imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles


by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005 at 11:48 AM

A review of Professor Norman Finklestein's important new book that exposes Israeli crimes against the Palestinians and prominent Israeli supporters who approve of them


Professor Norman Finklestein of DePaul University in Chicago and an expert on zionism (the subject of his doctoral dissertation), Jewish and Israeli history and the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict has just completed a very important book. It's called "Beyond Chutzpah" and it's about Israel's and its supporters' "misuse of anti-semitism and abuse of history." The book is extremely well written and reflects Dr. Finklestein's brilliant scholarship, keen analysis and scrupulous integrity. In style, the book is powerful and elegant and will greatly impact all those who read it.

Dr. Finklestein showed great courage tackling a subject as sensitive and vitally important as Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity and how they're able to deflect them from public view, especially in the U.S., by creating or resurrecting the myth of a virulent and pervasive "new anti-semitism" as well as exploit "The Holocaust" as a "unique" event in history only affecting the Jews under the Nazis.

Dr. Finklestein knew full well because of his great credibility, integrity and reputation for meticulous scholarship he would have to brace for the inevitable assault against him after or even before publication. It certainly came and quite viciously - cancelled scheduled appearances to discuss his book, an effort to keep it from being published and more. If he were unimportant, unknown or produced mediocre work, he probably would have been ignored. But by attacking him, his critics (with no credible evidence to support them) acknowledged just the opposite, and by doing it by relying on little more than hollow ad hominems, they showed themselves to be on the defensive and had no other recourse. Using a familiar metaphor, you could say when the (Israeli) emperor was shorn of its protective clothes, its defense was to deflect attention elsewhere, blame its victims to justify its own abuses and attack all adversaries as anti-semites, liars, terrorists or their supporters or whatever else they thought might work for them.

Professor Finklestein documents in great and impressive detail what this reviewer has known for a considerable time from my own extensive reading and following events in the "occupied territories." For many years I've occasionally discussed Israel's shocking and callous treatment of the Palestinians with friends and acquaintances. At times I've stunned and disturbed them when I explained that beginning with the deliberate "ethnic cleansing" in 1948 to the present, Israel created a racist, apartheid state even worse than in South Africa and went on to treat the Palestinians as brutally as the Nazis treated them, except for the death camps - especially after 1967. And after that crucial year, these policies were supported and financed by all U.S. governments. Israel's overwhelming victory in their "six day war" when the U.S. was beginning to be bogged down in Vietnam clearly showed the Johnson administration how important a strategic ally this nation was and how it could be used in that vital region as "our cop on the beat" (using Noam Chomsky's characterization) along with Iran (under the Shah).

Dr. Finklestein spends much time documenting Israel's record of abuse. It's vast and disturbing and includes systematic and routine extrajudicial murder (sanctioned by Israel's High Court), theft of land, bulldozing of homes (at times with occupants still inside and almost always in the middle of the night and with very little time to leave and never any right to appeal), denial of all or most civil liberties and basic needs like enough water and freedom and access of movement, the routine use of torture (at times prolonged and severe - Israel had its Abu Graibs long before the U.S. did in Iraq), the construction of the "apartheid" wall ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice (to seize Palestinian land and as another act of repression), and the unending military occupation including in Gaza even after the recent sham withdrawal with the IDF not leaving but just redeploying. Today Gaza and the West Bank are the world's two largest "open air" prisons.

I'm struck by the similarity between the ploy used to justify the so-called "war on terrorism" and the tactic used by Israelis and their supporters to create the myth of "unique Jewish suffering" to justify their criminal acts. Our government's gross exaggeration of a terror threat was and is being used as cover to justify waging illegal wars against Afghanistan and Iraq and be able to declare a permanent state of war against any nation designated a threat to our security -- translation: any nation not subservient to the U.S. or whose policies don't serve our interests. It's also enabled it to establish a near lockdown police state at home (and, in fact, has done that in New Orleans as it's "ethnically cleansed" the city of its poor and especially black population to steal those neighborhoods to redevelop them for profit), desecrating our civil liberties with little opposition mounted to stop it or explain the grave danger of allowing it.

