm

      How moral we are?

      Maybe when you overcome your Nakba denial, you can ask yourself the same question, and then perhaps it will have some meaning.

    • VR
      April 14, 2010, 11:49 pm

      There is nothing wrong with Holocaust Remembrance day RW. It is just the setting and the timing of when you want to express this issue, context has a lot to do with reactions sometimes. No one is going to forget, we just do not like it cheapened – at all.

    • Citizen
      April 15, 2010, 10:15 am

      Ah, we all noticed every time you, Dick Witty, commented in any sense of rembrance of the Nakba. Zilch from you on that.

  24. wondering jew
    April 15, 2010, 1:38 am

    Finkelstein quotes his mother- “if everybody who claims to be a Holocaust survivor actually is one, who did Hitler kill?”
    This statement gives aid and comfort to Holocaust deniers.

    Finkelstein’s point that the Nazi genocide of the Jews was a minor issue for American Jews until 1967 and only then when American and Israeli interests “coincided” did it become a more popular “cause” is an interesting one. But his blindness to the possibility that there were other more psychological factors to the avoidance of the subject is not surprising from someone who sees only one angle on most issues.

    • Caleb
      April 15, 2010, 3:53 am

      Wondering, I think you miss the distinction. Admittedly it is a subtle one. The deniers question the number of dead. Mama Finkelstein questions the number of survivors.

      Once the State of Israel was proclaimed, the remnant of European Jewry preferred looking to the future to dwelling on the recent past. Except in the segment where the Sal Mineo character is forced to admit his role in operating the death machinery, the 1960 movie “Exodus” made little reference to the Holocaust. The camps involved were on Cyprus and the enemy the British.

    • Chaos4700
      April 15, 2010, 9:33 am

      Great, so now we have our third player for the proverbial Spanish Inquisition.

    • Donald
      April 15, 2010, 9:58 am

      Peter Novick wrote a book “The Holocaust in American Life” which puts forward the notion that the Holocaust became prominent in American life after 1967 because before, American Jews didn’t want to be seen as victims and afterwards they saw political uses for it. It’s rather Finkelsteinian, though Novick has been very harsh towards Finkelstein. (I’m cynical enough to think that’s self-protection–bash the guy to your left to make yourself look better.)

      Here’s the link to the Amazon page with the publisher’s summary of the book’s thesis–


      • Donald
        April 15, 2010, 10:15 am

        Some more boosting for Peter Novick’s Holocaust book–

        I’m pushing this just to show that it’s not just Finkelstein or people here who see that the Holocaust is commonly misused in America. And as I pointed out, Novick doesn’t even like Finkelstein (though I think that doesn’t speak well of him). Anyway, here’s a favorable review at the Amazon website. Note the “uniqueness issue” that is raised–Novick is good on that.


  25. southernobserver
    April 15, 2010, 2:56 am

    This review is a despicable hatchet job on a gentleman and a great scholar. It is sad that anybody would stoop to take the honest attempt of this film to show the human factors that drove him and turn them around to present him as a frankenstein who should be pitied. I do not believe that either the reviewer or any of the abusive people who commented have ever sacrificed anything like as much to stand up for the truth.

    There is a pleasing bit of inadvertent humor though. “Alan Dershowitz — who gets plenty of screen time but never seems to come off well, no matter how unreasonable his opponent”…

    curious, eh?

    • VR
      April 15, 2010, 8:37 am

      That is because Dersh. is a consummate clown when it comes to these issues – he has no business representing anything outside of his “colorful” clients.

  26. Richard Parker
    April 15, 2010, 6:37 am

    As usual, you assholes on Mondoweiss’s comments section have allowed yourselves to be diverted by Richard Witty’s comments and rejoinders. He is merely playing with you (when he isn’t wanking). His pronouncements have as much to do with the Israel problem as discussing angels on a pinhead.

    Ignore him and carry on.

    • Richard Witty
      April 15, 2010, 6:51 am

      Substantive content.

      The topic was on the review of the bio-pic of Norman Finkelstein.

      • Chaos4700
        April 15, 2010, 9:34 am

        The reviewer talked about Finkelstein as if he had a disease.

        Considering the frequency you resort to ad hominems yourself, it’s no surprise you mistake that for substance.

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 10:23 am

        And note that Richard Witty has been spouting off about Finkelstein’s
        “distortions” and speaking antics, although he has admitted he never read any of Finkelstein’s works. No wonder you told us to ignore him….

