- Dr. Norman Finkelstein wrote several books in the field
Israel/Palestine/Holocaust and is one of the most sagacious analysts of
our time. Similar to Professor Ilan Pappe, he formulates sharp criticism
in respect to past and presence of the State of Israel, and both use very
rational argumentations and are reliable researchers. Especially since
the mass murders in Jenin and in Gaza, these two men and many other Jews
(also in Germany) speak out, because they do not want to be taken in for
violent purposes by a state that arrogates to speak and act in the name
of all Jews.
- As is known now, both the Heinrich Boell Foundation and
the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation have canceled Finkelstein talks that were
already scheduled in Berlin. While the foundation close to the Green party
did not even bother to explain its behavior, the board of the foundation
close to the Left party explained its drawback in a media info with the
empty statement that such a talk would be "explosive" ("brisant").
- What is going on there, one wonders. Does Finkelstein
call for violence? Are his views outside legal norms, does he disesteem
the human rights? Nothing of all this. On the contrary. The reason for
banning him is the veto of groups that seek to avert criticism of Israel,
connecting this issue with the reproach of anti-Semitism. This is an old
chestnut and not specifically interesting. What is interesting, though,
is that the German public buys this nonsense and denies a man, who lost
his family in German concentration camps, to talk on German soil, tolerating
that he is labeled an anti-Semite for his reflections on violence in Israel.
The same thing actually happened only some months ago to the Israeli historian
Ilan Pappe in Munich, when the city's Lord Mayor canceled a scheduled talk.
Pappe then wrote in an open letter that his father "was silenced in
a similar way as a German Jew in the early 1930s".
- The German Self-Conception
- So let us revisit the German self-conception and then
take a short look at the historical background to understand this apparantly
great fear that is going around in Germany. Recently, when the Israeli
politician Shimon Peres talked on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial
Day in the German Bundestag, he received standing ovations. The few, who
did not stand up for their refusal of Peres' and Israel's violent policies,
were publically attacked. There is, for example, the quote of a member
of the Bundestag: "The Nazi crimes, the Shoa, and the war of annihilation
are the original crime of humanity. (...) The Jewish victims of National
Socialism are memorized on January 27 in the Bundestag memorial. On this
occasion, only they and the reminder of 'Never again!' can be the topic.
Everything else in this context is a relativization of the Nazi crimes."
It is a quote typical for Germany and reveals the German angst as well
as the great danger that goes with it.
- The genocide of the Jews in this quote is taken out of
any historical context and declared a unique event. Firstly, this reveals
a "We (We!) are the greatest" narcissism. Secondly, it reveals
a pro-Jewish racism, as if one racism could make up for another one. Not
the victims are important, no, the Jewish victims are. The Nazi killing
of Sinti and Roma thus is kind of OK. And how much then will the killing
of Palestinains be OK if conducted by Jews. Put in a more general way:
while calling the genocide of the Jews the "original crime",
the unique and incomparable act, every other crime is relativized and thus
not so important. Finkelstein and Pappe do not fit in here, they disturb
the celebration by entering the historical framework, which is all the
more embarrassing as they are Jews with family ties to Nazi victims. Banning
them shows that in the end even Jewish Nazi victims are not what the whole
circus is about, despite all the pathetic oaths and solemn declarations.
This is what Germany fears, that people realize that public "Remembering
the Holocaust" is a fake and that Finkelstein and Pappe are eloquent
and powerful enough to unmask this pharce.
- Germany has decided to do penance for the Nazi crimes
by means of supporting the State of Israel. When it stands in solidarity
with the Zionist state, then Germany would fulfil its historical responsibility.
This dogma is not questioned, although it is beyond any logic to support
Zionism of all things in order to do penance. Beyond logic not in the first
place because there had been fruitful cooperations between Nazis and Zionists.
(It was in the interest of both ideologies to bring Jews out of Germany.)
What is much worse is that violence is not recognized as the problem. Thus
Hitler has won in the end, for the violence that made this criminal a criminal
in the first place, this violence has not stopped. On the contrary: the
compulsive "Never again!" serves as a justification of violence
and killing. This works only because the genocide of the Jews was taken
out of its historical context and floats around freely.
- The Israeli Self-Conception
- Both Finkelstein and Pappe write about the missing historical
context and this is what people are afraid of, for both use their arguments
brilliantly, even compelling, and they are concerned as Jews whose families
have Nazi experiences. Like Goldstone, Chomsky, and some others, the two
academics are subject to hate and rejection of the ruling Zionism and its
strenuous friends. Finkelstein lives in the USA, where Zionism is even
stronger than in Israel, and he does not lead an easy life. Pappe needed
to go to exile in England, because life in Israel became unbearable for
him. He wrote the book "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" in
which he clearly shows how the Israeli state was built on heavy violence.
Considering that both authors face bans in Germany it is no wonder that
there is not much heard of the events around 1948 other than flat stereotypes.
