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In this long-awaited sequel to his international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched exposé of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Bringing to bear the latest findings on the conflict and recasting the scholarly debate, Finkelstein In this long-awaited sequel to his international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched exposé of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Bringing to bear the latest findings on the conflict and recasting the scholarly debate, Finkelstein points to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record. Why, then, does so much controversy swirl around the conflict? Finkelstein’s answer, copiously documented, is that apologists for Israel contrive controversy. Whenever Israel comes under international pressure, another media campaign alleging a global outbreak of anti-Semitism is mounted. Finkelstein also scrutinizes the proliferation of distortion masquerading as history. Recalling Joan Peters’ book From Time Immemorial, published to great fanfare in 1984 but subsequently exposed as an academic hoax, he asks deeply troubling questions here about the periodic reappearance of spurious scholarship and the uncritical acclaim it receives. The most recent addition to this genre, Finkelstein argues, is Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s bestseller, The Case for Israel. The core analysis of Beyond Chutzpah sets Dershowitz’s assertions on Israel’s human rights record against the findings of the mainstream human rights community. Sifting through thousands of pages of reports from organizations such as Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and Human Rights Watch, Finkelstein argues that Dershowitz has misrepresented the facts. Thoroughly researched and tightly argued, Beyond Chutzpah lifts the veil of controversy shrouding the Israel-Palestine conflict.


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In this long-awaited sequel to his international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched exposé of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Bringing to bear the latest findings on the conflict and recasting the scholarly debate, Finkelstein In this long-awaited sequel to his international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched exposé of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Bringing to bear the latest findings on the conflict and recasting the scholarly debate, Finkelstein points to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record. Why, then, does so much controversy swirl around the conflict? Finkelstein’s answer, copiously documented, is that apologists for Israel contrive controversy. Whenever Israel comes under international pressure, another media campaign alleging a global outbreak of anti-Semitism is mounted. Finkelstein also scrutinizes the proliferation of distortion masquerading as history. Recalling Joan Peters’ book From Time Immemorial, published to great fanfare in 1984 but subsequently exposed as an academic hoax, he asks deeply troubling questions here about the periodic reappearance of spurious scholarship and the uncritical acclaim it receives. The most recent addition to this genre, Finkelstein argues, is Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s bestseller, The Case for Israel. The core analysis of Beyond Chutzpah sets Dershowitz’s assertions on Israel’s human rights record against the findings of the mainstream human rights community. Sifting through thousands of pages of reports from organizations such as Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and Human Rights Watch, Finkelstein argues that Dershowitz has misrepresented the facts. Thoroughly researched and tightly argued, Beyond Chutzpah lifts the veil of controversy shrouding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

30 review for Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Margitte

    I probably would do well with an opinion piece and hope to get away with it as a review. Let's start with the book itself. One Jewish scholar, Norman G. Finkelstein, attacks another, Alan Dershowitz, and it gets ugly. The problem between the two is....wait for it....Israel. And in particular, Dershowitz's book The Case For Israel. Finkelstein revels in the plagiarism by Dershowitz and accuses the latter of preventing the former to get tenure at his university. A plethora of footnotes and evidence I probably would do well with an opinion piece and hope to get away with it as a review. Let's start with the book itself. One Jewish scholar, Norman G. Finkelstein, attacks another, Alan Dershowitz, and it gets ugly. The problem between the two is....wait for it....Israel. And in particular, Dershowitz's book The Case For Israel. Finkelstein revels in the plagiarism by Dershowitz and accuses the latter of preventing the former to get tenure at his university. A plethora of footnotes and evidence is provided en masse. Dershowitz tried to get the publishing of this book stopped. It did not work. Freedom of speech, according to the US Constitution, is a human right. Somewhere along the line there is an expression stating that something you did will come back to haunt you. While this book was published for the first time in 2005, and an update in 2008, with an impressive preface, the irony is inescapable in the current cacophonic political chaos of 2019. What happens to dissidents of a particular political view, or historical viewpoint, is legendary, particularly in the Jewish enclave, where global politics, media and banking are precision controlled. That's no secret. So what makes this book different from the multitude of choices on Goodreads regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict ? I guess it is for the reader to decide. I'm not convinced that it is the best choice in this genre, but it sure profiles the conflict within the Jewish community and how it is dealt with. There are several Jewish, as well as non-Jewish historians who challenge the acceptable historical narratives of the world. The outcome for the dissents are dire, but it's slowly changing. For instance, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's book Two Hundred Years Together depicting the Russian Jewish history, is still banned in many countries, thanks to the Jewish influences everywhere. However, it is becoming more readily available all over the world, thanks to the internet. Another correction of history, although still viciously opposed, is the truth behind the political warfare on Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy. Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies . He was proven correct by the publication of the Venona Papers in 1995. The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors by Herbert Romerstein, Eric Breindel . Prof. Finkelstein is a man of principles. His runaway bestseller The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering , had a few tempers in a knot, but he had the conviction to expose the unmentionable. He is ripping the bite out of being called anti-Semite. For that alone, he deserves a few stars. After all, he is joined by thousands of Anti-Zionist Jews around the world. There are fascinating, highly interesting reviews of this book on GR. I recommend them to everyone interested in this sad part of history.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ned Rifle

