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Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History Paperback – 1 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; Revised and expanded ed edition (1 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844671496
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844671496
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"His research is painstaking, his evidence persuasive and his conclusions devastating." - London Review of Books "A very solid, important and highly informative book. Norman Finkelstein provides extensive details and analysis, with considerable historical depth and expert research, of a very wide range of issues concerning Israel, the Palestinians, and the United States." - Noam Chomsky"

About the Author

Norman G. Finkelstein teaches political science at DePaul University, Chicago. His books include The Holocaust Industry; A Nation on Trial (with Ruth Bettina Birn); and Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

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First Sentence
THE LATEST PRODUCTION of Israel's apologists is the "new anti-Semitism." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Yannis Theocharis on 8 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently asked a friend who specialises in Middle East politics to suggest to me an introductory book about the Israel-Palestine conflict, one of the global issues I felt I knew little about. Among others, he suggested to me Finkelstein's `Beyond Chutzpah' as a book that `sets the record straight'.

Beyond Chutzpah is not a book for those looking for an introduction about the Israel - Palestine conflict at all. On the contrary, the book is clearly a polemic against Alan Dersowitz's book `The case for Israel' and an exhaustive account of Israel's consistent violations of human rights and international law. Nevertheless, I never regretted buying this book.

Beyond Chutzpah is a stunning piece of research and a spectacular example of academic activist scholarship. By widely exposing a significant number of Dersowitz's arguments, the book reveals at the same time fundamental historical facts about the Israel - Palestine conflict as established by serious scholars and human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The book is extremely well-written and comprehensible and, regardless of its intimidating look mainly due to the large number of footnotes and endless tables, if read until the end (including the Appendices), offers a complete and rigorous overview of the conflict, plus a striking amount of detail about Israel's human rights record and treatment of the Palestinians.

After finishing the book I tried to think when was the last time I read something as passionately written and at the same time well-argued as Beyond Chutzpah. I couldn't recall of any. Regardless of its aggressive tone against `The case for Israel', apart from remarkably informing the reader about the enormous injustice suffered by the Palestinians, the book itself is Finkelstein's personal statement against falsehood, misleading and narrow-minded academic scholarship.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By S Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
Norman Finkelstein first appeared in the 1980's with his thorough debunking of Joan Peters From Time Immemorial which had been widely praised on publication by Zionists and other supporters of Israel who were overjoyed to read an "academic" work that supported the Zionist assertion that the Palestinians didn't exist. Finkelstein in a memorable contribution to Blaming the Victims showed Peter's magnum opus to be a tissue of lies, distorted quotations and innumerate demographic calculations. Now in "Beyond Chutzpah" Finkelstein directs his considerable critical abilities towards the issue of "The New Anti-Semitism" and to Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel, an important text for Zionist apologists.

In the first part of the book Finkelstein identifies "The New Anti-Semitism" as a more or less fictional construct, that is functionally useful for labeling critics of Israel as anti-Semites and automatically de-legitimizing criticism of Israel without having to deal with them rationally and honestly, which would inevitably cause difficulties given the gulf between the rhetoric of Israel's supporters and reality. He gives an account, or perhaps history is the correct term as "The New Anti-Semitism" approaches its fortieth year, of it's birth in the period after the two major Arab-Israel Wars of 1967 and 1973, before it came to age with Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Adam A. Waterhouse on 1 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is just fantastic. If you have ever had the experience of feeling unhappy about the media presentation of the 'conflict' between Israel and the Palesinians, and accepted views on Israel and 'anti-Semitism', but unable to clearly articulate your own thoughts, then this is the book for you. Finkelstein's analysis of these issues (in Part One of this book) is clear and rigorous, and leaves no room for doubts. He also possesses a very keen sarcastic wit which he uses to great effect in exposing the absurdities of Jewish and Israeli apologists using 'anti-Semitism' to try to counter legitimate and principled criticisms of Israel or the power and influence which some Jewish figures possess in America.

The second part of this book is very factual in nature and consists of a point by point rebuffal of the dishonest and disengenious claims made by Alan Dershowitz in his book 'The Case for Israel.' You do need a certain amount of dedication to read all of the second part, and the detailed appendices. Alternatively they can be used for reference as they provide very good factual material on Israel's human rights abuse. Appendix II also offers a very good 20 page summary of the entire 'conflict.'

I would heartily recommend this book for anyone who wants to clarify their thinking about this on-going and highly contentious 'conflict.'

N.B. The term 'conflict' is used in inverted brackets as it conveys the impression that the Palestinians bear a large burden of responsibility for the occupation and oppression which they have experienced. I do not accept this - the historical record shows that they have been willing to agree to a just settlement - and consider 'conflict' a misleading terms to use in this regard. I am just using it, in inverted brackets, as it is commonly referred to in this way.
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