Which side of the Spanish Civil War do they most remind you of?
If there were any remaining doubts that Norman Finkelstein's visceral and obsessive hatred of Israel (along with his clearly deep-seated psychological problems) have left him thoroughly unhinged, this illuminating recent interview on Lebanese TV (via MEMRI) should be enough to dispel such doubts.Read the rest, including the stomach-turning language in which Fink gives his solidarity for their "resistance". While the Lebanese interviewer gently suggests that Hezbollah might not be the genuine voice of all Lebanese people, Finkelstein goes on the offensive. Finally, he says: "You have no self-respect... How can you expect other people to respect Arabs is you show no respect for yourselves?" What he means by "having no self-respect" is basically "not all of you silly little Lebanese people are man enough to die fighting against the Nazi Zionists". Although that is a paraphrase, it is no exaggeration. This man is completely off the deep end.
Being offensive in a different register, Fink invokes the spirit of La Pasionaria, the Spanish anti-fascist. Jeff shows some grim pics of saluting* Hizbollah militants, and asks "Which side in the Spanish Civil War does this remind you of?"
Later in the day: I just watched the actual clip (it was down when I read Jeff's extract). It is actually even worse than I thought. Asked if there is any alternative for Lebanon than military resistance, Finkelstein emphatically says no. Then, he says, "unless you want to be their slave". Later, he makes it clear who the "they" is: "the Jews", not Israel. Fink is utterly offensive towards the pro-democracy movement in Lebanon, calling them "human freaks" and "disgusting" for not wanting constant war against Israel. And again and again in the interview he directly compares Israel to Nazi Germany. Final words of the interview: "Israel has to be defeated".
Oddly, though, the only time he loses his rag and departs from his strange cyborg psychopath pattern of speech, however, is not when talking about Israel, but when he mentions George Bush: a name he cannot pronounce without getting apopolectic.
And on Monday: Another thing of note in the interview is the way the Fink always uses the definate article about Jews - "the Jews". Hmmm.
*Erratum: I wrote that the Hezbullah fighters were "goose-stepping" when in fact they were doing fascist salute, as Jeff W kindly noted to me in an e-mail ("As you know, fascism was quite popular in that part of the world during the inter-war period ... and it has continued to be popular in some quarters since then, but in most cases there have been efforts to clean up some of the more obvious historical roots. In Lebanon, however, the good old 1930s-style symbolism is apparently still in style.")
Disclaimer: this blog does not endorse hero-worship of La Pasionara; she was a Stalinist who wanted to sell out her country's revolution to another totalitarianism that would have been nearly as bad as Franco's. But that's another argument.