}

Norman Finkelstein’s Personal “Holocaust Industry”

According to Norman Finkelstein himself, his book, “The Holocaust Industry” has been translated into 24 languages. We know from reports that 130,000 copies were sold in Germany alone in its first three weeks on sale in that country. If one extrapolates this sales figure and even assuming far lower sales in other countries, Finkelstein must have cleared at least six figures and possibly even 7 figures in royalties thus far. He’s already published two editions, by the way, and I believe a third is in the works.

In addition to his book sales, Finkelstein is a frequent public speaker, and although he seems to be willing to speak to some groups for honorariums of several hundred dollars, the AJC has claimed that when he came to speak at UC Irvine, his fee was $5000 plus expenses. Needless to say, even with the smaller honorariums, when he is speaking outside of Chicago, his travel expenses are covered, which is a nice way to see the world.

This, of course, is not to address the fact that his parents received $253,000 in reparations back when that kind of money could buy several houses or the fact that Norman is obviously relying on the notoriety and popularity of this book as a significant part of his application for tenure at DePaul. These issues are beside the point.

Nope, even excluding those facts, the joke appears to be on the Jewish community and organizations he accuses of benefiting from the Holocaust. It seems a key beneficiary of the Holocaust is actually the maker of his own little Holocaust empire decrying the “Industry,” Mr. Finkelstein himself.

20 Comments

  1. Grand Muffti

    4/26/2007 at 9:40 am

    Astute point, middleman. there are always two approaches to take to people like Finkie from the community: fight back with all you can in as visible a way as possible or leave the freak to his own devices and ignore whatever he puts out. The former has its virtues but this is a downside: you make a celebrity out of your enemy.

  2. themiddle

    4/26/2007 at 10:06 am

    Sadly, he already is a “celebrity.” He achieved this status with his book about big nasty Jews victimizing the Europeans by being hucksters about, you know, that genocide of a third of our population. One’s book doesn’t sell 100,000 copies, especially over a couple of weeks, or get translated into numerous languages, unless there is strong interest. Second, he cemented his “celebrity” status in the US by baiting Dershowitz. Prior to that, he wasn’t really on radar screens except for those on the far Right and far Left and the anti-Zionists in and out of the Muslim community. By baiting Dershowitz successfully, he got the attention of the American Jewish community and large segments of the general media.

  3. Grand Muffti

    4/26/2007 at 10:44 am

    Exactly…baiting Dershowitz ‘successfully’.

  4. Tom Morrissey

    4/26/2007 at 2:29 pm

    There really are no good choices where someone like NF is concerned– except, perhaps, to avoid taking actions which may lend credence to his claims of victim status. DePaul, for example, should be left to its own devices to (hopefully) promote his reentry on the job market.

    I understand the disdain for him, but this episode and others like it suggest to me a curious lack of self-confidence in the US Jewish community.

  5. themiddle

    4/26/2007 at 3:02 pm

    Just you wait, Tom, until Walt & Mearsheimer publish their new version of the Protocols. You think we’re insecure now? Wait until the mainstream becomes Walt & Mearsheimer.

  6. Haish Hagadol

    4/26/2007 at 6:49 pm

    The whole reparations thing just blows my fucking mind.

  7. Ephraim

    4/26/2007 at 7:52 pm

    His parents got a quarter of a million dollars?

    And he has the chutzpah to accuse “the organized Jewish community” of shaking down the goyim?

    What a fat, fucking hypocrite.

  8. Ephraim

    4/26/2007 at 8:00 pm

    Tom, haven’t you figured us out yet?

    It doesn’t matter how successful we appear to be. In our minds, the next pogrom is just around the corner, so we mentally live on top of packed suticases with our valuables sewn nto the lining of our clothes, ready to skedaddle at the drop of a hat (or the breaking of a window).

    Once you get that basic fact, you will understand us better.

    If we had real power, people would be afraid of insulting us. But they aren’t. Which means that we have no real power.

    We need to take a page from the Muslim playbook:

    1) Increase our population to a billion
    2) Get our hands on a shitload of oil
    3) Behead people until they stop accusing us of being violent

    Once we do that, we will have people kowtowing to us like crazy.

  9. Tom Morrissey

    4/27/2007 at 3:10 pm

    Just locate that security fence, oh, 500 miles further east, and all with be well, Ephraim. (I hear they’ve just discovered vast reserves in Anbar province.)

  10. yossi h

    4/27/2007 at 6:14 pm

    When a someones parent dies people send them food, help with their children and if it is needed they give them financial aid to help with the burial . Would anyone accuse an orphan from benefiting from the death of their parent? In someway shape or form people can gain when a tradigy that befalls them. There is nothing wrong with that. Even though Jewish people gained in some way from the holocaust, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Can we compare what we received after the holocaust to our loss? We it make up for even one lost life? If you answed no there is clearly no claim to be made.

