Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘Knowing Too Much’

“What Really Happened in June 1967?” An interview with NORMAN FINKELSTEIN at The Real News Network

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Read it here.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN is interviewed at Mondoweiss on the history of the Six Day War

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Read it here.


Monday, February 9th, 2015

Knowing Too Much is essential reading for understanding Finkelstein’s real views, why the debate in the U.S. Jewish population exists, and the critical importance of deepening it.

To read the rest of the review, visit New Politics

RT interviews Norman Finkelstein, author of KNOWING TOO MUCH, about renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Israel has made clear over and over again that its bottom line is it wants approximately 9.5% of the West Bank, what it calls the “main settlement blocks” including East Jerusalem. Most of the new settlements that right now they’re planning to build are in the areas of the settlement blocks. If Israel gets its way and annexes 9.5% of the West Bank, there won’t remain anything of what you might call a meaningful Palestinian state.

Watch the entire interview here.

New Left Project publishes an essay on KNOWING TOO MUCH

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

One chapter particularly worth reading in Finkelstein’s book is dedicated to a thorough debunking of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s “The Israeli Lobby made me do it” explanation of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, and especially the Iraq War. In an essay and subsequent book, Walt and Mearsheimer famously argued that U.S. support for Israeli policies harms rather than serves American interests, and explained it, along with much of the U.S.’s behaviour in the Middle East, in terms of the machinations of pro-Israel lobby groups.

Read the entire essay at New Left Project.

The Middle East Research and Information Project reviews KNOWING TOO MUCH by Norman Finkelstein

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

In January 2007, amid the furor over Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, former President Jimmy Carter made his first major public appearance about the book at Brandeis University, which defines itself as “the only non-sectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university” in the United States. He received a standing ovation, going on to say that he had chosen the word “apartheid” for his book’s title “knowing that it would be provocative” and to deliver a speech describing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands as “cruel oppression.” Carter then departed, and Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel, rose to offer a response. Half the audience walked out. A year later, the Brandeis student senate voted not to congratulate Israel on its sixtieth anniversary.

In Knowing Too Much, Norman Finkelstein offers these incidents in support of his argument that both American Jews and the American public more generally are moving away from uncritical support for Israel. This shift, he suggests, holds out the possibility that the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be settled at last. Other analysts concur that there is growing disillusionment with Israel among American Jews, a phenomenon they attribute either to higher rates of intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews (and thus lesser ethnic ties to the Jewish state) or to the increasingly reactionary policies pursued by Israel itself. Finkelstein instead emphasizes another factor: Knowledge of Israel’s crimes has become so widespread that it is no longer possible for US Jews to reconcile support for Israeli policies with the liberal values that most of them embrace.

Read more at MERIP’s website.

Anna Baltzer and Norman Finkelstein discuss KNOWING TOO MUCH on C-SPAN

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Author Norman Finkelstein talked about his book, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End, in which he argues that the decades-long support for Israel by liberal American Jews is declining due to now overwhelming evidence that the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians is unjustified. During this event, Mr. Finkelstein was joined by Anna Baltzer, author of Witness in Palestine.

Watch the video on C-SPAN

The Daily Beast weighs in on KNOWING TOO MUCH and Norman Finkelstein

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Alan Dershowitz would have been disappointed. Not only did Dershowitz’s occasional debating partner, Noam Chomsky, have to cancel his New School appearance on Saturday (laryngitis, we were told), but his adversary, the controversial scholar Norman Finkelstein, was positively mainstream in his own remarks. Those who are quick to vilify Finkelstein—variations on “self-hating Jew” represent the typical charge—might do well to listen again.

Despite Chomsky’s absence, The New School’s Tishman Auditorium was filled to capacity for an event billed as “The Jewish-American Relationship with Israel at the Crossroads.” While perhaps presumptive in its definitiveness—i.e. “the Crossroads”—the panel name was inspired by the subtitle of Finkelstein’s latest book, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End.

Read the full article in The Daily Beast

KNOWING TOO MUCH is reviewed in Red Pepper

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The thesis of Knowing Too Much is simple: American Jews are distancing themselves from Israel. An ethnic identification, combined with a belief that Israel and the US shared both interests and liberal values, led to a great love-in after 1967 when American Jews fell head over heels for Israel. But as the evidence piles up it is increasingly difficult to reconcile liberal values with continued support for Israel. And, rather than the predominantly liberal values of American Jews buckling, it is support for Israel that is giving way.

