redemption through damascus gate

Society of the Spectacle. A game. In part,  an attempt to gain social acceptance in an environment hostile towards Jews or can it be attributable  to an infantile effort to correct a haunting victim status through self-blame,  the kinds of response seen in people who have been abused? Finkelstein is kid of a borderline genius that is too inscrutable to really fathom. Kind of like a child who wants to jump off the roof of the house, teasing and taunting the onlookers and eventually you don’t really care, but you do. Which means he has a redeeming and compelling side even if the armor is too thick. And is there a bit of the pose and gesture in the presentation?…

Wailing on as he does, a benediction in front of a metaphorical western wall, expiating the sins of the jews. Norman Finkelstein. The Holocaust game. He needs a holocaust it’s his entire life. And with it the broader pschosis of jew hatred. Without the holocaust this would be another schmuck looking for his big break. Just watching him in action, the yelling, the screaming, real performance art, like something a marcel Duchamp could create, a kind of “shock of the new” , a rupture with the past, and dissent as a form of conceptual art. Its inevitable he begins my invoking his family’s misfortune in the holocaust, quite a number who perished actually, but he is the type of man who shares a common audience with a David Irving, Ernst Zundel, and a gaggle of holocaust deniers as well as luminaries like George Galloway. He is sort of in the minor leagues of the dissent industry, not quite up to scratch with the Chomsky’s , Zizek’s, but the flaws make him, perhaps its a slightly perverse charm, not as pretentious. It’s not nuclear physics to match the dire poverty of holocaust survivors in Israel and the money changing hands in reparations. There is a certain complicity here among the colonizers that is difficult to ignore.

---The Businessman Max Roesberg is an excellent example of the celebrated portraits Dix painted in Dresden, Düsseldorf, and Berlin between 1921 and 1927.---Finkelstein has been at the center of many intractable controversies. Called a lunatic and a self-hating Jew by some and an inspirational, street-fighting revolutionary by others, Finkelstein is a deeply polarizing figure whose struggles arise from core questions about freedom, identity and nationhood. The film provides an intimate portrait of the man behind the controversy, giving voice to both his many critics and his supporters.---Read More:

By positing his family’s experience as frequently and as loudly as he does, as if giving him moral high ground to launch his attacks, I do have to wonder if with that level of leverage and use of the dead he at least goes to synagogue, says a kaddish for them and lights a candle in respect for all the volume they have afforded him in his career. Effectively, his left wing , super secular vision, atheistic , is very much in harmony with the values of Israel’s ruling class: land for peace, accommodation with the Palestinians, assimilate everyone as much as possible, normalize trade.

---ICAHD Director Jeff Halper, our partner on numerous educational and Palestinian home rebuilding projects, was one of 44 activists from 17 nations who successfully sailed from Cyprus to Gaza aboard two fishing boats in defiance of Israel’s blockade. The group was met by 40,000 “joyous Gazans.” Jeff and the others brought with them 200 hearing aids; the main aim of the symbolic blockade-busting action was to publicize the plight of the people in this besieged territory. As the only Israeli Jew (an 84 year old Holocaust survivor, Judith Epstein was also present) on this historic challenge to Israel’s blockade, Jeff was arrested and spent the night in an Israeli jail upon his return, where he tells us he was protected from threatening Israeli right-wingers by his Palestinian cellmates. --- Read More:

He appears so fixated that he falls into the trap of the Zionist ethos which is to restrain a coherent conceptualizing of the past while asking the jew to shed off and discard the memories and tradition of exile; Finkelstein is the Zionist “new jew” himself, angry, upright and aggressive, willing to engage in combat. In some ways, he is more demagogic than his opposite which would be a Meir Kahane, since Finkelstein is in the vanguard or second quintile of the fifth column who finds himself marginalized even though his views are not much different than a Yair Lapid or Gideon Levy, or at least is the reasonable extension of their thought.

As if we
Too had drunk
At the star-well

As if we
Were with him on
The way to language

Yellow stars
In a black forest ( Norman Finkelstein, poet)


( see link at end) …Norman Finkelstein is a legendarily anti-Israel professor. He has made a name for himself by disparaging what he calls the “Holocaust industry” and his research methods for his anti-Israel writings are sloppy and often deceptive. Benny Morris describes him “a notorious distorter of facts and of my work, not a serious or honest historian

221; I showed some of his own dishonesty in an essay that helped make him famous….