  11. Ronald Branch

    4/29/2007 at 10:54 am

    Give us a break, if one of their own claims that they are using the alledged “Holocaust” for self-serving interests, why condemn them?
    Gee, just maybe he is right and we all should re-evaluate; especially now that Holocaust denial is a crime.

  12. yossi h

    4/30/2007 at 8:27 pm

    Why does it matter if “one of [our] own” claims anything? The fact that he is Jewish and a son of a holocaust surviver doesn’t add to his truthfulness or make him right. There is always a group of loonies in every religion. This guy is just one of ours.

  13. Theodore

    4/12/2011 at 9:29 pm

    He charges what he charges because he doesn’t have a set job, he lives off of his writings, especially because the work of lobbysts kept him from tenure (which his fellows supported, in fact most of the campus supported). He travels a lot and spends much on publishing the works (most professors dont make much from their works, in fact some of the top even come out at a loss). Baiting Dershowitz isnt difficult, practically anyone can critique his million of baffling bses.

    Has anyone here read his works that you are judging him? What about the fact that the founder of modern Holocaust studies, Hilberg, has agreed with him by and large? What about the million or so critiques of Dershowitz’s absurd work?

    On top of that, a person is not in control of his work once published, its the publishers. He went around to get attention for his thesis, which is what most professors do and he did.

    Not saying I agree with him, but you guys are treating as some loon… a graduate of Stanford University with so much personal experience in what he writes on is certainly no loon, especially when there are a slew of professors who support him, even if partially so. He is overly emotional and it can remove from support, its true… but that doesn’t make him a loon. Unless to you guys here being critical of Zionism makes you a loon…

  14. Theodore

    4/12/2011 at 9:31 pm

    Oh and if anyone has seen where he lives in Brooklyn, you woulnd’t accuse him of “shaking down the goyim” or being a fat bastard (he is actually very thin).

    • tf

      4/13/2011 at 4:36 am

      So he isn’t fat? So what? Anyone can look at who he associates with, Hizbollah, Hamas et al or his public pronouncements. It is not necessary to read his books to know he is a vile human. There are no subtleties or nuances in his arguments. He is demonstratively wrong about many key facts and he consistently finds fault with the Jews always ascribing the worst intentions to them. Sound familiar? It is not hard to understand Finkelstein is an antisemite.

  15. themiddle

    4/13/2011 at 5:23 am

    Um, I’ve read his work and I’ve seen him speak and I’ve asked him questions in person and publicly. He is making a living from attacking Israel and its supporters (while emphasizing the Jewish supporters). He didn’t get tenure because he wasn’t fit to receive it, as the letter from his university to him states openly and clearly. This being the good ol’ US of A, you can bet that if Finkelstein was truly wronged, he would have used the courts to address his grievances. As for his being a good scholar, all I have to do is point to his last book on the Gaza war, which he calls the “Gaza Massacre” as if there was no war. His claims have been negated by Hamas itself, and yet his book and his book tour were based on information they themselves have rejected. In other words, his political views blind him to the truth, and that makes for extremely questionable scholarship. Now, if you want to call him a successful propagandist, you can do that all day long.

    • Theodore

      4/13/2011 at 12:12 pm

      His tenure denial was in no way fair, since the majority of the academic body of Depaul and in fact many around the US itself had supported it. It was denied last minute by the President against the wishes of the collegiate body. Keep in mind that many at Harvard have also refused to do work with Dershowitz because of his shoddy scholarship.

      • themiddle

        4/13/2011 at 4:21 pm

        Please, Theodore, give me a break. Unlike Finkelstein, Dershowitz has tenure and is a respected scholar. His activism has made him a target just like Finkelstein is a target, but unlike Finkelstein, he has been able to hold on to jobs and get tenure. That many in the US supported Finkelstein means nothing, there’s also a long list of professors in the US who criticize Israel automatically and will therefore stand by a critic like Finkelstein automatically. He went through a process at DePaul that proved how divisive he is, and how his scholarship is tainted by his political views. The outcome was fair.

  16. Will

    4/13/2011 at 11:22 am

    I know that Finkelstein can be somewhat hyperbolic and overly argumentative when it comes to his disapproval of Israel, BUT– the fact that he made lots of money off his book(s) and speaking events isn’t hypocritical to his claims about an “industry” around the Holocaust. You don’t have to agree with his take on events (I’m not sure I do) but trying to take him down by pointing out that he’s rich by his own work isn’t really effective/on topic. It would have been wiser just to mention the reparations, which clearly would be hypocritical–if HE had received them. But he didn’t, his parents did. It just doesn’t seem like a very on target critique of him.

    • themiddle

      4/13/2011 at 4:18 pm

      Oh no, it surely is hypocritical to complain about a Holocaust “industry” while you’re raking in money complaining about this so-called “industry.” In fact, it’s the height of hypocrisy. As for his parents, his mom used to accompany him to lectures about the “industry” so that you can say that he is both a direct and indirect beneficiary of both their (the parents’) suffering and reparations.

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