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on 5 February 2016
Brilliant. This will certainly have you thinking about the almost incessant pro Israeli propaganda constantly churned out by the likes of the BBC. Norman.Finkelstein digs and deep and gets to the heart of the matter of how and why, certain people and Israel, have gained so much from the holocaust industry- the most apt title I've ever seen!!
This isn't a conspiracy, but the truth. And it hurts.
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on 25 May 2017
Interesting study and observations on a very emotive subject which I'm sure will be controversial for some. The author makes it hard to read at times as it's written academically but makes a compelling if not very believable case which is very hard to assimilate and understand the overwhelming human desire for greed at the expense of any or all moralistic values
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 January 2016
The Holocaust - more properly The Shoah - has been exaggerated, in places invented, in order to bolster Israeli interests and has grown such that it undergirds the 3 billion Dollars in aid that the USA gives Israel each year; it is, the author adverts, 'leverage' (in that unlovely business lexicon, its American pronunciation adopted overseas in an act of unconscious allegiance). This is Finkelstein's provocative thesis and his is an extremely readable, scholarly polemic with impressive credentials. I say this as I am no Jew haiter: of course it happened and many, mostly Jews, were murdered in the textbook case of genocide, possibly the only one: Hitler genuinely wanted ALL Jews dead. Horrifiying. So, obviously this book was going to cause trouble, the topic is a hot one. Indeed as time passes it becomes sacrosanct and this establishes the thesis Finkelstein makes: that culturally The Holocaust is freighted and intimately connected to the true Special Relationship, of the U.S.A., with the State of Israel, indeed it is put to use by each. Like the good sociologist he is, he demonstrates that until the 1960's not much was made of the issue, whereas now Holocaust memorials are everywhere and culturally the fate of the murdered Jews looms larger: as a symbol The Holocaust is enormous when in living memory it was once invisible, a thing even of shame. The book explains how such a change has occurred and argues that it has served extreme Israeli interests, an 'extremism' become mainstream when Begin led Likud to victory in the 1970s; when Yiztak Rabin was assassinated after a disgraceful and provocative assault on allegedly too conciliatory a position on Palestine, and consolidated by the assumptions of Sharon and Netanyahu more recently. Of course only a clod would not lament the ghastly slaughter in the Shoah, but not all of them were Jews. To know the use to which it is put by, infamously, AIPAC in America, and too many Israeli leaders i.e. to quash any resolution of The Palestinian Question, does Israel no favours. And as the part played by Eli Wiesel here almost cruelly demonstrates, the ideological leverage to which this 'industry' is put shames many. The tendentious purpose to what can kindly be called a sentimental view of the matter is laid bare here since Finkelstein, like a large portion of Israelis and many Jews, is dismayed at the forgetting of the Nakba even as the Shoah ascends in the collective memory: that is a parable for which this book is the scholarly armature. An engrossing study, footnoted impeccably and brave. One of the best books I have read and to pick it up always means I read it through. And The Nakba? Look it up and consider how widespread ignorance of it might be (negatively) correlated with our knowledge of The Holocaust. And, indeed, why.
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on 28 January 2015
Excellent academic work that looks behind the scenes of the machinations regarding the post-war legacy of the Holocaust.

It is beyond doubt that survivors of the Holacaust, indeed all survivors of that era should be treated with due deferrence. Norman Finkelstein looks with scrutiny at the organisations which have grown up around one aspect of World War 2 - The Holocaust, the mass murder of the Jews - and questions whether their agenda and the methods they employ against countries or organisations in their cross-hairs is for the benefit of survivors or if there is another agenda.

Additionally Finkelstein highlights the fraud of Holocaust survivor individuals such as Jerzy Kosinski who fabricated and exaggerated supposedly semi-autobiographical experiances during the war in his book "The Painted Bird" with tales of gross mistreatment by East European peasants. He was actually rescued and well treated by a Polish Catholic family at great risk to themselves. This didn't stop his book being used as a history book in some US educational institutions and treated as factual.