    • thankgodimatheist
      April 15, 2010, 9:44 am

      (when he isn’t wanking).
      The closest to that I’ve ever seen is effectively Witty’s prose..

  27. Shmuel
    April 15, 2010, 9:27 am

    The disease would appear to lie in our communities: Goldstone barred from grandson’s bar mitzvah.

    • Chaos4700
      April 15, 2010, 9:37 am

      I’ll say it again and again: The worst enemy any Jew has to face, is other Zionists.

      I suppose Witty will blame Goldstone for “provoking” this, too.

    • Chaos4700
      April 15, 2010, 9:37 am

      I’ll say it again and again: The worst enemy any Jew has to face, are Zionists.

      I suppose Witty will blame Goldstone for “provoking” this, too.

      • UNIX
        April 15, 2010, 9:41 am

        In fact Goldstone was a traitor and provoked this.

      • UNIX
        April 15, 2010, 9:56 am

        Goldstone should be ex-communicated.

      • UNIX
        April 15, 2010, 9:57 am

        Rabbi Shalom Bacher, a native of Johannesburg and the chief rabbi of the Blairgowrie Synagogue in the city, was not surprised by the news.

        “The vast majority of Jews here don’t like him, and are very angry with him,” he told Ynet. “The vast majority here are Zionists, love Israel unconditionally, and have excellent ties with Israel that go beyond politics.”

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 10:24 am

        By which Jewish Pope?

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 10:27 am

        Love Israel unconditionally? None at all?

    • thankgodimatheist
      April 15, 2010, 9:53 am

      What kind of sick, neurotic people would bar a grandfather from attending his grandson’s ceremony?
      ..The more I learn…

      • Citizen
        April 15, 2010, 10:41 am

        Get a load of the angry comments on this article concerning Goldstone being banned from his relatives bar mitzvah:
        link to haaretz.com

        Seems one should just assume that organized, traditional diaspora jewish community is by and large a fifth column for the rogue state of Israel?
        Just wondering. Courageous man. Poor kid.

      • Chaos4700
        April 15, 2010, 12:47 pm

        I can’t decide if I should find it encouraging that the tenor of the comments are split right down the middle, between people who think that Zionists disrupting a Jewish ceremony and attacking a family’s right to practice a Jewish rite is abhorrent, and those who consider Goldstone a “traitor” to his “race.”

        I think my problem is it seems to me it should be a forgone conclusion, especially among Jews who have a history of being denied their right to practice their faith openly. I suppose I expected it to be more like 60/40, at least.

  28. Gene
    April 15, 2010, 1:50 pm

    Whenever I come across opinion pieces like that of the Forward, I rethink of that lede from Orli Fridman: A day will come when we will be ashamed. For sure, that will not happen to Norman Finkelstein. He, like many others including Weiss and Horowitz here, would have been on the barricade fighting the good fight.

    We often refer to them as pro-Palestinians. Perhaps they think of themselves as such as well. But to me they are doing what they do for the betterment of Humanity, and for that I am more than grateful to them. Not so long ago, I came upon something that read: If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then les us work together. I find that this leads directly to the often repeated: “Why single out Israel?” It is because Israel is not only occupying a territory called Palestine and has entrapped a whole population. She has also entrapped our souls and as such we are as much “Occupied Nations” as Palestine is. Worse even, we cannot claim for ourselves a moral highground, something that Palestinians can lay claim to. We, on the other hand, are forced to participate in crimes that make us sick and hurt us to the core.

    Finkelstein, and those like him, provide us with a sense that not all is lost, however, and that we can be pro-active in our resistance to the crimes that Israel is perpetrating onto Humanity even as our governments have been rendered impotent. If for that he is said to be diseased, would that all of us were as sick as he is.

    • Citizen
      April 15, 2010, 6:00 pm

      Yeah, I think you nabbed something there. And it applies to both Jews and Gentiles–and even that demarcation makes me suspect all tradition, no matter how many times I’ve watched Fiddler On The Roof.

  29. Richard Parker
    April 15, 2010, 11:29 pm

    I’m not Jewish, but I was quite disgusted by the story about Goldstone’s being barred from his own grandson’s bar mitzvah in South Africa by a local Zionist crew.

  30. Toolz Pedia linked to this.

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