- According to the Israeli self-conception the Zionist
state emerged out of a "War of Independence". In this view, the
Jewish victims of National Socialism have created a state to protect themselves
and were immediately attacked by their evil Arab neighbors. This version
of the story is sacrosanct and is defended with great hysteria, be it in
Israel or in Germany, because it does not bear with a neutral analysis.
For when Israel was founded in May 1948, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine
had already been going on for half a year. This was called "Plan Dalet/Plan
D" and everybody can read about it. Hundreds of indigenous Palestinians
were killed and hundreds of thousands were expelled from their villages
by Zionist militias. According to the Israeli self-conception many Palestinians
went away voluntarily, as if anybody would voluntarily leave their home
and property just like that.
- International pressure led to the UN partition plan which
deprived the native population of a little more than half of Palestine
which was to be given to the Zionists. Yet the Zionists were not content
with that. They received weapons and took more of the land by force. When
they then built a state on this land, they did not do it in agreement with
anybody, but unilaterally and surprisingly. The dogma of the "right
of existence" was invented so that people would not talk about these
events anymore. Here is the seed of the problems we are confronted with
until today. It is possible to begin earlier, with the Sykes Picot Treaty
or the first settlers from abroad who for the most part did not integrate,
but appeared aggessively. One can talk about the British and about Zionist
and Arab terrorism, about Jabotinsky and other pioneers. But it is the
founding of the state and Plan D which show most clearly why history is
escalating until today.
- The massacre of Deir Yassin happened in the framework
of this plan, it was covered in the world press. Nobody was ever held responsible
for this blood-spree and thus a precedence was created which is working
until today. Nobody has been taken to account for the mass murder in Gaza,
neither, and all the other massacres that Israel habitually commits. The
Plan D land theft is another precedence, for up to this day the Israeli
territory gets wider while the Palestinian territory shrinks. All this
is inherent in the biased concept of "right of existence", as
are the race laws from 1950 which guarantee all Jews in the world a "right
of return" to Israel while the expelled native population had to keep
out, an unprecedented act in the long history of the country. Their land
and property was confiscated by the new masters who clinged to a blood-and-soil
ideology. A lot of this reminds one of the Nazis, which by no means is
a wonder, when you consider the victim/perpetrator dynamics. It is known
that victims, because of their traumas, are prone to become perpetrators
and it is so obvious that it takes a whole lot of energy to suppress the
respective discourse. It is suppressed, in militarized Israel just like
in Germany, it is taboo. For this reason, a government of right-wing extremists
in Israel is not a problem. Right-wing extremism is not right-wing extremism,
when it comes to Israel.
- The Tip of the Iceberg
- The cancelation of Finkelstein's talks are but the tip
of a huge iceberg. While these lines are written, Palestinian houses in
Barta'a Ash-Sharqiya are being demolished and in Sheikh Jarrah/Jerusalem
new land thefts are scheduled. A big historic Arab graveyard is to be confiscated
to build a "Museum of Tolerance" on it while in Bil'in the nonviolent
resistance against the wall enters its sixth year. The protesters are injured
by the army on a regular basis, and also killed. The world press says almost
nothing about the heroes of nonviolent resistance, because it does not
fit the image. Russian Jews in Be'er Sheva in the Negev have just killed
a bedouin boy and heavily injured another, while a group of fundamentalist
settlers have injured a Palestinian child in Hebron. About 11.000 Palestinians
are kept in Israeli prisons. The "checkpoints" to Nablus have
been closed down recently so that nobody can enter. The Gaza fishermen
are being shot at by the Israeli navy and Gaza is still under siege. The
head of the Dubai police just confirmed that according to police investigations
there is a very high probability that the Mossad is behind the murder of
a Hamas politician in the Emirates. Every day you can read on <http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php?URL=http%3A%2F%
what happens in the country and that since 1948 there has been no change
of the routine. In Germany, the Palästina Portal is one of the sources
one can turn to.
- Most of what happens remains unknown to us, our media
skips most of it, in fear of an increasing "anti-Semitism". It
is for the same reason that we are not to listen to Finkelstein and Pappe,
for they verify the terrible events and the historical development sketched
above. Instead, we are fed with "information" on "terrorism".
It is well-known to some of the leading politicians and opinion-leaders
that the Israeli policy can only lead to the self-destruction of the State
of Israel. Call it a culture of death. Maybe self-hatred is another reason
for this behavior, something human rights advocates like Finkelstein and
Pappe are labeled by exactly those who display it themselves. But even
according to our mainstream dogmas we have a big problem here, for this
development is bad for the Jews, too, the Zionists among them and the anti-Zionists.
- Norman Finkelstein (<http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php?URL=http%3A%2F%2F
will talk about Gaza in Munich on Feb. 24, 7 p.m. Amerikahaus, Karolinenplatz
3, and on Feb. 25, 7 p.m., Kulturhaus Milbertshofen, Curt-Mezger-Platz
- SOURCE http://www.anis-online.de/1/essays/24.htm
- Link: http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/finkelstein