[I]f, as all studies agree, current resentment against Jews has coincided with Israel’s brutal repression of the Palestinians, then the prudent, not to mention moral, thing to do is end the occupation. A full Israeli withdrawal would also deprive those real anti-Semites exploiting Israeli policy as a pretext to demonize Jews-and ho can doubt they exist?-of a dangerous weapon as well as expose their real agenda. And the more vocally Jews dissent from Israel’s occupation, the fewer will be those non-Jews who mistake Israel’s criminal policies and the uncritical support (indeed encouragement) of mainline Jewish organizations for the popular Jewish mood.
Norman Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Berkeley, 2005, p. 16
Once upon a time, dissenting intellectuals deployed robust political categories such as “power” and “interests,” on the one hand, and “ideology,” on the other. Today, all that remains is the bland, depoliticized language of “concerns” and “memory”.
Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering, London, 2000, p. 5
Depending on where along the political spectrum power is situated, apostates almost always make their corrective leap in that direction, discovering the virtues of the status quo. “The last thing you can be accused of is having turned your coat,” Thomas Mann wrote a convert to National Socialism right after Hitler’s seizure of power. “You always wore it the ‘right’ way around.” If apostasy weren’t conditioned by power considerations, one would anticipate roughly equal movements in both directions. But that’s never been the case. The would-be apostate almost always pulls towards power’s magnetic field, rarely away.
Norman Finkelstein, ‘Fraternally Yours, Chris’
The goal of ‘disappearing’ the indigenous Arab population points to a virtual truism buried beneath a mountain of apologetic Zionist literature: what spurred Palestinians’ opposition to Zionism was not anti-Semitism, in the sense of an irrational or abstract hatred of Jews, but rather the prospect—very real—of their own expulsion.
Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, London, 2003, pp. xii-xiii
Only the willfully blind could miss noticing that Israel’s March-April invasion of the West Bank, ‘Operation Defensive Shield’, was largely a replay of the June invasion of Lebanon. To crush the Palestinians’ goal of an independent state alongside Israel—the PLO’s ‘peace offensive’—Israel laid plans in September 1981 to invade Lebanon. In order to launch the invasion, however, it needed the green light from the Reagan administration and a pretext. Much to its chagrin and despite multiple provocations, Israel was unable to elicit a Palestinian attack on its northern border. It accordingly escalated the air assaults on southern Lebanon and after a particularly murderous attack that left two hundred civilians dead (including sixty occupants of a Palestinian children’s hospital), the PLO finally retaliated, killing one Israeli. With this key pretext in hand and a green light now forthcoming from the Reagan administration, Israel invaded. Using the same slogan of ‘tooting our Palestinian terror’, Israel proceeded to massacre a defenseless population, killing some 20,000 Palestinians and Lebanese between June and September 1982, almost all civilians. One might note by comparison that, as of May 2002, the official Israeli figure for Jews ‘who gave their lives for the creation and security of the Jewish State’—that is, the total number of Jews who perished in (mostly) wartime combat or in terrorist attacks from the dawn of the Zionist movement 120 years ago until the present day—comes to 21,182.
Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, London, 2003, p. xxiii
[I]t is impossible to rationalise to oneself why you should have a meaningful and satisfying life, and these people have to endure a meaningless and horrifying life. It is impossible to rationalise, unless you consider yourself a superior human being and deserve better[.]
Norman Finkelstein, ‘How to Lose Friends and Alienate People’, Counterpunch, December 13, 2001