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Holocaust Industry

Posted By: wtnf
Date: 3, September 06, at 8:32 p.m.

1st September 2006

RNP reporter Jill Bolstridge interviews Professor Norman Finkelstein, author of the controversial book The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. The son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein is a sharp critic of Israel and of US foreign policy.

Q: What compelled you to write Holocaust Industry?

Basically, there were three reasons. One, I've been involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict for a long time. It was obvious to anybody who was involved that the Nazi Holocaust was constantly being evoked and exploited in order to justify Israel's violations of human rights. And, more currently, from a political point of view, to expose the lies and the misuse and the exploitation of the Nazi Holocaust. That was the political motive; it was the main motive. From a historical point of view, it seemed to me that there were many lessons that could be learned from the Nazi Holocaust, but those lessons were being obscured and distorted by the way that the Nazi Holocaust was being taught and being promoted by the United States. And finally, there was a personal reason. Both my parents survived the Nazi Holocaust, and I felt they deserved better than what it has been reduced to by the Holocaust industry.

Q: Who was responsible for manufacturing this industry, as you put it, and why?

Mainly it's been the United States and the mainstream Jewish organizations. And there have been individuals and institutions which, for one reason or another, have become apologists for Israel.

Q: It is widely considered that anyone who questions the Holocaust or the actions of Israel in the Middle East is anti-Semitic. Why do you believe this to be the case?

There are separate questions here. Questioning Israel's policies or actions, it seems to me, has no relationship whatsoever to anti-Semitism, and that is simply an exploitation of the historical suffering of Jews for political purposes. They have been using the anti-Semitism epithet to silence criticism of Israel and to intimidate critics of Israel into silence. The questioning of the Nazi Holocaust is an entirely separate question. To question whether the Nazi Holocaust itself happened is as absurd as to question whether or not in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Of course it happened. That is not a subject for serious debate. There is no rational basis for questioning the fact that it actually happened. But once one establishes the fact that it happened, there are all sorts of unresolved questions about the Nazi Holocaust: factual questions. And then there are all sorts of interpretative questions. And those two sets of questions include when the Nazi Holocaust began, what was the motive behind it, those sorts of things.

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