The Israelis have achieved their goals by turning the Nazi myth of "the eternal Jew" on its head and created in its place "the eternal Jewish victim" and uniqueness of Jewish suffering. That accomplished, they've been able to subvert and ignore international law and sacred Geneva Conventions, countless UN resolutions unfavorable to them, and all condemnation of their crimes against the Palestinians - one of the most defenseless and oppressed people on earth. Using Nazi terminology, the Palestinians are Israel's "untermenschen" or subhumans.

There's one other war deserving mention as well which is the most important one of all, I believe. It's the "war on truth", and it's the most dangerous and damaging of all the so-called "wars." We know truth is the first casualty of war, but the "war on truth" is much more than than that. When waged effectively, it can justify almost anything no matter how egregious.

Since WWI in this country, the art of creating myth out of whole cloth has been refined and perfected to a degree that would impress even Goebbels and probably leave him in awe. Through the all-pervasive corporate media, right wing think tanks, our entire educational system from pre-school through the doctoral level (with only rare exceptions like Professor Finklestein, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Edward Herman, Michael Parenti, Doug Dowd), and even the clergy, only or mostly acceptable doctrine is disseminated and taught. The alternative media and internet violate this rule, but their reach and influence are limited. As long as real information and truth are suppressed and sanitized, a slumbering public can be convinced through brainwashing of almost anything. What better example of this than the October 30,1938 on-air presentation of the H.G. Wells science fiction drama "War of the Worlds" narrated by Orsen Wells. The story was about a fictional attack by aliens against the U.S. and apparently seemed so real that a great many listeners actually believed it and panicked. If that story was believable, it's easy to see that the public could be convinced that threats of weapons of mass destruction and future terrorist attacks were real.

Professor Finklestein does a superb job exposing and debunking the chicanery and mendacity of apologists and fraudsters like Alan Dershowitz especially in his discredited 2003 book "The Case for Israel" which is replete with egregious lies and outright plagiarism, a book that was heavily promoted and became a national best seller. In other books Finklestein has written and again in "Beyond Chutzpah" he also exposes Joan Peter's 1984 book "From Time Immemorial" which he proves through extensive documentation was a complete hoax. Not at all done, Dr. Finklestein presents substantial evidence to expose convincingly the duplicity and shamelessness of such noted figures as Elie Wiesel, Kofi Annan, Martin Peretz and many others. All these individuals deserve the harshest condemnation, and Professor Finklestein has delivered it very effectively and conclusively in his book.

This writer would like to add his own comment about Elie Wiesel, who along with Alan Dershowitz warrants special rebuke in my mind. Mr. Wiesel has and continues shamelessly to exploit his status as a "Holocaust" survivor and most undeserving stature as a nobel laureate. The way he's abused his world prominence for personal gain spreading lies and acting as an agent for Israel and its crimes has desecrated the spirit and memory of all those who suffered and perished during the Nazi holocaust (including all Professor Finklestein's family members on both sides) or those who suffered as he did - including the now departed beloved parents of Professor Finklestein who, as he explained, survived the Warsaw ghetto and years in concentration camps including time at Auschwitz.

I'd like to end with a comment from the moving and wonderful last paragraph from the forward to the first paperback edition of one of Dr. Finklestein's other important books (that should be read and that deserves far more comment than can be made here) - "The Holocaust Industry." Professor Finklestein quoted a piece of wisdom taught him by his late mother: that "it's not an accident that Jews invented the word "chutzpah." That was followed by his praise for Raul Hilberg as the "undisputed dean of holocaust scholars" that "perhaps it's not an accident that Jews also invented the word "mensch." For those unfamiliar with this special Yiddish word, it means a person of special integrity and honor. It's a word of great praise that's used very sparingly or should be. In carefully researching and writing "Beyond Chutzpah" and having the courage to defend it in the face of relentless attacks on his scholarship and integrity, Professor Finklestein, like Raul Hilberg, is indeed a "mensch."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Another good book Chalmer Brooks Friday, Dec. 30, 2005 at 8:27 AM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy