Interview with Zaman in January 2009
Professor Norman Finkelstein has heavily criticized Israel over its operation in Gaza. A son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein has been barred from Israel for 10 years and was denied tenure at DePaul University in Chicago because of his critical stance on Israeli policies.
According to Finkelstein, Israel, a state built on the ashes of the Holocaust, is now committing a holocaust against Palestinians in Gaza. In a telephone interview with “Today’s Zaman,” Finkelstein said Israel was a “terrorist state” created by the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. Praising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish people for their courage in supporting Palestinians, Finkelstein referred to Israel as a “satanic” and “lunatic” state. Finkelstein’s parents survived the Nazi camps in World War II and then immigrated to the US.
After his book “The Holocaust Industry,” in which he accused many prominent Jewish leaders of abusing the victims of the Holocaust, was published, Finkelstein was almost declared persona non grata by America’s influential Zionist circles.
Zaman: What does Israel want to achieve with this operation?
Finkelstein: Basically, Israel wants to achieve two goals: to restore what it calls its deterrence capacity — that means to spread fear among Arab states about itself. This is a core principle of Israeli strategic doctrine. Arab states have to be afraid of Israel, afraid of its military might, and Arabs should do what Israelis want. They shall follow Israeli orders.