I thoroughly recommend this work written by an academic heavyweight who himself is the son of Holocaust survivors who looks at serious distortions of the Holocaust aspect of WW2 where overall some 50 million died.
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on 8 July 2002
Until comparatively recently, I implicitly accepted the image of the holocaust and its victims that was presented by the mass media. Then, a year ago, I read the Penguin Book of Twentieth-century Speeches, in particular some of what Elie Weisel had to say about the holocaust.
It was clearly exaggerated, sentimentalist nonsense. I began to think a little more independently about the issue, but had nowhere to turn for a more balanced view.
One day, Amazon's recommendations system suggested this book to me, and I bought it at once. Having read it, I'm delighted to be able to recommend it unreservedly as exactly the book I needed.
Finkelstein does not deny the Nazi holocaust, nor the suffering it inflicted on both those it killed, and on those who survived. His contention - persuasively argued - is that their genuine suffering is being debased and abused by the Holocaust "industry" in order to bring political power and huge sums of money to an élite minority.
He also points out that by labelling the Holocaust with false superlatives, one belittles the plight of others who have suffered comparably awful genocide and victimisation, both in World War II and throughout history.
The book is well written. Finkelstein occasionally personalises the debate, or becomes less than dispassionate, but I never once felt this damaged his objectivity. He quotes sources throughout the book - in many cases his opponents are condemned by their own tongues.
It is time the media stopped pandering to the abusive interests of the Holocaust Industry, time they took a more balanced, more critical and less sensationalist view. Billions of dollars are being extorted from governments (even those that can hardly afford it, such as Poland's) by the playing of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism cards. This is unjust.
Buy this book. Read it. Tell your friends about it.
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At a certain level this had to be a very difficult book to write. Professor Finkelstein had to know that he would be pilloried as a "self-hating Jew" for daring to question one of the prevailing orthodoxies of the time: The Holocaust (and it is all too often written in that manner, with the capitals.) But he has impeccable "moral credentials" for writing a book that examines the "industry" that has surrounded the Jewish holocaust. He lost the vast majority of his family in the Nazi death camps, so he certainly is not a "denier." And it was his Jewish mother who instilled the moral principles that were required to tackle this subject. As he said in the Introduction: "But to make out moral distinctions between "our" suffering and "theirs" is itself a moral travesty...In the face of the sufferings of African-Americans, Vietnamese and Palestinians, my mother's credo always was: We are all holocaust victims."

His initial point is how dominate the Jewish holocaust has become in academia and the media. More students can correctly identify the circumstances surrounding the Jewish holocaust than events such as the American Civil War, Pearl Harbor or the atomic bombing of Japan. From this basis of relentless focus on the Jewish holocaust, Finkelstein discusses how others have capitalized on this monstrous and tragic crime for their own purposes. This includes what Finkelstein refers to as "the double shakedown," the pursuit of German companies and Swiss banks whose management was not even alive when the Jewish holocaust occurred. And the proceeds, as the author notes, are all too often NOT used to assist real survivors of this holocaust, but rather fund various other Jewish causes. Tellingly, he relates how real survivors have picketed "reparation" efforts since they receive none of the funds. With a mother who could see the suffering of others, it is only naturally that Finkelstein documents that suffering, and the denial of those who promote the exclusivity of the Jewish holocaust. For example, he notes that the prominent American "scholar" on Islam, Bernard Lewis, was convicted in a French court for holocaust denying...not the Jewish one, but the Armenian one. Subsequently, of course, the American government conforms to this form of denial, stating that to term the slaughter of over a million Armenians during World War I a "holocaust" as not being "helpful" to our relationship with Turkey. Finkelstein utilizes other Jewish voices, all too often not heard by the American public, to document the "double standard" in regards to suffering, and the misuse of the Jewish holocaust. For example, he quotes the Haaretz columnist, Ari Shavit, observing that Israel could act with impunity in the appalling attacks against Lebanon in 1996, including the massacre of over a hundred civilians at Qana, because "...we have the Anti-Defamation League...and Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Museum."

Finkelstein is particularly contemptuous of Joan Peter's fraudulent book, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine. Finkelstein's book was published in the year 2000, and there have been numerous other books concerning the Jewish holocaust that have been subsequently exposed as fraud, including Misha Defonseca's Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years and Herman Roseblat's The Apple: Based on the Herman Rosenblat Holocaust Memoir. In Defonseca's case, (she isn't even Jewish) she made twenty million British pounds exploiting the memory of the Jewish holocaust.

Finkelstein's work is meticulously documented, and I have yet to see a serious criticism that identifies specific errors. His overall theme though, as stated in the Conclusion, is unimpeachable: "For those committed to human betterment, a touchstone of evil does not preclude but rather invites comparisons."

5-stars plus for the book, 6-stars for Finkelstein's courage in addressing this highly emotional and politicized subject.