    This is a thorough and well researched book - no surprise there. What makes this book far more enjoyable than others on the Israeli-Palestine conflict is that it is framed as an elaborate and detailed rebuttal of Alan Dershowitz's 'The Case for Israel'. Alan Dershowitz is a horrid but hilarious character, always one to go to for an original idea (see his idea to put the separation wall on wheels: "I proposed, actually, that the security fence be placed on wheels and constantly be able to be mov This is a thorough and well researched book - no surprise there. What makes this book far more enjoyable than others on the Israeli-Palestine conflict is that it is framed as an elaborate and detailed rebuttal of Alan Dershowitz's 'The Case for Israel'. Alan Dershowitz is a horrid but hilarious character, always one to go to for an original idea (see his idea to put the separation wall on wheels: "I proposed, actually, that the security fence be placed on wheels and constantly be able to be moved consistent with Israeli security needs." ), and it is nice to have a reason for occasional levity in what is, naturally, a very serious book. For the original debate between the 2 relevant men in which Finkelstein accuses Dershowitz of plagiarism, and plagiarism of a purported hoax at that, go here: http://www.democracynow.org/2003/9/24... Seeing as Dershowitz launched a huge campaign to discredit Finkelstein and this book which eventually led to Finkelstein having his tenure denied, the least you can do is read this book. One last point: I find it deeply disturbing the amount of reviews on the page for 'The Case for Israel' that start by saying they were looking for an unbiased account of the Israeli-Palestine conflict and that this book managed nicely. On what level do they fail to understand that the book is 'The Case For Israel'?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hatuxka

    This is a careful, comprehensive, concise work that provides understanding of why Israel is so reviled in the world and which indicts, through its focus on one highly visible, well-connected, "media-savvy" apologist, Alan Dershowitz, an entire class of mainstream elite. This elite regularly justify war crimes and horrific human rights abuses on TV and other media. The sections on collective punishment (destroying homes of the accused, their family members and sometimes neighbors, even with them This is a careful, comprehensive, concise work that provides understanding of why Israel is so reviled in the world and which indicts, through its focus on one highly visible, well-connected, "media-savvy" apologist, Alan Dershowitz, an entire class of mainstream elite. This elite regularly justify war crimes and horrific human rights abuses on TV and other media. The sections on collective punishment (destroying homes of the accused, their family members and sometimes neighbors, even with them in it in some cases (!!!!) torture, assassinations, use of human shields and hostage-taking are particularly anger-inducing. Finkelstein saves the best for last, indicting the morally bankrupt Israel supreme court (who have legalized, explicitly or implicitly, all these practices) while juxtaposing Dershowitz's fulsome praise of of their legal uprightness and integrity. He closes by showing what a brazen phony and plagiarist Dershowitz is by detailing how much he lifted material for one of his more popular books, The Case for Israel, from the widely discredited work of another author. This is excellent scholarship mixed with justifiable ridicule of the distinguished Harvard professor and his class of hypocrites. The well-placed rapier asides aimed at Dershowitz were a favorite feature of the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Simon Wood

    BEYOND THE JOKE: DEBUNKING ALAN DERSHOWITZ Norman Finkelstein first appeared in the 1980's with his thorough debunking of Joan Peters "From Time Immemorial" which had been widely praised on publication by Zionists and other supporters of Israel who were overjoyed to read an "academic" work that supported the Zionist assertion that the Palestinians didn't exist. Finkelstein in a memorable contribution to "Blaming the Victims" showed Peter's magnum opus to be a tissue of lies, distorted quotations BEYOND THE JOKE: DEBUNKING ALAN DERSHOWITZ Norman Finkelstein first appeared in the 1980's with his thorough debunking of Joan Peters "From Time Immemorial" which had been widely praised on publication by Zionists and other supporters of Israel who were overjoyed to read an "academic" work that supported the Zionist assertion that the Palestinians didn't exist. Finkelstein in a memorable contribution to "Blaming the Victims" showed Peter's magnum opus to be a tissue of lies, distorted quotations and innumerate demographic calculations. Now in "Beyond Chutzpah" Finkelstein directs his considerable critical abilities towards the issue of "The New Anti-Semitism" and to Alan Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel", an important text for Zionist apologists. In the first part of the book Finkelstein identifies "The New Anti-Semitism" as a more or less fictional construct, that is functionally useful for labeling critics of Israel as anti-Semites and automatically de-legitimizing criticism of Israel without having to deal with them rationally and honestly, which would inevitably cause difficulties given the gulf between the rhetoric of Israel's supporters and reality. He gives an account, or perhaps history is the correct term as "The New Anti-Semitism" approaches its fortieth year, of it's birth in the period after the two major Arab-Israel Wars of 1967 and 1973, before it came to age with Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Finkelstein, with his forensic approach details and debunks the various developments of this pernicious concept systematically and with occasional examples of a well-aimed and sharply barbed wit. In the second part Alan Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel" comes under scrutiny. It might seem overkill for Finkelstein to spend over a hundred pages debunking Dershowitz, but when one considers the important role his book has played for those who seek to perpetrate distortions about the reality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the value of Finkelstein's work is more than evident. After all "The Case for Israel" has been distributed by Israeli Embassies across the world and by Zionist organizations throughout the United States in an effort to sow a distorted version of Israeli actions into the public discourse, and provide ammunition to those who seek to influence any debate around Israel purely in the "interest" of Israel without regard to truth, reality or the Palestinians. One of Finkelstein's conclusions from examining Dershowitz's work ought to be enough on it's own to discredit the book. In the historical section at the beginning of the book Finkelstein identifies over 40% of the citations as being straight from Joan Peter's "From Time Immemorial". Dershowitz is obviously a little shy of crediting the discredited Peter's as his source, so he instead inserts the original source precisely as stated in Peter's footnotes but without attributing them to her. He then undermines his subterfuge by quoting only those parts that are quoted by Peter's and includes the errors from Peter's quotations. The critique then proceeds on an issue-by-issue basis, juxtaposing Dershowitz's claims about the Israel-Palestine conflict with material from a variety of sources, many of them Human Rights organizations including the Israeli group B'Tselem. "The Case for Israel" is revealed to be a tissue of distortions, ought-right lies and even in contradiction to other statements by Dershowitz. And yet this book received universal praise by supporters of Israel on pulication? Also included are a number of appendices, including a table with Dershowitz's assertions in historical order, placed next to the Evidence as attributed to a wide variety of sources, many of them actually of Israeli origin. Reading through the table it became evident that I had heard a few of the claims ("Israelis treat injured Palestinians free gratis") expressed confidently by supporters of Israel, only to find now that the reality is entirely different. The occasional Palestinian has had free and highly publicized treatment in Israel, these are exceptions: the standard procedure is to charge what many regarded as an inflated fee. Further to that there is the damage that Israel's occupation has done to the development of Palestinian Medical Services and the educational base that these services require to be effective, not to mention attacks on medical infrastructure including dozens of ambulances. Dershowitz's claim that Ambulances were used for terrorist attacks is also examined. There was one case, well after the Israeli attacks on Ambulances began, where there was evidence that this may have occurred, though the circumstances in which the Israelis brought this to light were at best dubious. "Beyond Chutzpah" is a valuable work that comprehensively debunks a key text of Zionist apologetics and distortion in a robust (Finkelstein certainly doesn't mince his words) and clear manner that shows that "The Case for Israel" made by Dershowitz is simply a blatant and hardly sophisticated fraud. The Table in the appendices that pairs the statements Dershowitz makes in his case with the actuality is as comprehensive a guide to the main examples of distortion and outright lies peddled by the Israeli lobby (up to 2005) as I've come across. Well recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nelson

