Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Rise and Fall of the Holocaust Industry

Norman Finkelstein
The Rise and Fall of the Holocaust Industry
May 19, 2013 | Veterans Today | Jonas E. Alexis

“At the end of the twentieth century, the ‘Holocaust’ is being bought and sold…In short, ‘Shoah [Hebrew word for Holocaust] business’ is big business.”--Tim Cole, Jewish Professor of History at the University of Bristol[1]

When Norman Finkelstein wrote The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering in 2000, he argues that Holocaust “hoaxers” and “hucksters”—namely Jewish organizations—have exploited what happened in Nazi Germany in order to get millions of dollars from Swiss banks.[2] Finkelstein calls those Jewish leaders a “repellent gang of plutocrats, hoodlums, and hucksters.”[3]

The book was quickly denounced as a work of an anti-Semite, despite the fact that Finkelstein lost his grandparents in Nazi Germany. Finkelstein was teaching at Hunter College at the time and lost his job right after the publication of the book.[4]

Many skeptics questioned his motives—and they should have, since serious scholarship dictates that a person’s motive should also be put under the light of reason and intellectual honesty.

Yet no one has put forward a reasonable counterargument to Finkelstein’s thesis. Haaretz told us that the Jewish establishment thought that killing the book “with kindness was the best strategy.”[5]

Anti-Semitism, distortion of facts, among other words, were applied to describe the book by a number of Jewish writers.[6] Israel Guttman, “formerly the chief historian of Yad Vashem,” called the book an “anti-Semitic lampoon.”[7]

Yet when those people are challenged to back up such charges from assertions made in the book itself, and to refute the documented claims Finkelstein made, none could produce evidentiary foundation. As some have stated, it is not a matter of facts that is the issue, but the style that Finkelstein uses in the book.

Michael Brenner, a professor of Jewish history at the University of Munich, Germany, somewhat agrees with Finkelstein’s work, and at the same time diverges from him because, well, of his style:
“There is a nucleus of justified claims in the book, including the stuff about the compensation issue, the lack of transparency of the Jewish organizations that are handling the matter, and the Holocaust obsession of the American Jewish establishment. Nevertheless, in order to gain a proper understanding of these claims, Novick’s book was definitely enough. Finkelstein’s style only makes it harder to accept these claims.”[8]
Ten years later, some Jewish organizations continued to prove that Finkelstein was right. The Nadav Haetzni’s law firm, “which provides legal advice to the state-owned Company for Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets,” was one of those organizations. The law firm, Haaretz tells us, “has earned millions of shekels in fees over the last three years.” 

That’s not all, the firm “took in NIS 1.2 million in fees in 2008 and over NIS 1 million in 2009; the figure for 2007 was similar. That sum is on top of the hundreds of thousands of shekels the company paid to other law firms during those years.”[9]

The same year, The Jewish Week told us,

The Claims Conference fired three employees last week who allegedly approved more than 100 fraudulent Holocaust-era claims — filed primarily by Russians now living in Brooklyn — that bilked the German government out of more than $350,000, The Jewish Week has learned.”[10]

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