Norman Finkelstein used to disgust me back when I was an AIPAC Neocon groupie. As I turned more and more away from that crowd and indeed grew to turn my disgust on AIPAC itself instead, Finkelstein became irrelevant. Unlike some libertarian converts I never ended up loving the people I once branded as self hating Jews or otherwise anti Semites. I am still aware of the fact that something is seriously wrong with them. I just wasn’t bothered by them anymore.
So no, I don’t love Norman Finkelstein. But one thing he said a few days ago was actually pretty insightful. Or inciteful, depending on which side of the divide you fall on.
Remember Der Sturmer? That 1930’s anti Semitic magazine in Germany? In case you don’t:
Now, what if, some time before Krystalnacht in the 1930’s, 2 pissed off Jews armed with rifles stormed the offices of Der Sturmer and just shot and killed the whole staff?
Personally, had I lived in the 1930’s, I would have been happy. And admit it, you would, too. I don’t know if I would have celebrated, but I would be at least relieved. I would be horrified at “freedom of speech” rallies in support of the surviving Der Sturmer staff, and I would be really freaked out at millions of copies of Der Sturmer being sold in the aftermath on a 1930’s Ebay. I would certainly not wear an “I am Der Sturmer” button on my shirt.
Many will say that the Der Sturmer/Charlie Hebdo analogy doesn’t hold. I say it does, and perfectly so.
I am not Charlie. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Europe has its own anti Muslim Krystalnacht fairly soon.
And once again, no, they should not have been killed, and the murderers should be punished. But I’m not one to mourn the murder of Julius Streicher.