    Aaaand...I'm officially down the Middle East rabbit hole. I spent last following Israeli elections in pain as Netanyahu won another term. And I don't know how I got here. I think it was originally from my news feed that Airbnb decided to boycott West Bank settlements (a move which they reversed last night). This is a great book. But don't be fooled by the title. It is a meticulous and rigorous academic demonstration that Alan Dershowitz is a pathological liar. You can't really publish a scholarly Aaaand...I'm officially down the Middle East rabbit hole. I spent last following Israeli elections in pain as Netanyahu won another term. And I don't know how I got here. I think it was originally from my news feed that Airbnb decided to boycott West Bank settlements (a move which they reversed last night). This is a great book. But don't be fooled by the title. It is a meticulous and rigorous academic demonstration that Alan Dershowitz is a pathological liar. You can't really publish a scholarly book on Dershowitz, so he framed it in the context of fabricated anti-semitism. Dershowitz tried to prevent this book's publication, to the point of writing a letter to Governor Schwarzeneggar to that end (this book was published by UC Press). There are three appendices documented how Dershowitz plagiarized wholesale from Joan Peters' hoax. Norman Finkelstein, Hebrew prophet.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    Norman Finkelstein is a hero of truth. This book offers a rare look at the dishonest history and publicity manufactured by the Israel lobby. In every generation since Biblical times the Jews seem to produce prophetic figures who are doomed to speak truth to power -- Finkelstein is such a one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Daabel

    This is a scholarly, very tightly reasoned book. It will not sway ideologues or zealots, but will clarify issues for anyone who is open to rational argument on the inflammatory subject of Middle-East politics and reality. Firstly, the book points out the moral and intellectual corruption of Dershowitz and his crowd. Alan Dershowitz, holding a named chair at the Law School is, for some reason, immune. During the 1967 war, I happened to make the comment that "Palestinians are people with rights, t This is a scholarly, very tightly reasoned book. It will not sway ideologues or zealots, but will clarify issues for anyone who is open to rational argument on the inflammatory subject of Middle-East politics and reality. Firstly, the book points out the moral and intellectual corruption of Dershowitz and his crowd. Alan Dershowitz, holding a named chair at the Law School is, for some reason, immune. During the 1967 war, I happened to make the comment that "Palestinians are people with rights, too" and was roundly criticized as being an anti-Semite. Finkelstein nails this pathology extremely well, providing evidence, logical reasoning and shows how "anti-Semitism" hysteria builds up during any conflict and how Israel has managed to use this, and the Holocaust as a bully weapon to stifle criticism. The entire world is anti-Semitic as shown by the UN votes, sometimes being 140-something-to-2 (Israel and USA) against Israel's actions. Although logic would dictate that the entire world is NOT anti-Semitic, the pro-Israel stance prefers the absurd explanation of these UN votes. The author not only nails Dershowitz for his shoddy (absurd?) scholarship, but uses his arguments to demonstrate how much of what the Israel lobby claims is sheer lies. Especially important right now, is the involvement of Israel in getting us into the Iraq conflict. For the first time in history, we have attacked a country that has done nothing to us. We now have blood on our hands. Just whose interests are the neocons serving? What about Senator Lieberman, a man whose head is screwed on correctly for most things. Why is he serving the interests of Zionism rahter than those of America? There is a very simple reason why the Muslims hate us and that is our absurd absolute support for radical Zionism and its crimes against humanity (yes, Muslims are people, too). We are the only country in the world so positioned. The powerful Jewish lobby has gotten us into something we can never get out of - it is a stain on our souls. And Dershowtz's crude apologia just makes the case for Israel and our support of it weaker. Any reader of this book cannot but help drawing parallels between Israel's activities and those of Nazi Germany. Just as there was collective guilt in Germany, there is collective guilt in Israel and, since as Finkelstein shows, the vast majority of Israelis support the anti-Palestinian atrocities, they are all equally guilty. This reasoned book alone is unlikely to stop the juggernaut, but Israel will forever be cursed if it does not atone and that will ultimately be its downfall. A nation built totally on deception and terror, indeed, one which NEEDS terror (in order to get 4 billion dollars a year from the USA) and exploits its self-proclaimed victimhood (like a third-world beggar exposing his sores whilst seeking alms) will ultimately fail. It may take a hundred years, but evil generally dies. But it need not be so and Israel can join the world of civilized nations - but it and all of us need to heed Finkelstein. In this respect, maybe Dershowitz, by providing such flagrant absurdities, has a use - providing a platform so ridiculous that it can be easily perceived. If Israel needs a Dershowitz, then heaven help it. Finkelstein has done an extraordinary job! It is, in the long run, a service to Israel and perhaps to America as well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    Very informative collection of Israel's human rights abuses and how Jewish elites distort and deny the findings of respected NGO's. Very informative collection of Israel's human rights abuses and how Jewish elites distort and deny the findings of respected NGO's.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jordan McPeek