What has caused the change, argues Finkelstein, is that there is now too much information out there. The myths of the past and the early academic work in support of Israel’s foundational myths (‘Exodus with footnotes’) has given way to serious scholarship, much of it by critical Israelis. Increasing numbers of American Jews no longer buy Israeli policies, however strong their primal attachment to Israel. And among younger Jews, even that is not as strong as it was. The evidence of this alienation is carefully chronicled by Finkelstein. How to explain it?

Read the full review in Red Pepper

The New Internationalist reviews KNOWING TOO MUCH

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Peace may be possible in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and American Jews may bring it about. Far-fetched? Not according to outspoken scholar Norman Finkelstein , who argues in his latest book that Israel’s excesses are irreconcilable with liberal Jewish values. He explains his thinking to Hazel Healy.

Read the full review in the New Internationalist

The Economist reviews KNOWING TOO MUCH

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

It has become increasingly common for prominent liberal Jewish Americans to voice anguished disquiet over Israel’s behaviour. The most visible signs of this trend are books, such as Peter Beinart’s “The Crisis of Zionism”, which came out three months ago, and the growing support for the (admittedly patchy) achievements of J Street, an advocacy group that lobbies for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. In his eighth book, “Knowing Too Much”, Norman Finkelstein, an American academic who became a critic of Israel long before it was fashionable, traces the underlying dynamics of the disquiet.

Mr Finkelstein’s central claim is that American Jews’ feelings about Israel were always guided more by self-interest and personal values than by Jewish solidarity. They cared little about the country before the war of 1967, fearing accusations of “dual loyalty”. Israeli concerns, to them, were not American concerns. They rallied round after the war, Mr Finkelstein argues, chiefly because that was when Israel’s fight against the Arabs became geopolitically tied to America’s fight against the Communists.

Read the full article in The Economist

Tablet interviews Norman Finkelstein

Monday, June 11th, 2012

For three decades, Norman Finkelstein has been the American Jewish community’s problem-child—denounced as a hysteric, a marginal ideologue, and a self-hating Jew. Selfless and vain, highly emotional—sometimes hysterical—in tone yet relentlessly logical in his arguments, he is now an academic with a doctorate from Princeton whose attacks on “the Holocaust Industry” and public cheerleading for Hezbollah have rendered him so toxic that he can’t obtain even the lowliest adjunct teaching position at any community college in America.

Yet, like it or not, Finkelstein’s influence on public debate is by now undeniable, with his once-radical ideas having been embraced throughout the Jewish community, from his debunking of the idea of Israel as “a land without a people” and his diagnosis of a strain of American Jewish Holocaust obsession to his assertions of the immorality of the continuing Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

On the eve of the publication of two new books—Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance With Israel Is Coming to an End and What Gandhi Says About Nonviolence, Resistance, and Courage—I made a pair of unlikely pilgrimages to Finkelstein’s book-lined one-bedroom apartment on Ocean Parkway. Located smack in the middle of the most densely populated Jewish ZIP code in America, the place where Finkelstein spends his days is, as he is quick to point out, quite different from the fancy suburban abodes occupied by critics like Alan Dershowitz, who, he says, claim to love Jews but “live among the goyim.”

Read the interview on Tablet

Norman Finkelstein talks about KNOWING TOO MUCH on Mondoweiss

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Last month I wrote to Norman Finkelstein offering to debate the chapter dealing with the Israel lobby theory of Walt and Mearsheimer in his new book, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to an End. He wrote back to say that’s just one section, and the book has much larger aims, why not discuss them? I agreed, and our email dialogue of the last two weeks follows. Note that this dialogue preceded Finkelstein’s appearance on Democracy Now! Monday.

Norman Finkelstein: My new book is the fruit of three decades of scholarly reflection on the Israel-Palestine conflict and also of being an active participant in the solidarity movement. (I first got involved on June 6, 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon.) It is also the result of perhaps five years of intensive research, and three comprehensive rewrites of the manuscript. An honest reader would, I think, conclude that my book is the substantive version of the “Beinart thesis,” which, as it happens, I articulated in multiple venues long before Beinart came along. You might recall the conversation we had on the bus in Gaza after the 2008-9 Israeli invasion where I laid out my thesis that liberal American Jews were distancing themselves from Israel, and you expressed deep skepticism.

