Friday, February 22, 2008

Norman Finkelstein Tells Us What He Is

Norman Finkelstein is member of the pathological subset of Jews who revel in spreading hatred of their own people. Undoubtedly, he and others will be responsible for furthering the careers of numerous psychologists and psychiatrists.

It's rather interesting to watch him perform, strutting at a podium and getting an emotional high from spreading venom. At the present time, he seems to be a free agent after having been kicked out of his fifth university.

We include here annotated excerpts from a January 20, 2008 interview in which he effectively praised Hezbollah, the terrorist organization whose alleged raison d'être vanished in 2000 when Israel completely left Lebanon.

The interview was conducted in Arabic and English. The English transcript is courtesy of MEMRI, The Middle East Media Research Institute.

The annotations are from PRIMER-Connecticut; the unannotated, more complete MEMRI transcript may be viewed at

The Middle East Media Research Institute
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: [202] 955-9070 Fax: [202] 955-9077 E-Mail:

January 20, 2008
Clip No. 1676

American Political Scientist Norman Finkelstein: "Israel Has to Suffer a Defeat"

Following are excerpts from an interview with American Political Scientist Norman Finkelstein, which aired on Future TV on January 20, 2008. The questions were posed in Arabic, and Finkelstein's responses are in English.

Norman Finkelstein: I was of course happy to meet the Hizbullah people,

[… because they too hate Israel …]

because it is a point of view that is rarely heard in the United States. I have no problem saying that I do want to express solidarity with them, and I am not going to be a coward of a hypocrite about it. I don't care about Hizbullah as a political organization.

[Hezbollah isn't much of a political organization. It's basically a terrorist organization. It supposedly began to drive Israel out of Lebanon, even though
  • Israel was only in Lebanon because Arab terrorists were attacking Israel from Lebanon
  • Israel agreed to leave Lebanon as part of a peace treaty which Lebanon negotiated but eventually refused to sign after Bashir Gemayel was assassinated
  • Israel left most of Lebanon even after Lebanon refused to sign the peace treaty it negotiated
  • Israel completely left Lebanon in 2000, even without the treaty
Besides being busy murdering Israelis, Hezbollah has been active in helping Syria keep Lebanon in chaos.

So it's no wonder Finkelstein wants to express his solidarity with Hezbollah.]

I don't know much about their politics, and anyhow, it's irrelevant. I don't live in Lebanon. It's a choice that the Lebanese have to make: Who they want to be their leaders, who they want to represent them.

[Hezbollah, of course, has been a major force in preventing the Lebanese from choosing their government and in furthering the Syrian role in destroying Lebanon.]

But there is a fundamental principle. People have the right to defend their country from foreign occupiers, and people have the right to defend their country from invaders who are destroying their country. That to me is a very basic, elementary and uncomplicated question.

[One thus wonders why Finkelstein is expressing solidarity with a foreign-supported terrorist group which is helping a foreign country, Syria, continue to effectively occupy Lebanon.

The reason, of course, is that Finkelstein, isn't interested in having the Lebanese defend themselves from the Syrian occupiers; he's just interested in destroying Israel.]

My parents went through World War II. Now, Stalin's regime was not exactly a bed of roses. It was a ruthless and brutal regime, and many people perished. But who didn't support the Soviet Union when they defeated the Nazis? Who didn't support the Red Army? In all the countries of Europe which were occupied 'Ä' who gets all the honors? The resistance. The Communist resistance 'Ä' it was brutal, it was ruthless. The Communists were not... It wasn't a bed of roses, but you respect them. You respect them because they resisted the foreign occupiers of their country. If I am going to honor the Communists during World War II, even through I probably would not have done very well under their regimes... If I'm going to honor them, I am going to honor the Hizbullah. They show courage, and they show discipline. I respect that.

[Finkelstein has his analogy backwards, since Hezbollah's role is analogous to the role of the Nazi collaborators.]

Interviewer: That is an accurate description of the situation before 2000, but after 2000, the Israelis withdrew from South Lebanon. There was a rift within Lebanon between the Lebanese political players on the issue of the future of the weapons and the issue of the resistance. This rift, which has taken place... You are now taking sides. After all, you are saying that you are only visiting Lebanon, but you don't see the ramification of the July war for the people.

Norman Finkelstein: Listen, if you want to close your eyes and believe it was all over in May 2000, you can do so. You can play that game. But the reality was - and everyone understood it - that the Israeli attitude was: We are going to knock out Hizbullah. They began planning for a new war right after they were forced to leave in 2000. They found their excuse, their pretext, in July 2006, but there is no question among rational people that Israel was never going to let the Hizbullah victory go by. They were determined to teach their...

[Israel never wanted to be in Lebanon in the first place, was happy to get out and hoping to never have to go back.

Unfortunately, Hezbollah never stopped launching attacks against Israel and no nation could stand idly by as a terrorist group like Hezbollah crosses into its terroritory and murders and kidnaps Israeli citizens.]

Interviewer: The war could have been avoided.

Norman Finkelstein: It could not have been avoided. There is no way that the United States and Israel are going to tolerate any resistance in the Arab world. If you want to pretend it can be avoided, you can play that game. But serious people, clear-headed people, knew there was going to be a war sooner or later.

[Hezbollah isn't resisting any Israeli actions; it's resisting Israel's existence.]

