Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Norman Finkelstein

Anyone who believes that it is unfair that Norman Finkelstein did not receive tenure should read the man's review of Jan Gross's Neighbors. This piece of tendentious and antisemitic garbage, which he proudly published in a right-of-center Polish newspaper, should have been enough to sway any university committee against giving Finkelstein tenure.


Rebecca said...

I am curious to know how it is that Finkelstein became capable of writing such anti-semitic nonsense. Aren't his parents survivors of the Holocaust?

Amos said...

The human mind works in mysterious ways.

A deposition about a massacre in nearby Radziłów, also cited by Jan Gross in his work, was left by a Menachem Finkelsztajn (Neighbors, 57ff). Let's hope there is no relation.

Anonymous said...

Hazbani thinking.
Well good people, it is a long and slippery road from Chomski to Finkel and then to Nethurei Karto and some nice fine liberal Israeli Jews that write in Haaretz and others that are travelling all over spreading base lies about Jews and Israel. At the end it is Gantz and Rumakovaski and many Capoes and such and much much worse. Is there is any good analysis of this phenomenon? I have never heard of such and I have been looking since about 1950. In broken colloquial hebrew one says; Ze MA Yesh.

Alex Stein said...

We want more! Can we have a more detailed critique on the review please? It would help the casual observers among us!

eamonn mcdonagh said...

I second alex´s request

Amos said...

Sorry guys, I won't really have time for something like that until after my qualifying exams, and I don't think it's worth it.

All I will say now is that at the very least, this review fails as a piece of scholarship because it completely misunderstands Gross's contribution to the historiography. Finkelstein has no idea at all about the place of Neighbors in the historiography on the Holocaust, which the attempt to link Gross to Goldhagen makes clear. The book is widely recognized as an important contribution, especially since it came from someone who is highly respected for his previous work on Polish society during WWII. The "Holocaust industry" schema is so reductive, and Finkelstein's obsessive effort to link to it every piece of historical writing about the Shoah by Jews is mental illness, not scholarship.

Finally, Finkelstein's attempts to relativize the Nazi dictatorship and its genocidal policies by comparing the "political opportunism" of Tony Judt to that of collaborators with the Soviets and Nazis is perverse.

Nizo said...

I attended a lecture by Finkelstein when he came to Montreal in the late 90's (sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Committee of McGill).

I would compare his nuance-less monochrome world-view and the abrasiveness of his style to that of George Galloway.

That said, perhaps Finkelstein should move to Glasgow or even Tehran for his future academic endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Hazbani saying.
To any body who care have a good year, good in your own terms. And then in general good next year to all.
And to Amos: do well on your exams.

Anonymous said...

This is the original F. review of Gross's book.


Here are some critical views of his remarks.