KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
Posted: January 18,
2006 - יום
Norman Finkelstein justified an Economic Boycott of Israel?
written by Mr. Ostroff to the Aftenoposten,
in response to an article that appeared in the January 14 issue of
the Norwegian newspaper, written by Norman
is disappointing that Norway's Finance Minister Kristin
Halvorsen and others feel obliged to back a boycott of Israeli goods.
While, no doubt, they are sincerely motivated, it appears that their
motivation is largely influenced by convincing but misleading propaganda.
Take for example the article "Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is
Justified" by Norman Finkelstein which appeared in the Norwegian
newspaper Aftenposten on January 14. It is typical of the strident
polemics lately emanating from Iran and other sources which cannot
be evaluated except by examining the credibility of the authors.
Very sadly it is apparent that
Finkelstein's childhood experiences as described by him in interviews, are
responsible for his greatly distorted views of Israel and the holocaust.
Both his father and mother were survivors of the Nazi concentration camps
and apart from them, every family member on both sides was exterminated.
But his parents reacted differently from other survivors.
Incredibly, he relates that the tales
of Holocaust survivors were a special source of "wry amusement in
his home". With that background, it is hardly surprising
that he reacts so irrationally to Israel and to all who are unable to
treat that immense human tragedy lightly or with any trace of amusement.
Finkelstein is best known for his book The
Holocaust Industry, which is eagerly quoted and highly praised in
Palestinian and other anti-Israel circles. Elsewhere it has been
treated more critically. The New York Times (Aug. 6, 2000) described it as
a novel variation of the infamous and discredited Protocols of the Elders
of Zion and described Finkelstein as juvenile, arrogant, and stupid. The
German historian Prof. Hans Momsen called it "a most trivial book,
which appeals to easily aroused anti-Semitic prejudices
On the question of universal justice,
Finkelstein raises a suspicion of lack of sincerity. He has been quoted as
saying The time is long past to open our hearts to the rest of humanity's
sufferings. Yet he ignores his own appeal by focusing his entire attention
on attacking Israel, while ignoring the very real humanitarian needs in
Darfur and elsewhere.
more articles by Maurice Ostroff
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