We are now at a crossroads in the conflict. I truly believe it is possible—not certain, not even probable, but still possible—that we can achieve a reasonable settlement within the two-state framework. But achieving this goal will require a maximum of political clarity and a vastly reduced amount of sloganeering.

Read the full interview on Mondoweiss

KNOWING TOO MUCH excerpt on The Huffington Post

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

My book was conceived in the mid-2000s and largely completed by 2008. Although its publication was unavoidably delayed, I did manage to lecture widely on its thrust that a tipping point had been reached: large sectors of the significantly liberal American Jewish community now knew too much of the truth about the Israel-Palestine conflict to continue lending Israel blind support. The argument was skeptically received by audiences and experts alike back then, but just a few years later, as these lines are being written, it has practically passed into conventional wisdom.

Although disagreements persist on exactly why American Jews are “distancing” themselves from Israel, it is largely accepted that in recent years a divide has opened up. Indeed, the poll data sampled in this book probably underestimate the depth of this estrangement because of the traditional reticence of Jews to “air dirty laundry in public,” and because of their reluctance to acknowledge that Israel no longer touches them as it once did.

Read the full excerpt on The Huffington Post

New Left Project reviews KNOWING TOO MUCH

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

At the edge of a different continent, defending – as its apologists aver – its own ethnic and religious heritage from its (racialised) enemy, the analogue of Israel’s “fortress state” is almost unmissable. If this fact has taken a long time to encroach on Western consciousness, it is in part a testament to the efforts of the state’s defenders, as they engage in similar attempts to turn their backs on history.

Yet, as pre-eminent Israel- Palestine scholar Norman Finkelstein points out in Knowing Too Much, encroached it has – and with it, an awareness of Israel’s abysmal human rights record, its history of unrestrained belligerence towards its neighbours, and its increasingly racist and reactionary political culture.

Like the South African Apartheid state it echoes, Israel has been steeped in a culture of racism and denial since its inception. Western Jewish progressives seeking the heralded utopian socialism of the kibbutzim routinely found their eagerness and curiosity dashed on the harsh realities of the early Zionist state. As historian Tony Judt described his experiences as a military translator during the June 1967 war.

Read the full review in the New Left Project

Norman Finkelstein talks with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Well over a year into the Arab Spring, the author and scholar Norman Finkelstein argues that there is a new, albeit quieter awakening happening here in the United States that could provide a major boost to the winds of change in the Middle East. In his new book, “Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to an End,” Finkelstein contends that American Jewish support for the Israeli government is undergoing a major shift. After decades of staunch backing for Israel that began with the 1967 war through the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, to the repression of two Palestinian intifadas, Finkelstein says that a new generation of American Jews are no longer adopting reflexive support for the state that speaks in their name. With this shift in American Jewish opinion, Finkelstein sees a new opportunity for achieving a just Middle East peace.

Watch the full interview on Democracy Now!

Norman Finkelstein on BBC News with HARDtalk

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

American Presidents have long been criticised for being too in thrall to the Jewish lobby. That American Jews influence US foreign policy and that explains America’s unwavering support for Israel.

So what happens if American Jews fall out of love with Israel? That’s what the Jewish American academic Norman Finkelstein claims is happening. He says they are now so unhappy with what Israel is doing that they want to distance themselves from the country. But then he is nothing if not controversial. He, after all, is famous for accusing Jews of exploiting the Holocaust. And his actions have so incensed Israel it’s banned him from entering the country. Could he be right and if he is what does that mean for Middle East policy?

See the interview on HARDtalk

Norman Finkelstein bids farewell to Israel bashing” according to Haaretz

Friday, April 6th, 2012

In June, Norman Finkelstein will mark 30 years of criticizing Israel. He remembers the exact day – the beginning of the Lebanon war, which ended his indifference to the Middle East’s troubles. He’ll have a new book coming out – “Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End” – that focuses on Jewish public figures who represent, in his view, the narrative of beautiful Israel that’s coming to an end. He is sure to make a lot of people mad again.

Jobless since losing his tenure in 2007 at DePaul University’s political science department in an ugly public fight with Alan Dershowitz, Finkelstein remains in demand as a speaker at universities.

Yet if you happened to walk into one of his lectures, you might be surprised to hear him say he is “not going to be an Israel-basher anymore.” It’s not that he’s changed his mind on the conflict, he just says blaming Israel has become too easy.

Read the full article in Haaretz

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