Do you think there is not going to be another war? Do you think Israel is going to allow that defeat in July 2006? Do you want to pretend it is Hizbullah that is causing the trouble?

[Hezbollah continues to held Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser hostage, assuming Hezbollah hasn't already murdered them.

In violation of any human decency, they've even refused any contact with Eldad and Ehud, even by the International Red Cross.]

No, there will be another war, and the destruction will probably be ten times worse - maybe even more - than July 2006, because Israel is determined, with the United States, to put the Arabs in their place and to keep them in their place.

[Israel simply wants the Arabs to let it live in peace; it wants its citizens to live normal lives.]

Israel and the United States are attacking, because they will not allow any military resistance to their control of the region. That's the problem. If Hizbullah laid down its arms, and said: We will do whatever the Americans say, you wouldn't have a war - that's true, but you would also be the slaves of the Americans. I have to respect those who refuse to be slaves.

[If Hezbollah laid down its arms, the simple result would be peace. Israel has no demands of Lebanon other than to be left to live in peace, although it would be nice to be able to travel back and forth and actually have friendly relations.]

Interviewer: Is there no other way than military resistance?

Norman Finkelstein: I don't believe there is another way. I wish there were another way. Who wants war? Who wants destruction?

[Hamas, Fatah and the PLO all declare the central role of "armed struggle," regardless of whether it's needed.]

Even Hitler didn't want war. He would much prefer to have accomplished his aims peacefully, if he could.

[Finkelstein is effectively arguing that the Arabs are less civilized than Hitler.]

So I am not saying that I want it, but I honestly don't see another way, unless you choose to be their slaves - and many people here have chosen that. I can't really say... I can understand it - you want to live. I can't really say I respect it. You know, so many dead, so much destruction... Before the bodies are even buried, before the buildings are even rebuilt, the person who is responsible for it all - you can't wait to welcome him. You can't wait to roll out the red carpet. I can't respect that.

In that respect, I like the Jews much more. I like their attitude. Do you know what the Jewish attitude is? Never to forgive, never to forget. I agree with that. Who roll out the red carpet less than two years after your whole country was destroyed by them? The Secretary of State said it was the birth pangs of a new Middle East. That's the statement of a freak. A human freak would compare the birth of a child with the destruction of a country, and yet, there are people here who are so anxious to welcome her. They are trying to figure out what the Americans are thinking. They can't wait for their banquets. How can anyone respect that? I respect the Jews a thousand times more - never to forgive, never to forget. All the death and all the destruction - and you can't wait to welcome him.

[It took a while to realize what was in Finkelstein's convoluted mind. Most of his arguments would logically lead to support for anyone working to drive both Syria and Hezbollah out of Lebanon.]

Interviewer: Norman...

Norman Finkelstein: It's disgusting!
Who the hell cares if Bush is coming?

Interviewer: But you say there will be another war.

Norman Finkelstein: You should have declared him persona non grata. He's not welcome here. He destroyed your country. He was responsible for the war. You know full well that resolution could have been passed three weeks earlier. He destroys your country, and you can't wait to greet him. You have no self-respect. How can you expect other people to respect Arabs, if you show no respect for yourselves?

[Arafat, Syria and Hezbollah destroyed Lebanon.]

If the Lebanese people overwhelmingly vote to let the Americans and Israelis have their way, I guess you have to accept that. I could see that. I couldn't possibly say that they don't have the right to make that choice. Listen, in Nazi-occupied Europe, you have to remember, most of the populations made the choice to live under the Nazis. All this talk about a French Resistance is just a joke - it never happened. The French Resistance... About 20% of the French population read the Resistance's newspaper. There were maybe 10% of the French who resisted. The rest said: Don't resist, because the Nazis were ruthless. You resist - four hundred are killed for each soldier who's killed. That's how the Nazis operated. So most of the French said, like you: We want to live. Don't resist. But now I have to ask you, in retrospect: Who do we honor? Do we honor those who say: Let us live, or do we honor those who said: Let's resist?


Leaders come last. There will be a leader who comes to power in Israel, who is willing to make the concessions, after the conditions have been created - namely, Israel has to suffer a defeat.

[Let's see now:
  • Israel offered to give back virtually all the disputed territory after 1967 — but Finkelstein doesn't consider that a concession.
  • Israel gave all of the Sinai back to Egypt in 1956 and again with the treaty with Egypt — but Finkelstein doesn't consider that a concession.
  • Israel pulled out of most of Lebanon even after Lebanon reneged on the treaty it negotiated — but Finkelstein doesn't consider that a concession.
  • Israel completely pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, asking absolutely nothing in return — but Finkelstein doesn't consider that a concession.
  • Israel offered the Palestinian Arabs all of Gaza, almost all of Judea and Samaria, and threw in part of its own capital city to boot — but Finkelstein doesn't consider that a concession.
  • Israel completely left Gaza, taking every last Jew with it — but Finkelstein doesn't consider that a concession.
Meanwhile, the supposedly "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas/Abu Mazen hasn't budged from the extreme demands Yassir Arafat started with a decade and a half ago.

The problem has never been an Israeli willingness to compromise; the problem is the Arabs have yet to reconcile themselves to the existence of Israel.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization providing translations of the Middle East media and original analysis and research on developments in the region. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: [202] 955-9070
Fax: [202] 955-9077

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