    Israel/Palestine: terribly complex issues, tread carefully, don't want to be anti-Semitic. Finkelstein says not really, that's just so much smoke thrown up by pro-Israeli apologists to keep people from examining the issues. This book tackles many of them, primarily through closely examining the work of Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and a leading proponent of Israel, and comparing it to reports from various human rights agencies. When reading opinion pieces like this, I assume I'm ju Israel/Palestine: terribly complex issues, tread carefully, don't want to be anti-Semitic. Finkelstein says not really, that's just so much smoke thrown up by pro-Israeli apologists to keep people from examining the issues. This book tackles many of them, primarily through closely examining the work of Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and a leading proponent of Israel, and comparing it to reports from various human rights agencies. When reading opinion pieces like this, I assume I'm just getting one side of the argument. Not so here. Example after example from Dershowitz and others are quoted, then examined. What is one to think when over and over again their statements are shown to be illogical or even false. And it's not just Finkelstein's opinion. He spent a lot of time checking Dershowitz's footnotes, and found numerous examples where the assertion is based on, say, the first phrase of a sentence, but ignores the latter part which totally negates the assertion. Finkelstein simply uses Dershowitz's own work against him! Other times the footnote refers to a solitary piece of evidence like, say, a confidential source. Finkelstein then draws in multiple published sources which completely demolish Dershowitz's point. Sprinkled throughout are funny and devastating one-liners that express Finkelstein's incredulity over what Dershowitz et al try to get away with. A fair bit of material is also provided on Dershowitz's response to this book. Once again, using his own work against him, the lack of substantial rebuttal demonstrates the weakness of Dershowitz's arguments. And this is one of the Israel lobby's shining lights (not to mention Harvard)? Really, it's Finkelstein who performs a valuable service to Israel by providing this kind of critique that clarifies the issues. And it's quite useful for someone like me with limited knowledge of them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This book from a well respected author and currently being put under pressure by the very few he is denouncing, is a proof of how the medias in the US, as well as the world of scholar is biased against anyone criticizing the policy of Israel. Even though there are tens of thousands of Jews criticizing the regime, it stays difficult in the US. Derschowitz wrote a book "the Case for Israel" in 2003 and it is proved in this book that it is a poor work, full of lies, approximations and plagiarisms. This book from a well respected author and currently being put under pressure by the very few he is denouncing, is a proof of how the medias in the US, as well as the world of scholar is biased against anyone criticizing the policy of Israel. Even though there are tens of thousands of Jews criticizing the regime, it stays difficult in the US. Derschowitz wrote a book "the Case for Israel" in 2003 and it is proved in this book that it is a poor work, full of lies, approximations and plagiarisms.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Totally destroys Alan Dershowitz's credibility. A little shrill, to say the least. Totally destroys Alan Dershowitz's credibility. A little shrill, to say the least.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed al-Jamri