(Note: Review first published at Amazon, USA, on April 18, 2011)
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on 7 August 2014
Mr Finkelstein pulls no punches as he argues against the [religion like] exploitation of the Holocaust. Mr Finkelstein continues to go from strength to strength with each new book ,lecture and comment he makes about Jewish related matters. Superior to all his detractors in argument as he dismantles fable from myth and places the Holocaust in perspective. Great tact and compassion from a great man.
Discover the shakedown racket against the Swiss banks, WJC ripping off Holocaust survivors,the insane rantings of Elie Wiesel on how all Gentiles are guilty of the Holocaust, and that Jews died for the Gentiles ? Discover the political weapon of the Holocaust that excuse 's the state of Israel of all it's crimes and all Jews from criticism. Jews have transformed themselves into victim's on which a Holocaust is about to be laid on their ass at any minute. It only seems the Jews suffered in WW2 ? Why don't other victims of Nazi terror get compensation ? This work brings out more proof that Jewish leaders and organisations are milking the Holocaust for all they can get by emotional blackmail and bully boy tactics ! Germany has paid $60 billion to the Jews in compensation since 1952 and the Jews are still demanding more money! When will people wake up to see we are all being demonized and humiliated by a small minority of money grabbing interlopers ! PS. Elie Wiesel has possibly been exposed as a fraud ? It could be argued he was never a prisoner in Auschwitz as he has no camp tattoo number on his arm ? Or possibly only spent three weeks in the Auschwitz infirmary before being evacuated. It has been claimed by another Jewish prisoner that he stole another inmate's name similar to his own ? inmate A7713 PLEASE STAND UP ! ? Possibly another example of the lies told to keep the cash cow milking ! Mr Weasel charges $25000 and a private limo for his Holocaust lectures. Where as Norman Finkelsteins mother received $3000 for her time in a slave camp !
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on 20 June 2007
For the various political currents of Zionism, Norman Finkelstein is a particularly terrifying foe - his polemical edge had me wincing with delight; his holocaust-survivor parents deflect the crude character assassinations so favoured of the ADL; and most of all, his rare erudition and sharp scholarship, which has won plaudits from such luminaries as Raul Hilberg (who uses much of the present work's research, citing it as a "breakthrough"), presents a serious intellectual challenge. Not many people could commit themselves to proving Alan Dershowitz's wholesale lifting of research on a footnote by footnote basis, but Finkelstein does it in another book, and he has you chuckling all the way at the sheer audacity of it all.

The case for the book has already been made, so I simply wish to briefly correct "a reader"'s complaints that "The Holocaust Industry" is a "polemical barrage" which "lacks context" and is inferior to the more nucanced approach of Peter Novick. This does not note that Finkelstein both refers to and criticises Novick in this work, criticisms unaddressed by comrade 'reader'. It also ignores the fact that nuance is not always desirable - there was nothing "nuanced" about Hitler's policy of mass extermination, for a start, and the Holocaust Industry's record, while obviously not nearly as horrendous as Hitler's, is no more possessed of shades of grey. In fact, Finkelstein's whole thesis is that this all represents an attempt to introduce shades of grey artificially into a fairly black and white issue - the ethnic cleansing and subsequent occupation of Palestinians by the state of Israel.
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on 11 August 2000
The thrust of Professor Finkelstein's unsettling book is that powerful interests (Israel and Jewish organizations in America) have hijacked what has become known as the holocaust. And while Israel has exploited the holocaust as a weapon to deflect criticism, regardless how justified, American Jewish organizations have used the plight of supposedly needy survivors to extort staggering sums of money from the rest of the world. This was done not for the benefit of survivors, but for the financial advantage of these organizations.
There are no conclusions reached in Professor Finkelstein's book that a careful reader of daily newspapers could not have reached, assuming the reader could read between the lines and base his judgment on evidence and common sense rather than the politically correct slant of the media reporting...
The bottom line of Finkelstein's book is that it says what was very long overdue to be said. But few academics have the courage or intellectual fortitude to weather the defamation campaign that will predictably descend on anyone who challenges this multi-billion dollar industry...
I recommend the advice Nietzsche gave his readers 130 years ago: "If you want to know something about a book or its author, read what HE wrote rather than what his critics or enemies have to say about him."...
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on 9 March 2014
This book is one of the best I have ever read. It really helps the reader better understand the many issues that surround Israel and it's lobby in America. A must read for anyone interested in the subject
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