“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Exerpts from THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY by Norman G. Finkelstein

Note: Also read additional material in the comments section including comments from Raul Hilberg corroborating Finkelstein's expose of the shakedown of Swiss banks over allegations of hiding money stolen from Jews by the Nazis. Hilberg is considered to be the founding father of holocaust studies by mainstream historians. Also Hilberg speaks in defense of Finklestein being threatened with termination of his academic post for his politically incorrect scholarship on Israel. No "conspiracy theories" here....
Excerpts from the book The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering by Norman G. Finkelstein (Verso, 2000, paper):

The US is the corporate headquarters of the Holocaust industry.
American Jewish elites did not shrink from sacrificing fellow Jews on the altar of anti-Communism. Offering their files on alleged Jewish subversives to government agencies, the AJC and the ADL actively collaborated -. in the McCarthy-era witch-hunt. The AJC endorsed the death penalty for the Rosenbergs, while its monthly publication, Commentary, editorialized that they weren't really Jews.
Fearful of association with the political Left abroad and at home, mainstream Jewish organizations opposed cooperation with anti-Nazi German social-democrats as well as boycotts of German manufactures and public demonstrations against ex-Nazis touring the United States. On the other hand, prominent visiting German dissidents like Protestant pastor Martin Niemöller, who had spent eight years in Nazi concentration camps and was now against the anti-Communist crusade, suffered the obloquy of American Jewish leaders. Anxious to boost their anti-Communist credentials, Jewish elites even enlisted in, and financially sustained, right-wing extremist organizations like the All-American Conference to Combat Communism and turned a blind j eye as veterans of the Nazi SS entered the country.
Then came the June [1967] war. Impressed by Israel's overwhelming display of force, the United States moved to incorporate it as a strategic asset. (Already before the June war the United States had cautiously tilted toward Israel as the Egyptian and Syrian regimes charted an increasingly independent course in the mid-1960s.) Military and economic assistance began to pour in as Israel turned into a proxy for US power in the Middle East.
For American Jewish elites, Israel's subordination to US power was a windfall. Zionism had sprung from the premise that assimilation was a pipe dream, that Jews would always be perceived as potentially disloyal aliens. To resolve this dilemma, Zionists sought to establish a homeland for the Jews. In fact, Israel's founding exacerbated the problem, at any rate for diaspora Jewry: it gave the charge of dual loyalty institutional expression. Paradoxically, after June 1967, Israel facilitated assimilation in the United States: Jews now stood on the front lines defending America - indeed, "Western civilization" against the retrograde Arab hordes. Whereas before 1967 Israel conjured the bogy of dual loyalty, it now connoted super-loyalty. After all, it was not Americans but Israelis fighting and dying to protect US interests. And unlike the American GIs in Vietnam, Israeli fighters were not being humiliated by Third World upstarts.
Accordingly, American Jewish elites suddenly discovered Israel. After the 1967 war, Israel's military élan could be celebrated because its guns pointed in the right direction - against America's enemies. Its martial prowess might even facilitate entry into the inner sanctums of American power. Previously Jewish elites could only offer a few lists of Jewish subversives; now, they could pose as the natural interlocutors for America's newest strategic asset. From bit players, they could advance to top billing in the Cold War drama. Thus for American Jewry, as well as the United States, Israel became a strategic asset.
Norman Podhoretz in his memoir 'Breaking Ranks' remembered that after June 1967 Israel became "the religion of the American Jews."
For Israel's new American Jewish "supporters," however, such talk bordered on heresy: an independent Israel at peace with its neighbors was worthless; an Israel aligned with currents in the Arab world seeking independence from the United States was a disaster. Only an Israeli Sparta beholden to American power would do, because only then could US Jewish leaders act as the spokesmen for American imperial ambitions.
It was not Israel's alleged weakness and isolation, not the fear of a "second Holocaust," but rather its proven strength and strategic alliance with the United States that led Jewish elites to gear up the Holocaust industry after June 1967. However unwittingly, Novick provides the best evidence to support that conclusion. To prove that power considerations, not the Nazi Final Solution, determined American policy toward Israel, he writes: "It was when the Holocaust was freshest in the mind of American leaders the first twenty-five years after the end of the war - that the United States was least supportive of Israel . . . . It was not when Israel was perceived as weak and vulnerable, but after it demonstrated its strength, in the Six Day War, that American aid to Israel changed from a trickle to a flood" (emphasis in original)." That argument applies with equal force to American Jewish elites.
... after World War II, Jews rose to preeminence in the United States. According to Lipset and Raab [Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews arid the New American Scene (Cambridge: 1995)], per capita Jewish income is almost double that of non-Jews; sixteen of the forty wealthiest Americans are Jews; 40 percent of American Nobel Prize winners in science and economics are Jewish, as are 20 percent of professors at major universities; and 40 percent partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington.
What an American Jewish child inherits, according to novelist Philip Roth, is "no body of law, no body of learning and no language, and finally, no Lord . . . but a kind of psychology: and the psychology can be translated in three words: 'Jews are better.'
Israeli journalist Danny Rubinstein
"According to most of the people in the Jewish establishment the important thing is to stress again and again the external dangers that face Israel . . . . The Jewish establishment in America needs Israel only as a victim of cruel Arab attack. For such an Israel one can get support, donors, money. .
As American Jews enjoyed greater secular success, they moved steadily to the right politically. Although still left-of-center on cultural questions such as sexual morality and abortion, Jews grew increasingly conservative on politics and the economy." Complementing the rightward turn was an inward turn, as Jews, no longer mindful of past allies among the have-nots, increasingly earmarked their resources for Jewish concerns only.
Holocaust awareness," the respected Israeli writer Boas Evron observes, is actually "an official, propagandistic indoctrination, a churning out of slogans and a false view of the world, the real aim of which is not at all an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the present."
Cuban President Fidel Castro ... accused the capitalist system of regularly causing deaths on the scale of World War II by ignoring the needs of the poor.
"The images we see of mothers and children in whole regions of Africa under the lash of drought and other catastrophes remind us of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany."
"We lack a Nuremberg to judge the economic order imposed upon us, where every three years more men, women and children die of hunger and preventable diseases than died in the Second World War."
The reparations issue provides unique insight into the Holocaust Industry... aligning with the United States in the Cold War, Germany was quickly rehabilitated and the Nazi holocaust forgotten. Nonetheless, in the early 1950s Germany entered into negotiations with Jewish institutions and signed indemnification agreements. With little if any external pressure, it has paid out to date some $60 billion.
Compare first the American record. Some 4-5 million men, women and children died as a result of the US wars in Indochina. After the American withdrawal, a historian recalls, Vietnam desperately needed aid. "In the South, 9,000 out of 15,000 hamlets, 25 million acres of farmland, 12 million acres of forest were destroyed, and 1.5 million farm animals had been killed; there were an estimated 200,000 prostitutes, 879,000 orphans, 181,000 disabled people, and 1 million widows; all six of the industrial cities in the North had been badly damaged, as were provincial and district towns, and 4,000 out of 5,800 agricultural communes." Refusing, however, to pay any reparations, President Carter explained that "the destruction was mutual." Declaring that he saw no need for "any apologies, certainly, for the war itself," President Clinton's Defense Secretary, William Cohen, similarly opined: "Both nations were scarred by this. They have their scars from the war. We certainly have ours."'
Apart from Holocaust memorials, fully seventeen states mandate or recommend Holocaust programs in their schools, and many colleges and universities have endowed chairs in Holocaust studies. Hardly a week passes without a major Holocaust-related story in the New York Times. The number of scholarly studies devoted to the Nazi Final Solution is conservatively estimated at over 10,000. Consider by comparison scholarship on the hecatomb in the Congo. Between 1891 and 1911, some 10 million Africans perished in the course of Europe's exploitation of Congolese ivory and rubber resources. Yet, the first and only scholarly volume in English directly devoted to this topic was published two years ago.
Given the vast number of institutions and professionals dedicated to preserving its memory, The Holocaust is by now firmly entrenched American life.
It is much easier deplore the crime: of other: than to look at ourselves. It is also true, however, that were the will there we could learn much about ourselves from the Nazi experience. Manifest Destiny anticipated nearly all the ideological and programmatic elements of Hitler's Lebensraum policy. In fact, Hitler modeled his conquest of the East on the American conquest of the West. During the first half of this century, a majority of American states enacted sterilization laws and tens of thousands of Americans were involuntarily sterilized. The Nazis explicitly invoked this US precedent when they enacted their own sterilization laws.' The notorious 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of the franchise and forbade miscegenation between Jews and non-Jews. Blacks in the American South suffered the same legal disabilities and were the object of much greater spontaneous and sanctioned popular violence than the Jews in prewar Germany.'
To highlight unfolding crimes abroad, the US often summons memories of The Holocaust. The more revealing point, however, is when the US invokes The Holocaust. Crimes of official enemies such as the Khmer Rouge bloodbath in Cambodia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and Serbian ethnic cleansing in Kosovo recall The Holocaust; crimes in which the US is complicit do not.
Just as the Khmer Rouge atrocities were unfolding in Cambodia, the US-backed Indonesian government was slaughtering one-third of the population in East Timor. Yet unlike Cambodia, the East Timor genocide did not rate comparison with The Holocaust; it didn't even rate news coverage.' Just as the Soviet Union was committing what the Simon Wiesenthal Center called "another genocide" in Afghanistan, the US-backed regime in Guatemala was perpetrating what the Guatemalan Truth Commission recently called a "genocide" against the indigenous Mayan population. President Reagan dismissed the charges against the Guatemalan government as a "bum rap." To honor Jeane Kirkpatrick's achievement as chief Reagan Administration apologist for the unfolding crimes in Central America, the Simon Wiesenthal Center awarded her the Humanitarian of the Year Award." Simon Wiesenthal was privately beseeched before the award ceremony to reconsider. He refused. Elie Wiesel was privately asked to intercede with the Israeli government, a main weapons supplier for the Guatemalan butchers. He too refused. The Carter Administration invoked the memory of The
Holocaust as it sought haven for Vietnamese "boat people" fleeing the Communist regime. The Clinton Administration forgot The Holocaust as it forced back Haitian "boat people" fleeing US-supported death squads.
Holocaust memory loomed large as the US-led NATO bombing of Serbia commenced in the spring of 1999. As we have seen, Daniel Goidhagen compared Serbian crimes against Kosovo with the Final Solution and, at President Clinton's bidding, Elie Wiesel journeyed to Kosovar refugee camps in Macedonia and Albania. Already before Wiesel went to shed tears on cue for the Kosovars, however, the US-backed Indonesian regime had resumed where it left off in the late 1970s, perpetrating new massacres in East Timor. The Holocaust vanished from memory, however, as the Clinton Administration acquiesced in the bloodletting. "Indonesia matters," a Western diplomat explained, "and East Timor doesn't."
Novick points to passive US complicity in human disasters dissimilar in other respects yet comparable in scale to the Nazi extermination. Recalling, for example, the million children killed in the Final Solution, he observes that American presidents do little more than utter pieties as, worldwide, many times that number of children "die of malnutrition and preventable diseases" every year." One might also consider a pertinent case of active US complicity. After the United States-led coalition devastated Iraq in 1991 to punish "Saddam-Hitler," the United States and Britain forced murderous UN sanctions on that hapless country in an attempt to depose him. As in the Nazi holocaust, a million children have likely perished.'* Questioned on national television about the grisly death toll in Iraq, Secretary of State Madeleine Aibright replied that "the price is worth ) it."
In late August 2000 the World Jewish Congress (WJC) announced that it stood to amass fully $9 billion in Holocaust compensation monies. They were extracted in the name of "needy Holocaust victims" but the WJC now maintained that the monies belonged to the "Jewish people as a whole" (WJC executive director, Elan Steinberg). Conveniently, the WJC is the self-anointed representative of the "Jewish people as a whole." Meanwhile, a black-tie Holocaust reparations banquet sponsored by WJC president Edgar Bronfman at New York's Pierre Hotel celebrated the creation of a "Foundation of the Jewish People" to subsidize Jewish organizations and "Holocaust education." (One Jewish critic of the "Holocaust-themed dinner" conjured this scenario: "Mass murder. Horrible plunder. Slave labor. Let's eat.") The Foundation's endowment would come from "residual" Holocaust compensation monies amounting to "probably billions of dollars" (Steinberg). How the WJC already knew that "probably billions" would be left over when none of the compensation monies had yet been distributed to Holocaust victims was anyone's guess. Indeed, it was not yet even known how many would qualify. Or, did the Holocaust industry extract compensation monies in the name of "needy Holocaust victims" knowing all along that "probably billions" would be left over? The Holocaust industry bitterly complained that the German and Swiss settlements allotted only meager sums for survivors. It is unclear why the "probably billions" couldn't be used to supplement these allocations.
Predictably, Holocaust survivors reacted with rage. (None was present at the Foundation's creation.) "Who authorized these organizations to decide," a survivor newsletter angrily editorialized, "that the 'leftovers' (in the billions), obtained in the name of Shoah victims, should be used for their pet projects instead of helping ALL holocaust survivors with their mounting health-care expenses?" Confronted with this barrage of negative publicity, the WJC did an abrupt about-face. The $9 billion figure was "a bit misleading," Steinberg subsequently protested. He also claimed that the Foundation had "no cash and no plan for allocating funds," and that the purpose of the Holocaust banquet was not to celebrate the Foundation's endowment from Holocaust compensation monies but rather to raise funds for it. Elderly Jewish survivors, not consulted in advance of, let alone invited to, the "star-studded gala" at the Pierre Hotel, picketed outside.
Among those honored inside the Pierre was President Clinton, who movingly recalled that the United States stood in the forefront of "facing up to an ugly past": "I have been to Native American reservations and acknowledged that the treaties we signed were neither fair nor honorably kept in many cases. I went to Africa ... and acknowledged the responsibility of the United States in buying people into slavery. This is a hard business, struggling to find our core of humanity." Notably absent in all these instances of "hard business" were reparations in hard currency.
... the pretexts invoked by the Holocaust industry to force a non-recoupable settlement on the Swiss banks were false, and that few actual survivors of the Nazi holocaust will directly - or, for that matter, indirectly benefit from the Swiss monies. A comparable analysis of other Holocaust industry settlements would presumably yield comparable results. Indeed, buried in the details of the Gribetz Plan is a nest egg for the Holocaust industry. Most of the Swiss monies probably won! be distributed until after all but a handful of survivors are dead. With the survivors gone, the monies will pour into the coffers of Jewish organizations. Small wonder that the Holocaust industry was unanimous in its praise of the Gribetz Plan.

1 comment:

JDS said...

Holocaust Scholars Defend Professor Norman Finkelstein's Fight for Tenure
http://www.democracynow.org/, May 9, 2007

The battle over political science professor Norman Finkelstein to receive tenure at DePaul University is heating up. Finkelstein - one of the country's foremost critics of Israeli policy - has taught at DePaul for the past six years. His tenure has been overwhelmingly approved at the departmental and college level, but the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has opposed it.
A final decision is expected to be made in the coming weeks. Finkelstein has accused Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz of being responsible for leading the effort to deny him tenure. In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Dershowitz admitted that he had sent a letter to DePaul faculty members lobbying against Finkelstein's tenure. Then last week the Wall Street Journal published an article by Dershowitz titled "Finkelstein's Bigotry." In it, Dershowitz accuses Finkelstein of being an "anti-Semite" and says that he "does not do 'scholarship' in any meaningful sense."
Finkelstein's two main topics of focus over his career have been the Holocaust and Israeli policy. Today we are joined by two world-renowned scholars in these fields:

1. Raul Hilberg. One of the best-known and most distinguished of Holocaust historians. He is author of the seminal three-volume work "The Destruction of the European Jews" and is considered the founder of Holocaust studies. He joins us on the line from his home in Vermont.

2. Avi Shlaim. Professor of international relations at Oxford University. He is the author of numerous books, most notably "The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World." He is widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on the Israeli-Arab conflict.

AMY GOODMAN: The battle over political science professor Norman Finkelstein to receive tenure at DePaul University in Chicago is heating up. Finkelstein is one of the country's foremost critics of Israeli policy. He has taught at DePaul for the past six years. His tenure has been overwhelmingly approved at the departmental and college level. A college-wide faculty panel voted 5-0 to back his ten-year bid, but the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has opposed it. A final decision is expected in the next few weeks.
Professor Finkelstein has accused Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz of being responsible for leading the effort to deny him tenure. In an interview with the Harvard Crimson, Dershowitz admitted he had sent a letter to DePaul faculty members lobbying against Finkelstein's tenure. Then, last week the Wall Street Journal published an article by Dershowitz titled "Finkelstein's Bigotry." In it, Dershowitz accuses Finkelstein of being an anti-Semite and says he "does not do scholarship in any meaningful sense." Professor Finkelstein's two main topics of focus over his career have been the Holocaust and Israeli policy.
Today, we're joined by two world-renowned scholars in these fields. Raul Hilberg is one of the best known and most distinguished of Holocaust historians. He is author of the seminal three-volume work, The Destruction of the European Jews. He's considered the founder of Holocaust studies. He joins us from his home in Vermont. Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at Oxford University in Britain. He is the author of numerous books, most notably The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. He's widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on the Israeli-Arab conflict.
We'll begin in Vermont with Professor Hilberg. Can you talk about Professor Finkelstein's contribution to Holocaust studies with his book, The Holocaust Industry?
RAUL HILBERG: Yes. I read this book, which was published about seven years ago, even as I, myself, was researching actions brought against Swiss companies, notably banks, but also other enterprises in insurance and in manufacturing. And the gist of all of these claims, all of these actions, was that somehow the Swiss banks, in particular, and other enterprises, as well, owed money to Jews or the survivors or the living descendants of people who were victims. The actions were brought by claims lawyers, by the World Jewish Congress, which joined them, and a blitz was launched in the newspapers. Congressmen and senators were mobilized, officials of regulatory agencies in New York and elsewhere. Threats were issued in the nature of withdrawal of pension funds, of boycotts, of bad publicity.
And I was struck by the fact, even as I, myself, was researching the same territory that Professor Finkelstein was covering, that the Swiss did not owe that money, that the $1,250,000,000 that were agreed as a settlement to be paid to the claimants was something that in very plain language was extorted from the Swiss. I had, in fact, relied upon the same sources that Professor Finkelstein used, perhaps in addition some Swiss items. I was in Switzerland at the height of the crisis, and I heard from so-called forensic accountants about how totally surprised the Swiss were by this outburst. There is no other word for it.
Now, Finkelstein was the first to publish what was happening in his book The Holocaust Industry. And when I was asked to endorse the book, I did so with specific reference to these claims. I felt that within the Jewish community over the centuries, nothing like it had ever happened. And even though these days a couple of billion dollars are sometimes referred to as an accounting error and not worthy of discussion, there is a psychological dimension here which not must be underestimated.
I was also struck by the fact that Finkelstein was being attacked over and over. And granted, his style is a little different from mine, but I was saying the same thing, and I had published my results in that three-volume work, published in 2003 by Yale University Press, and I did not hear from anybody a critical word about what I said, even though it was the same substantive conclusion that Finkelstein had offered. So that's the gist of the matter right then and there.
AMY GOODMAN: Why do you think, Professor Hilberg, he was criticized and you were not?
RAUL HILBERG: Well, Finkelstein -- I believe Finkelstein was criticized mainly for the style that he employed. And he was vulnerable. And it was clear to me already years ago that some campaigns were launched -- from what sector, I didn't know -- to remove him from the academic world. Years ago, I got a phone call from someone who was in charge of a survivors' group in California who told me that Finkelstein had been ousted from a job in New York City at a university -- actually, a college there -- and this was done under pressure.
And then, again, I gave a lecture a year and a half ago in Chicago, which is the place where Finkelstein had been employed at DePaul University, and my lecture was about Auschwitz, and it was based on the records, which we've now recovered from Moscow, about the history of this camp. Not exactly a simple topic. But there was a question period, and I awaited pertinent questions, when someone rose from his chair and asked, "Should Finkelstein be tenured?" Now, for heaven's sake, I said to myself, what is going on here?
And whether he's being intimidated, whether he is in a situation where, whatever else may be happening, the employers are being intimidated, it's hard for me to say, but there is very clearly a campaign, which was made very obvious in the Wall Street Journal, when Professor Dershowitz wrote in a style which is highly uncharacteristic of the editorial page of this newspaper, which incidentally I read religiously. So I, myself, cannot fully explain this outburst, but it clearly emanates from the same anger, from the same revolt, that prompted the whole action against the Swiss to begin with.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring Professor Avi Shlaim into this discussion, a professor of international relations at Oxford University, has written numerous books, including The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. Can you talk about the significance of Professor Finkelstein's work?
AVI SHLAIM: Yes. I think very highly of Professor Finkelstein. I regard him as a very able, very erudite and original scholar who has made an important contribution to the study of Zionism, to the study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, in particular, to the study of American attitudes towards Israel and towards the Middle East.
Professor Finkelstein specializes in exposing spurious scholarship on the Arab-Israeli conflict. And he has a very impressive track record in this respect. He was a very promising graduate student in history at Princeton, when a book by Joan Peters appeared, called From Time Immemorial, and he wrote the most savage exposition in critique of this book. It was a systematic demolition of this book. The book argued, incidentally, that Palestine was a land without a people for people without a land. And Professor Finkelstein exposed it as a hoax, and he showed how dishonest the scholarship or spurious scholarship was in the entire book. And he paid the price for his courage, and he has been a marked man, in a sense, in America ever since. His most recent book is Beyond Chutzpah, follows in the same vein of criticizing and exposing biases and distortions and falsifications in what Americans write about Israel and about the Middle East. So I consider him to be a very impressive and a very learned and careful scholar.
I would like to make one last point, which is that his style is very polemical, and I don't particularly enjoy the strident polemical style that he employs. On the other hand, what really matters in the final analysis is the content, and the content of his books, in my judgment, is of very high quality.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Shlaim, what about the whole issue of when you criticize the Israeli government, being charged with anti-Semitism? What is your response to this? You were born in Iraq. You're also an Israeli citizen and then moved to Britain?
AVI SHLAIM: I am. I was born in Baghdad. I grew up in Israel. I served in IDF. And for the last forty years, I have lived in Britain, and I teach at Oxford. My academic discipline is international relations, and I am a specialist in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
And I think that there is no -- that we must be very careful to separate questions of anti-Semitism from critique of Israel. I am critical of Israel as a scholar, and anti-Semitism just doesn't come into it. My view is that the blind supporters of Israel -- and there are many of them in America, in particular -- use the charge of anti-Semitism to try and silence legitimate criticism of Israeli practices. I regard this as moral blackmail. Israel has no immunity to criticism, moral immunity to criticism, because of the Holocaust. Israel is a sovereign nation-state, and it should be judged by the same standards as any other state. And Norman Finkelstein is a very serious critic and a very well-informed critic and hard-hitting critic of Israeli practices in the occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians.
His last book, Beyond Chutzpah, is based on an amazing amount of research. He seems to have read everything. He has gone through the reports of Israeli groups, of human rights groups, Human Rights Watch and Peace Now and B'Tselem, all of the reports of Amnesty International. And he deploys all this evidence from Israeli and other sources in order to sustain his critique of Israeli practices, Israeli violations of human rights of the Palestinians, Israeli house demolitions, the targeted assassinations of Palestinian militants, the cutting down of trees, the building of the wall -- the security barrier on the West Bank, which is illegal -- the restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in the West Bank, and so on and so forth. I find his critique extremely detailed, well-documented and accurate.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Hilberg, like you, Norman Finkelstein is the son of Holocaust victims, his mother and his father both in concentration camps. Your final thoughts on this whole dispute and whether Norman Finkelstein should get tenure at DePaul University in Chicago?
RAUL HILBERG: Well, let me say at the outset, I would not, unasked, offer advice to the university in which he now serves. Having been in a university for thirty-five years myself and engaged in its politics, I know that outside interferences are most unwelcome. I will say, however, that I am impressed by the analytical abilities of Finkelstein. He is, when all is said and done, a highly trained political scientist who was given a PhD degree by a highly prestigious university. This should not be overlooked. Granted, this, by itself, may not establish him as a scholar.
However, leaving aside the question of style -- and here, I agree that it's not my style either -- the substance of the matter is most important here, particularly because Finkelstein, when he published this book, was alone. It takes an enormous amount of academic courage to speak the truth when no one else is out there to support him. And so, I think that given this acuity of vision and analytical power, demonstrating that the Swiss banks did not owe the money, that even though survivors were beneficiaries of the funds that were distributed, they came, when all is said and done, from places that were not obligated to pay that money. That takes a great amount of courage in and of itself. So I would say that his place in the whole history of writing history is assured, and that those who in the end are proven right triumph, and he will be among those who will have triumphed, albeit, it so seems, at great cost.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Professor Raul Hilberg and Professor Avi Shlaim, I want to thank you both very much for being with us. Raul Hilberg, speaking to us from his home in Vermont, one of the best-known and most distinguished of Holocaust historians, his three-volume work is The Destruction of the European Jews. Avi Shlaim, professor of international relations at Oxford University in Britain, his book, his latest, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. Thank you very much for joining us.