Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holocaust denier returns home to Coney Island

Some of you may recall Norman Finkelstein, the Jewish anti-Semite and Holocaust denier who was denied tenure at DePaul University back in June. New York Magazine feels sorry for Norman, who has gone home to Coney Island where he lives and walks the beach in splendid and richly deserved anonymity among the Jews. (Hat Tip: Steven Plaut)

“It’s like death,” Finkelstein says. “You keep saying you’re going to die, but you never really come to grips with it. And I can see I’m not going to get another job. I haven’t yet fully absorbed it.”

His days are now spent in solitary scholarly pursuits; his bookshelves buckle under the weight of tomes by Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky. Notes of support from his students sit on a piano; there’s a photo of him and Noam Chomsky (“my closest friend”) bare-chested on the beach at Cape Cod.

He was a Maoist revolutionary in his youth. By his own account, his academic career was bedeviled from the start by his politics: It took him thirteen years to wrest his doctorate from Princeton, since no faculty member would agree to advise him on his thesis, an analysis of Zionism. When he finally did earn the degree, none would write him a recommendation. He went on to take a series of adjunct posts—at Brooklyn College, Hunter, and NYU—rarely earning more than $20,000 a year.

At DePaul, where he arrived six years ago, his situation improved. But the success of The Holocaust Industry, which was translated into over two dozen languages and was a best seller in Germany, raised his profile, and the critics mobilized. Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz waged a fierce campaign against him, preparing a dossier of Finkelstein’s “clearest and most egregious instances of dishonesty.” Still, his department, and the college, recommended him for tenure. But the university’s promotion-and-tenure board voted 4-3 against him, and DePaul’s president refused to overturn the decision.

Afterward, Finkelstein says, he lost seventeen pounds. “People saw me wasting away,” he says. A student group held a hunger strike; Chomsky and others defended him. One of his colleagues made him a mix CD with tracks like “I Will Survive” and “What’s Goin’ On?” “I’m an old fan of the Negro spirituals,” Finkelstein says. “I was going around singing to myself, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there?’ That’s how I felt. I was being crucified by the end.”

The son of survivors of the Warsaw ghetto and Nazi death camps, Finkelstein was raised in Borough Park and later Mill Basin, where he attended high school a few years behind Chuck Schumer. His parents became atheists after the war.

His new building remains heavily Jewish. A friend of Finkelstein’s father once approached him in the lobby and urged him to tone it down. “Norman,” he told him, “you’re getting older, and all the old-age homes are owned by Jews. If you keep this up, you’re not going to have anywhere to go.”

As you can see, I'm crying my eyes out for Normy. I'm sure all of you are too. Maybe by next year, New York Magazine won't write about him anymore. On the other hand, he could always become an adviser to Dhimmi Carter on Jewish affairs.


At 12:33 AM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

I can't figure this guy out. Evidently he goes around saying that his parents were survivors of the Holocaust, yet he denies the Holocaust? What's that about? Is he one of these people who say it sorta happened but wasn't really that sweeping, or what?

Btw, I have a good friend who is a staff member at DePaul. She said that she never met him or had any contact with him but that the talk among the staff was that Finkelstein was sufficiently unpleasant that you were lucky if you never had to deal with him. Aside from anything else, it's unfortunate that once you hire somebody as faculty in the first place it's nigh-impossible to take into account in any open fashion the fact that he's a total jerk.

At 1:20 AM, Blogger Nannette said...

Let him suffer and starve.

He's fabricated lies about the Holocaust and about Israel.

He should rot in hell.

At 1:53 AM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

“I was going around singing to myself, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there?’ That’s how I felt. I was being crucified by the end.”

He claims the Jews are "crucifying" him. Interesting.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I take satisfaction in every one shunning him. Norman the Nazi is the closest human version of a deadly plague. And his praise for Hezbollah on Lebanese TV two months after Carl penned the blog revealed how insane the guy is. Even his very attractive Arab interviewer didn't know what to make of him. There are a few people in the world as far as I'm concerned who should neither be seen or heard. Someone who reviles his own people fits that description and Norman Finkelstein fits it to a T.

Good riddance!


Post a Comment

<< Home