    A very important book exposing the politics and distortions when it comes to writing the history of Israel-Palestine conflict.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book (and, frankly, most of Finkelstein's books) could just as aptly be titled Norman Finkelstein Complains about People and the Dumb Things They Say. To be honest, that's largely why I read his books. I find something about his moral outrage and indignation utterly fascinating. And they can be quite funny--he's a sassy little malcontent who just can't help but be recklessly abrasive. My favorite parts of this book were those that focused on Alan Dershowitz and his Case for Israel. The speci This book (and, frankly, most of Finkelstein's books) could just as aptly be titled Norman Finkelstein Complains about People and the Dumb Things They Say. To be honest, that's largely why I read his books. I find something about his moral outrage and indignation utterly fascinating. And they can be quite funny--he's a sassy little malcontent who just can't help but be recklessly abrasive. My favorite parts of this book were those that focused on Alan Dershowitz and his Case for Israel. The specific reports about the atrocities and injustices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are thorough and comprehensive, but they unfortunately felt almost irrelevant to me, because they're based off of the reports by human rights organizations. And I just don't think Americans or US policy in general has ever really cared about what human rights organizations have to say. We should care, but we don't. I did think it was sadly hilarious, though, how many times Dershowitz defended Israeli defense programs by comparing them to US programs, given the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. Like when Dershowitz happily insists that Israel doesn't torture and uses the same techniques favored by the US...well, clearly, the US does torture. A lot. Brutally. It seems Finkelstein's arguments in this book have aged well while Dershowitz's have aged rather poorly. In fact, I think the most effective part of Beyond Chutzpah was its absolute skewering of Alan Dershowitz. It makes him look like a pathetic hack and a contemptible fool. Maybe it crossed a line, but I have to say I found it amusing (and I can't blame Finkelstein for not being able to resist. I mean what kind of self-proclaimed "civil libertarian" is completely ignorant of Orwell? That's so basic. How does someone like that teach for years at Harvard?). The evidence of plagiarism is extensive and undeniable. I can't believe Harvard didn't take that evidence more seriously, but then, I suppose it was covering its own ass. So I suppose I shouldn't be too shocked. Anyways, I liked the book. It's certainly not for everyone, and I can see why so many people hate Finkelstein, but, for all his many faults, I can't help but kind of love him and enjoy his work even when I disagree with some of his ideas and rhetoric.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Henry Lockett

    I think that Finkelstein puts too much focus on discrediting Alan Dershowitz; he sometimes comes across as petit. However one of the main aims of the book is to illustrate how stretched the definition of 'anti-semitism' has become, and much of Dershowitz's writing is a shining example of such abuse. So perhaps the popularity of his book 'The Case For Israel' warrants the critical review given in 'Beyond Chutzpah'. The record needed to be set straight. Finkelstein's footnotes and references are ex I think that Finkelstein puts too much focus on discrediting Alan Dershowitz; he sometimes comes across as petit. However one of the main aims of the book is to illustrate how stretched the definition of 'anti-semitism' has become, and much of Dershowitz's writing is a shining example of such abuse. So perhaps the popularity of his book 'The Case For Israel' warrants the critical review given in 'Beyond Chutzpah'. The record needed to be set straight. Finkelstein's footnotes and references are excellent. I tried my best to maintain a balanced perspective (especially as I have never read 'The Case For Israel') and to assume that maybe references and statistics had been selected to simply reinforce his arguments, but I did not get a sense of this. The evidence to support Finkelstein's claims is substantial. I would definitely recommend this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joeji

    A wonderful guide on the correct methods of academic citations.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Syed Fathi

    This book is the second Norman Finkelstein’s book I read. The first book I read was The Holocaust Industry, in which Finkelstein brilliantly exposed the international Jewry conspiracy which used the Holocaust memory to gain monetary gain from Europe at the expense of the Holocaust survivors. Like the first book, this book also were equip with tonnes of footnotes, making it exhausting to read. But, the reading would be easy and less exhaustive if you decide not to read each of the footnotes. The This book is the second Norman Finkelstein’s book I read. The first book I read was The Holocaust Industry, in which Finkelstein brilliantly exposed the international Jewry conspiracy which used the Holocaust memory to gain monetary gain from Europe at the expense of the Holocaust survivors. Like the first book, this book also were equip with tonnes of footnotes, making it exhausting to read. But, the reading would be easy and less exhaustive if you decide not to read each of the footnotes. The footnotes were intended for scholarly reading, for casual reader, main text should suffice. The preface is also very long, it takes me 4 days to reach page 1! Nevertheless, it worth the read. The main theme of the book is to exposed Israeli apologist tactics of using anti-Semitism to silence critics toward brutal Israeli occupation. In his preface, Finkelstein pointed out that, many of the solutions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are highly uncontroversial. On settlement for example, World Court ruled that it “have no legal validity”, citing article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention. The UN also in accordance to General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948) upheld Palestinian refugees “right of return”. Many pages in the book from preface, chapters, right into appendices were devoted to expose Alan Dershowitz “threadbare hoax”, namely his book ‘The Case for Israel’ which Finkelstein compared to the work of Joan Peter ‘From Time Immemorial’ which he said “grossly distorts the documentary record”. Finkelstein destroyed many of Dershowitz false claim with vast documentary evidence from human right groups including Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Human Right Watch (HRW) and many others. As you read further and further, you will find that Dershowitz did not even know his subject (or his book), he seems a little bit more like a joker than a Harvard Law Professor.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aleix