---As many have pointed out, he—the child of Holocaust survivors—does not deny that the Holocaust happened, and I did not say he did. Nevertheless, he actively refuses to face it head-on and intentionally perverts the truth into conspiracy theories. Refusing to comment on the the reality of gas chambers or death tolls (one way or another, he says, these arguments aren’t relevant), he rejects the conventional understanding of the Holocaust as a horrific and unparalleled act of genocide that provoked justified shame and revulsion, and instead sees “the Holocaust” as a deliberate propaganda ploy created by Jews to serve a variety of selfish and immoral ends. Given his loathsome argument that “Jewish elites” deliberately “manufactured” a big outrage “industry” about the Holocaust—which in his view is simply one of many 20th-century genocides—in order to extort money and gain influence in the West and to crush all dissent and criticism of Israel, it seems entirely fair to lump Finkelstein in with Shamir and others who prefer to understand the Holocaust primarily as a narrative ploy to extend Jewish influence in the world.--- Read More:

In other words, Finkelstein is no poster child for truth and fairness about Israel.

But in this remarkable video, Finkelstein rips apart the people to his left – the BDS and “Palestine Solidatity” movements. He exposes their obvious goal of destroying Israel as they try to pretend that they are only fighting for “rights;” he accurately accuses them of belonging to a “cult” whose arguments cannot possibly survive the real world; he shows that they are not nearly as influential as they pretend to be; and he effectively tells them that they are a big waste of time that accomplish nothing towards their stated goals of providing any justice or peace for Palestinian Arabs. These groups play games to hide their goals, Finkelstein wants no part of it.

Finkelstein is completely wrong about international law and about Israel, quoting General Assembly resolutions and an advisory opinion of the ICJ as if they are international law. But it is worthwhile to watch him expose the pure hate and deceptiveness of those who are even more extreme than he is. The interviewer – a BDS proponent and hardcore hater of Israel – cringes under Finkelstein’s assault as he tries to defend the indefensible. Read More:

Ruthie Blum, a former senior editor at the Jerusalem Post, wrote with glee in Israel Hayom of shocked Finkelstein “sycophants watching the video of the interview and vomiting all over the banners they’ve been busily preparing for their favorite annual event — ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ — that kicks off later this month.”

She said the first thing BDS did after realizing what Finkelstein said was to remove the video from YouTube. But by then, pro-Israel bloggers had already begun distributing it, “using quotes by a staunch enemy to give weight to their own claims about BDS. If someone like Finkelstein says this stuff, the logic goes, it is all the proof that’s needed.”

But, Blum said, don’t get too excited because it “will come back to bite, rather than adorn, us.” She argued that just as the idea of Palestinian statehood that used to be associated with the fringe left has now been accepted by the Israeli government, “so too could a campaign for a one-state solution take hold among the chattering classes within the blink of an eye.” Read More:

As usual when Finkelstein is involved, the facts all got lost along the way.

First, Finkelstein is no “professor.” In fact, he never was an academic in any meaningful sense of the word. Finkelstein is a crackpot and an open admirer of Holocaust denier David Irving. Finkelstein claims that all Holocaust survivors are liars, hoaxsters, and thieves, extorting Germany. Finkelstein was fired last year from DePaul University in Chicago because he had no academic publications or achievements at all; he has yet to publish his first academic paper. He is regarded to be a Holocaust denier by the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and others. For all the whining of his supporters that in DePaul he fell victim to “outside interference” when he was denied tenure, the fact is that most of the outside interference there was actually in Finkelstein’s favor.

Second, Finkelstein was not denied entry into Israel because he holds anti-Israel opinions. Anti-Israel leftists come in and out of Israel all the time. For instance, the Jewish state has long put up with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), whose members enter Israel to engage in violent hooliganism and to assist Palestinian terrorism, sometimes assaulting Israeli police and soldiers in the process.

Some of Israel’s own tenured professors, moreover, are even more extreme and anti-Israel than Finkelstein himself. As is clear from any fair-minded reading of Israeli media reports, Finkelstein was denied entry into Israel because he has spent the past few years serving as an all-but-official spokesperson for the Hezbollah terror group and was suspected of wanting to enter Israel for purposes of espionage and activities on its behalf.

Third, entry into Israel is not a universal entitlement. According to the official Israeli statement as reported in Haaretz, Israeli intelligence said Finkelstein “is not permitted to enter Israel because of suspicions involving hostile elements in Lebanon,” and because he “did not give a full accounting to interrogators with regard to these suspicions.” The last point is especially critical. While still in Israeli captivity, Finkelstein adamantly refused to answer questions about what he was planning to be doing while in the country, as well as who was paying for his trip. Given his refusal to cooperate, it’s difficult to see that Israeli authorities had any alternative but to deport him.

That’s not how Finkelstein sees it, of course. Moments after arriving in Amsterdam, Finkelstein sent out the following message to his fans (spelling and grammar uncorrected):

“Before rumors report my premature death, I was kept in a holding cell for 24 hours and then deported to Amsterdam. It wasn’t a Belgian bed and breakfast but it wasn’t Auschwitz either (although after six hours of abusive treatement (sic) I did call them “f**king Jewish Nazis,” not taken well). It seems that to see Musa and his family again, I’ll have to wait until the end of the occupation. I have been been (sic) banned for “at least 10 years.” Another incentive to work towards ending the occupation.” Read More:

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