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Norman Finkelstein on the Holocaust

Norman Finkelstein was recently hosted by Leeds PSC, whilst on a UK tour with the Palestine Return Centre (PRC). The PRC is a Hamas front network who have previously courted Hungarian fascist Krisztina Morvai. Finkelstein toured with the pro-fascist London Hamasniks of the PRC.

Finkelstein has previously been hosted by the PSC in the UK. I saw him appear in Leeds in 2009, in a talk in which he praised the “heroic resistance” of Hezbollah to Israel. Unsurprisingly, on the night, Finkelstein did not deal with a question about whether celebrating child-murderer Samir Kuntar could really be described as part of a heroic resistance.

Previously Finkelstein has favourably compared Hezbollah with the French resistance against the Nazis.

Finkelstein’s website is full of casual and nonsensical references to Jews as Nazis.

Here’s the thing.

Finkelstein is presented as an expert on the Holocaust, because he has noted that there are Holocaust survivors who do not receive payments, and many of the money intended for Holocaust survivors does not end up in the right place. This is not an observation unique to Finkelstein – but he blends his writing on this theme, with his antizionist politics and his love of antisemitic terrorists.

Is though, Finkelstein an expert on the Holocaust?

Does he understand what the Holocaust was?

When German publication Die Welt, said to Finkelstein:

“You call the holocaust an ideology”

He replied,

“To be more precise, an ideological construction, that originally served the interests of the Jewish elite in America and has now degenerated into a money-making instrument. It has become a extortion racket.”

Here there was no distinction between what Finkelstein sees as the manipulation of the Holocaust (“the Holocaust industry” sic.), and the Holocaust itself. Finkelstein commented further,

The Holocaust is an ideological club, used to hold Germany in a vice like grip. This routine is just a cheap opportunity for us to escape our moral responsibility.

The worrying thing is, Finkelstein speaks about the “ideology” of the Holocaust, and how dangerous that is, before actually discussing the facts of the Holocaust itself. And on the facts of the Holocaust, Finkelstein can even appear deferential to Holocaust deniers.

He has written:

The hysterical allegation of Holocaust deniers lurking in every corner is apparently also contrived to justify the endless proliferation of Holo-trash. [...] It is indeed easy for the non-expert to be tripped up on the details especially when on crucial matters like the gas chambers (a favorite target of the deniers), there exist, as historian Arno Mayer noted, “many contradictions, ambiguities, and errors in the existing sources,” none of which however “put in question the use of gas chambers in the mass murder.” On a personal note I myself vividly recall reading Arthur Butz’s Hoax of the Twentieth Century and not being able at the time to answer many of his simplest challenges.

If Norman Finkelstein finds it tricky to answer Arthur Butz’s simplest challenges, he is no expert on the Holocaust.

There is also this:

Were it not for the fact that my late parents passed through the Nazi holocaust, I myself would probably would be a skeptic by now. Who can any longer believe a single word coming out of the Holocaust industry?”

What did Jews “learn” from the Holocaust?

“The Zionists indeed learnt well from the Nazis. So well that it seems that their morally repugnant treatment of the Palestinians, and their attempts to destroy Palestinian society within Israel and the occupied territories, reveals them as basically Nazis with beards and black hats.”

What does Finkelstein think about people who align themselves with Holocaust deniers, such as the Neturei Karta?

Here is Finkelstein on Neturei Karta:

I’m not religious, Neturei Karta is in my opinion sometimes kooky, but at least their hearts haven’t been poisoned and their souls aren’t diseased. As for the rest of the Israelis…

Finkelstein then reproduces an article by Rabbi Meir Hirsh of the Neturei Karta, which states:

We beseech G-D to quickly save the Palestinian people and its leaders from the claws of the Zionist monsters and strongly await the day when the legitimate rule over all of Palestine will return to the later with Al-Kuds as is capital and all the Zionists will be driven out of the land by G-D’s hand and we should see with our eyes G-D’s the crystallization of G-D’s promise to his faithful prophets to reign over the entire world in His Holy Kingdom and then all Nations shall serve Him together.

This article is meant to complement the sentence “As for the rest of the Israelis…

Finkelstein even appears to be opposed to Holocaust education in Gaza. Linking to an article on the subject, Finkelstein comments satirically:

Goebbels to teach Jews in Warsaw Ghetto history of German persecution by Mongols

This is deeply wrong on many levels, and obviously downplays the horror and scale of the Shoah.

In this clip, Finkelstein compares the ADL’s Abe Foxman with Adolf Hitler, then smirks:

“At least Hitler didn’t do it for the money.”

When the filmmaker takes offence at this comparison, Finkelstein becomes hysterical, telling him angrily:

“You come from a society in which everyone calls everyone a Nazi, right? They call Rabin a Nazi, Ben Gurion called Jabotinsky a Nazi, Jabotinsky called Ben Gurion a Nazi, Begin called Ben Gurion a Nazi. Each of them said one is worse than Hitler, that’s the whole language of your society.

It’s also the language I grew up with, you know, everything in my house. The food? Worse than Auschwitz! The clothes? Worse than Auschwitz! That’s the house you grow up in. And all of a sudden, you get so pious when I go like that. Your whole society is like that!”

In the same clip, Finkelstein says of American Jews:

“The best that could ever happen to Israel, if they get rid of these American Jews who are war mongers from Martha’s Vinyard, and they’re war mongers from the Hamptons, and they’re war mongers from Beverely Hills, and they’re war mongers from Miami. It’s been a disaster for Israel. It’s the best thing if they can ever get rid of American Jewry. It’s a curse.”

Norman Finkelstein claims that the Holocaust is an “ideological club” and an “ideological construction”, “a money-making instrument” and an “extortion racket”. Finkelstein’s heroes are Jew-hating terrorists.

He is toured around the UK by fascist-loving antisemites in the PRC, then hosted by Leeds “pushing all Israelis in to the Mediterranean is now not an option” PSC.

Noxious – but not to the PRC or the PSC.