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Beyond Chutzpah

On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History

Norman Finkelstein (Author)

Not available in Brit Comm, S Asia, Israel; Incl. CA

Hardcover, 343 pages
ISBN: 9780520245983
August 2005
$42.95, £31.95
Other Formats Available:
In this long-awaited sequel to his international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched exposé of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Bringing to bear the latest findings on the conflict and recasting the scholarly debate, Finkelstein points to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record. Why, then, does so much controversy swirl around the conflict? Finkelstein’s answer, copiously documented, is that apologists for Israel contrive controversy. Whenever Israel comes under international pressure, another media campaign alleging a global outbreak of anti-Semitism is mounted.

Finkelstein also scrutinizes the proliferation of distortion masquerading as history. Recalling Joan Peters’ book From Time Immemorial, published to great fanfare in 1984 but subsequently exposed as an academic hoax, he asks deeply troubling questions here about the periodic reappearance of spurious scholarship and the uncritical acclaim it receives. The most recent addition to this genre, Finkelstein argues, is Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s bestseller, The Case for Israel.

The core analysis of Beyond Chutzpah sets Dershowitz’s assertions on Israel’s human rights record against the findings of the mainstream human rights community. Sifting through thousands of pages of reports from organizations such as Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and Human Rights Watch, Finkelstein argues that Dershowitz has misrepresented the facts.

Thoroughly researched and tightly argued, Beyond Chutzpah lifts the veil of controversy shrouding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

1. From Jesus Christ Superstar to The Passion of the Christ
2. Israel: “The Jew of the World”
3. Exaggeration, Diversion, Spillover

Trampling Rights: Preliminary Remarks
4. Casualties
5. Political Liquidations
6. Torture
7. Willful Destruction of Property
8. Economy
9. Supreme Court
10. Of Crimes and Misdemeanors
Trampling Rights: Concluding Remarks

Appendix I: History of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Appendix II: Peace Process
Norman G. Finkelstein is currently an independent scholar. For many years he taught political theory and the Israel-Palestine conflict. His books include The Holocaust Industry (2000); A Nation on Trial (1998; with Ruth Bettina Birn), named a notable book for 1998 by the New York Times Sunday Book Review; and Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (1995).
“Finkelstein’s most recent book is . . . an exercise in scholarly truthtelling. . . .The story Finkelstein tells in Beyond Chutzpah is hard to believe, but it needs to be told. My hat is off to him for having the courage to tell it.”—Michael C. Desch, Professor & Robert M. Gates Chair In Intelligence and National Security Decision-M The American Conservative
"Very little of Dershowitz's widely acclaimed defense of Israel's occupation policies escapes Finkelstein's withering scrutiny. Behind Dershowitz's firm assurances that Israel is dealing with its adversaries justly and humanely, Finkelstein discerns ugly realities, including brutal torture of Palestinian prisoners and lethal disregard for Palestinian children and noncombatants."—Booklist
“UC Press should be commended for standing by the legitimacy of ‘Chutzpah’, checking it many times over and not balking from publishing controversial work just because its contents don’t coincide with the prevailing attitude. The healthy exchange of ideas in an open society depends on authors and publishers brave enough to continue in spite of such threats and accusations.”—Daily Californian
“This book cracks the wall of deception and hypocrisy that enables the daily violation of human and civil rights in Palestine. As such, it has the potential to contribute to the removal of the real wall that shuts out those in the occupied territories.”—Ilan Pappe Bookforum
"A formidable challenge to the conventional wisdom on the Middle East."—Publishers Weekly
“Finkelstein is absolutely right to assert the absurdity of linking criticism of Israel’s horrendous treatment of Palestinians to anti-Semitism. And his documentation of human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories is invaluable.”—Tikkun
“What is the controversy about? . . . .On the one hand, the controversy surrounding Beyond Chutzpah seems to be a reaction to Dr. Finkelstein’s attempt to expose how elements in academia have played an active role in concealing Israel’s abuse and, by extension, the abuse of other rogue regimes, not least the United States itself. Obviously those intellectuals who do resort to this tactic prefer to operate in the dark. On the other hand, the heated response to his book is just another example of how the literature discussing the new anti-Semitism delegitimizes those who expose Israel’s egregious violations of international law. The major irony informing this saga is that Dr. Finkelstein’s book, not Mr. Dershowitz’s, constitutes the real case for Israel, that is, for a moral Israel.”—Neve Gordon National Catholic Reporter
Beyond Chutzpah is the most comprehensive, systematic, and well-documented work of its kind. It is one of the harshest—rational and nonemotional—texts about the daily practices of the occupation and colonization of the Palestinian territories by Israel, and it is an excellent demonstration of how and why the blind defenders of Israel, by basing their arguments on false facts and figures, actually bring more damage than gains to their cause.”--Baruch Kimmerling, George S. Wise Professor of Sociology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

“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 U.S.”—Noam Chomsky, author of Hegemony or Survival

“The scholarship is simply superb. Finkelstein has clearly done his homework, and consulted and mastered a breathtaking range of material: primary sources and documents, scholarly works, reports old and new, correspondence with relevant individuals, and numerous other sources too. He has left no stone unturned.”—Mouin Rabbani, Contributing Editor, Middle East Report

"A vigorous, intelligent, succinct and powerfully argued analysis that is difficult if not impossible to reproach."—Sara Roy, Senior Research Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University

"Accurate, well-written, and devastatingly important."—Daniel Boyarin, Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley

"Beyond Chutzpah is a brilliantly illuminating study of the lengths to which some American Jews will go to present Israel in a favorable light. On display are all the sterling qualities for which Finkelstein has become famous: erudition, originality, spark, meticulous attention to detail, intellectual integrity, courage, and formidable forensic skills."—Avi Shlaim, Professor of International Relations, Oxford University

"A brave and daring challenge, meticulously researched. Must reading for anyone committed to a just and enduring peace in the Middle East." - Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!

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