    In a certain way, this is an appendix of what has to be Finkelstein's centrepiece, which is the Holocaust Industry. It represents the ongoing fight against nasty types like Alan Dershowitz, like Daniel Goldhagen, like Joan Peters. When I first happened upon Finkelstein, I think at the beginning of the last Gaza conflict in 2014, I was stricken by his views and his idiosyncratic expressiveness. I live in a country where Israel has few defenders and it seemed strange, then, and even shocking, to se In a certain way, this is an appendix of what has to be Finkelstein's centrepiece, which is the Holocaust Industry. It represents the ongoing fight against nasty types like Alan Dershowitz, like Daniel Goldhagen, like Joan Peters. When I first happened upon Finkelstein, I think at the beginning of the last Gaza conflict in 2014, I was stricken by his views and his idiosyncratic expressiveness. I live in a country where Israel has few defenders and it seemed strange, then, and even shocking, to see such scathing criticism coming from an American Jew. I googled him, read his bio superficially and my attention focused on his career-destroying feud with some Alan Dershowitz. I didn't really know them, so I was confused as to who was "right" (considering the accusations flinged by each other, at least one of them had to be lying). Because I was influenced by a pro-Israeli friend and only just starting to delve into the Arab-Israeli conflict, a part of me wanted Dershowitz (a Harvard professor, no less) to be right, but, because I'm a curious person, I had to look closely into the matter, and the more I read, the more it seemed to me that Dershowitz resorted to dirty dialectic tricks all the time (ad-hominem attacks, mostly, and not just against Finkelstein but against any opponent) while Finkelstein usually pointed out stone cold facts, and, most interestingly, he NEVER seemed to make them up, manipulate them, shoehorn them to suit his needs. I admitted that even when I didn't like him. Little by little, I was drawn towards whom I initially thought was a mere self-hating Jew. I'm used to leftist anti-Israel tirades, to haters who use the good name of human rights just to further a laughable political agenda. I thought Finkelstein was one of them, but no, he didn't resort to the disingenuous tactics of the typical left-wing fanboy. He didn't even, contrary to what I still suspected, cherry pick facts that only helped his case. That became particularly clear to me when I saw him tear the BDS movement down AND especially when I saw the posers that had idolised him attack him viciously using exactly the same type of rhetoric that I had seen in pro-Israel propagandists. That's when it really dawned on me that Finkelstein was commited to honesty, particularly self-honesty, and he would take it to the very end. He often tells the story of how he used to be a maoist in his younger years. He felt secure in that "cult", as he calls it. His beliefs came crumbling down in front of him one day and he vowed never to make a fool of himself again. He's proven that to me. I think he's a fact-finder and he's genuinely worried about the situation in Palestine. Dershowitz, though, comes across as a filthy liar and, what's worse, a sycophant to the powerful who's all too willing to embark on a "heroic" crusade against the defenseless. A petty scoundrel ready to kick them when they're down if that wins him favour. He's still teaching at Harvard in spite of being a certified fraud as a scholar. Finkelstein, who has been supported by people like Raul Hilberg, hasn't been able to find tenure in the States because of Dershowitz's (and a fearsome lobby's) meddling. That says a lot about the situation in US universities. This book is Finkelstein's denunciation of the misuse of antisemitism by Jewish elites in the US and Israel, his utter rejection of Dershowitz as a person and as a scholar, and it also touches on Israel's human rights record, which Dershowitz had tried to present as impeccable by means of personal attacks to critics and of fraudulent scholarship in his book "The Case for Israel". Not as profound as The Holocaust Industry, as it deals with more particular issues, but still necessary as a form of hygiene of the soul. It gets more interesting in the parts where it steers away from petty feuds and tackles the dishonest use of Jewish suffering by the kind of people who can only be described as ghouls.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nasreddin

    In the beginning Finkelstein is tearing Dershowitz to shreds, pointing his massive hypocrisy, incitement to war, his fraudulent books, but also highlights how U.S. media are always silent when it comes to Zionist pro-Israel shills propagating their views for, and them belittling the Palestinians and the hardship they are still enduring. The book though main focus is to combat this new "Antisemitism" charge that is frequently employed against anyone daring to critique Israel, and how it's misused In the beginning Finkelstein is tearing Dershowitz to shreds, pointing his massive hypocrisy, incitement to war, his fraudulent books, but also highlights how U.S. media are always silent when it comes to Zionist pro-Israel shills propagating their views for, and them belittling the Palestinians and the hardship they are still enduring. The book though main focus is to combat this new "Antisemitism" charge that is frequently employed against anyone daring to critique Israel, and how it's misused. In case you're wondering who Dershowitz is, he's probably the most vocal Zionist in America and a Harvard law professor, though it seems justice for everyone doesn't apply to Israel. Book is quite infuriating to read (due to the nature of what Israel has done / still does to the Palestinians), the author does a well researched job and shows documentation by various NGO reports on how Israel used human shields, throwing the popular accusation that the Zionist shills use against the Palestinians, to excuse the many innocent deaths caused by the IDF, right back at their faces. Not to mention the hampering of people seeking medical aid, the attack on ambulances, the excessive use of rubber bullets against children, aimed at their heads, and the powerful impact of those bullets. Some of you might have heard of the young Palestinian girl that slapped an Israeli soldier, cause her cousin had almost his head caved in from one of those "non-lethal" rubber bullets. The Zionist shill Dershowitz claims are completely exposed, and I'm wondering how popular his book is. The appendixes also highlights the popular misconceptions that many American Zionists still spout that have long been discredited, including by Israeli scholars and historians about the ethnic cleansing that the extremist Zionist committed against the Palestinians, which American Zionists claimed never happened, but the record shows otherwise. The later appendixes also reveals the constructed lie about how the Palestinians always rejected solutions to peace. Once again Frankenstein does extensive work. If you're an American, it's recommended you read this book if the Israel-Palestine conflict is of interest to you and you are disturbed by the one sided bias by American media. Read "The Israel Lobby" for more on that. The epilogue is written by a third party, that reviewed the case of Dershowitz against Finkelstein and concluded that there was no evidence that Harvard cleared Dershowitz from plagiarism, and that it appeared that the DePaul university gave in to pressure in denying Finkelstein his tenure, despite the fact that they had nothing to go, except Dershowitz letter that through fact checking can be easily dismissed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    There are two parts to this: an opening section on the way that charges of 'anti-Semitism' are used to smear and intimidate anyone who is critical of Israel's policies, and a sustained dissection and attack on Dershowitz' book 'The Case for Israel'. You've probably noticed that in recent years television pundits have been leveling charges of anti-Semitism at critics of Israel. Even if the critics are Jewish; even if they are Israeli citizens; it doesn't matter. By definition, now, if you criticiz There are two parts to this: an opening section on the way that charges of 'anti-Semitism' are used to smear and intimidate anyone who is critical of Israel's policies, and a sustained dissection and attack on Dershowitz' book 'The Case for Israel'. You've probably noticed that in recent years television pundits have been leveling charges of anti-Semitism at critics of Israel. Even if the critics are Jewish; even if they are Israeli citizens; it doesn't matter. By definition, now, if you criticize Israel you are anti-Semitic. In other words, AIPAC, the Israel lobby generally, and neo-conservatives have literally redefined anti-Semitism to mean anyone who is not a cheerleader for Israeli hegemony. In other words, they've succeeded in divesting the term of any sensible meaning whatsoever. I have not read Dershowitz' book, so I have no way to know whether Finkelstein has demolished it as much as it seems. Finkelstein brings two major charges against Dershowitz: plagiarism (documented in detail in an appendix), and false reporting. Basically Finkelstein shows that Dershowitz makes a great many false claims, and that he bases his information almost entirely on Israeli government sources and apologists for Israel. Finkelstein shows that independent assessors of Israel's policies in the West Bank and Gaza agree almost universally that Israel has committed many war crimes, and that its occupation of Palestine territory is contrary to international law and convention. None of this is controversial outside the United States. The UN has voted many times to affirm that Israel must withdraw into the 1967 borders; that the settlements are illegal; that the occupation is illegal. There are typically between 2 and 5 votes in opposition: the US, Israel, and 1 to 3 Pacific island nations that owe their livelihood to the US. But here in the US it is almost impossible to hear serious criticism of Israeli policies in the mainstream media, and Congress seems to be entirely a creature of AIPAC on all questions regarding Israel.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chava

    As a minority Jew in a circle of liberal friends, I often get questioned about my take on the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, my view has been fairly muddled and I could never produce a sophisticated answer as to why I felt so conflicted. In an effort to get up to speed on the various issues and views, I gathered up as many books on the topic as my library carried and started reading. Unfortunately, I can't say I'm any less conflicted, but the nuances now have more depth. Finkelstein's books As a minority Jew in a circle of liberal friends, I often get questioned about my take on the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, my view has been fairly muddled and I could never produce a sophisticated answer as to why I felt so conflicted. In an effort to get up to speed on the various issues and views, I gathered up as many books on the topic as my library carried and started reading. Unfortunately, I can't say I'm any less conflicted, but the nuances now have more depth. Finkelstein's books are primarily written as rebuttals to things other scholars have written on a subject. The book that is the subject of this review is primarily directed to Alan Dershowitz and his book, "The Case for Israel." Sure, there is quite a bit of background about Finkelstein's position on Israel and "The New Anti-Semitism" discussed in the first half of the book, but his attack (yes, I am using that word) on Dershowitz makes up the meat of this book. I don't disagree with Finkelstein's views necessarily (although, I'm hesitant to say I agree), but I didn't care for the execution. The feud between these two scholars is off-putting for me, and I think I'd prefer to limit my reading to something a bit less emotionally charged. I would not read another book by this author and I'm hesitant to recommend this book to anyone other than those who enjoy exploring the heated arguments of contemporary scholars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Firstly, I should say that this is both a well-written and well-researched book, and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the Middle East conflicts. While it's probably only going to be read by people with similar beliefs to Mr. Finkelstein's (and those of myself, for that matter), it should be read by a broader spectrum, even though it almost certainly won't be (obvs). But I should also add that it is a bit snarky and a bit polemical, which might annoy you, and that especially whenever Al Firstly, I should say that this is both a well-written and well-researched book, and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the Middle East conflicts. While it's probably only going to be read by people with similar beliefs to Mr. Finkelstein's (and those of myself, for that matter), it should be read by a broader spectrum, even though it almost certainly won't be (obvs). But I should also add that it is a bit snarky and a bit polemical, which might annoy you, and that especially whenever Alan Dershowitz comes up (which is to say half the book), Finkelstein becomes single-minded and obsessive about taking down someone, who, to be fair, is something of a douche. For that reason, the last third or so of the book doesn't have the impact of the previous part, but it remains very much worth reading.

  22. 4 out of 5

    david-baptiste

    this is a second edition--i didnt read the first one so is al new to me--norman finkelstein is one of the most extraodinary scholars of words i've encountered, as he combines, to me , any way, a literary, legalistic, historian's approach, really out of a Talmudic tradition i think--he's a brilliant teacher, really, as i feel like i am learning continually how to read and examine words in reading him and following his thought--one of the best speakers i ever heard on issues and matters of languag this is a second edition--i didnt read the first one so is al new to me--norman finkelstein is one of the most extraodinary scholars of words i've encountered, as he combines, to me , any way, a literary, legalistic, historian's approach, really out of a Talmudic tradition i think--he's a brilliant teacher, really, as i feel like i am learning continually how to read and examine words in reading him and following his thought--one of the best speakers i ever heard on issues and matters of language--

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maarten

    Poorly structured and written, very partisan language and misleading title (only a minor part dealt with new antisemitism). Let a real writer rewrite it, give it a different title and this book could be relevant.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Faust

    Just, you know, some light reading.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jayde Schwerin

    Brilliant!

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

    First Paperback (2008) edition with new Preface. Finkelstein makes the works of fraudsters public in this tome comprising thorough research and observation of the works of Joan Peters and Alan Dershowitz. Finkelstein shows how brazen the lies are peddled by "scholars" who either have flat-out falsified their research sources, or refuse to cite credible human rights NGO sources for their research because it would severely ruin the message they are trying to instill in uneducated or unaware people. First Paperback (2008) edition with new Preface. Finkelstein makes the works of fraudsters public in this tome comprising thorough research and observation of the works of Joan Peters and Alan Dershowitz. Finkelstein shows how brazen the lies are peddled by "scholars" who either have flat-out falsified their research sources, or refuse to cite credible human rights NGO sources for their research because it would severely ruin the message they are trying to instill in uneducated or unaware people. To be completely honest, with this work completed, I can not believe there is still an argument going on about the crisis befallen upon the Palestinian people. This is not a conflict of good against evil, Jews against Arabs, this is just a matter of morality at this point. Yes it is wrong to commit suicide bombings, as it is wrong to assault a mostly defenseless population trapped like fish being shot in a barrel. Both sides have done wrong, both are suffering, how *many* are suffering because of what is happening is obviously of greater magnitude. We should recognize everyone's suffering as legitimate, and work together to resolve the conflict. Finkelstein's proposal for a two-state solution with the pre-June 1967 border with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine has even been accepted by Hamas. With the UN vote always being completely lop-sided on what should be done regarding Palestine, it is obvious the problem lies with the United States and Israel's toxic relationship. The US does not want to lose their footing in the middle east with a less powerful Israel, and Israel is dependent on the government hand-outs from the US to maintain their illegal conquest of the Palestinians. My heart aches for those trapped in Gaza, and subjected to the cruel injustices around Israel and the West Bank, hopefully the world will come to the aid of it's brothers and sisters in Palestine and help liberate them as we did for South Africa decades ago.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fernando Pestana da Costa

    This book has two main themes: the "new anti-semitism" and the poor Israel human rights record. What unites both is an utterly devastating rebuttal of the book The Case for Israel by the Harvard Law School professor and preeminent member of the Israel lobby, Alan Dershowitz. Finkelstein's work is, as usual, powerful, deeply informed, and, in stark contrast with his target, intellectually very honest, providing the reader with a detailed and very precise references that the reader can check if he This book has two main themes: the "new anti-semitism" and the poor Israel human rights record. What unites both is an utterly devastating rebuttal of the book The Case for Israel by the Harvard Law School professor and preeminent member of the Israel lobby, Alan Dershowitz. Finkelstein's work is, as usual, powerful, deeply informed, and, in stark contrast with his target, intellectually very honest, providing the reader with a detailed and very precise references that the reader can check if he/she feels the need. The book is divided into two parts and an equally thick set of afterwords (Postscript, Appendices, and Epilogue). Finkelstein rebuts Dershowitz's various statements about the "new anti-semitism", about Israel "purity of arms", its use of torture and human rights violations, its treatment of Palestinians (including the record of Israel's High Court decisions), as well as Dershowitz's attacks on international, Israeli, an Palestinian human rights organizations. All this is done resorting to appropriate examples, citations, and sources, it is written with such a precision and and fine attention to detail that, in any society that nurtures true and intellectual honesty, Dershowitz's Israel statements would have been disqualified and forever marked as an unremitting fraud and justly shoveled away. Being things as they are, it was Dershowitz who preassured right and left until he finally got his way and Finkelstein was denied tenure by his University (as we learn in this book's Epilogue, written by Frank J. Menetrez), in what constitutes a very lively illustration of the U.S. Israel lobby at work and the power it has to stifle speech critical of Israel. As for this Finkelstein book: a must!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris Ramirez

    There's no better asskicking I like seeing better than an intellectual one. Where people take what you wrote, quote it, and then quote other stuff to show how silly the claim is or how full of shit a guy is. No one seems to do it better than Norman Finkelstein especially when he's laying into Zionist apologist like Alan Dershowitz. Yes, the Harvard legal scholar you see on TV all the time and member of OJ's dream team is a HUGE apologist for the atrocities committed against the Palestines and le There's no better asskicking I like seeing better than an intellectual one. Where people take what you wrote, quote it, and then quote other stuff to show how silly the claim is or how full of shit a guy is. No one seems to do it better than Norman Finkelstein especially when he's laying into Zionist apologist like Alan Dershowitz. Yes, the Harvard legal scholar you see on TV all the time and member of OJ's dream team is a HUGE apologist for the atrocities committed against the Palestines and leans on his Harvard pedigree to make his phony claims sound legit. Finkelstein's not having any of it and rips him a new asshole for two hundred pages. Took a bit longer to read than other 500 page books because Finkelstein has a really unique, clever, and entertaining way to make someone look like a fool. Especially, someone who's trying to come off as an expert, in this case, Israel, and the history of the their conflict with the Palestinians.

  29. 5 out of 5

    valiantdust

    I have never witnessed as thorough and systematic dismantling of an intellectual or book as Finkelstein did to Dershowitz and his book The Case for Israel. Regardless of what you make of the issues this is a lesson I'm scholarly rigor. I have never witnessed as thorough and systematic dismantling of an intellectual or book as Finkelstein did to Dershowitz and his book The Case for Israel. Regardless of what you make of the issues this is a lesson I'm scholarly rigor.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jean Jessup

    Horrifically Eye-opening, but hard to read due to legaleze. I have great respect for Norman Finkelstein.

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