Bashing Israel Pays Really Well, Admits Anti-Israel Activist; Hopes Conflict ‘Doesn’t End’
Norman Finkelstein

The surprising statement was made by Norman Finkelstein, a former professor who based his academic career on his constant criticism of the Jewish state.

By Beth Stern, United with Israel

A former professor famous for his defense of the Palestinian cause and fierce criticism of Israel admitted recently that there is good money to be had due to the age-old conflict, which helps perpetuate the clash rather than bring peace to the region.

“Whenever a cause has gone on so long as this one has, people develop an investment in its perpetuation,” Norman Finkelstein said in an undated video clip of a speech publicized last week by Canary Mission, a group that documents antisemitism and anti-Israel activism at North American universities, on the part of both students and the academic staff.

“There are 10,000 NGOs in Ramallah now,” explained the former academic whose area of expertise is the Arab-Israeli conflict, with his sentiments openly on the Palestinian side in his many books on the subject. “That means 10,000 organizations which are paid for by foreign countries, mostly European, to ‘facilitate’ the peace process. And if you’re in an NGO, compared to the salaries of ordinary Palestinians, it’s quite good.”

“Ramallah is a pretty impressive lifestyle now,” he continued with a half-smile. “And so you develop a stake in perpetuating the situation. And so you don’t even want to think about realistic solutions, because part of you doesn’t even want it to end.”

He readily acknowledged that he was one of those who was so invested.

“I have to admit myself – let’s say it ended tomorrow, what am I going to do tomorrow? I have to fight that.”

In the past, Finkelstein made tens of thousands of dollars a year speaking to Palestinian solidarity groups in the U.S. and Canada. A decade ago, however, he came out against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, because it says its anti-Israel agenda is backed by international law but “hypocritically” ignores the fact that international law established Israel as a Jewish state, and thus it has a right to exist.

Since then, his once-solid popularity plummeted among the Palestinian faithful, even though the son of Holocaust survivors never stopped bashing Israel. He has famously claimed that Israel exploits the Holocaust to justify its “crimes” against the Palestinians, compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to that of the Nazis, called the country a “satanic” state, and declared his solidarity with the Hizbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations.

Finkelstein has also said that while the “pragmatic” solution to the Middle East conflict is that of two states, the preferable one is that of one binational state, although he acknowledged that this would be tantamount to Israel giving up “its existence, its rationale, and the security of all its Jewish citizens.”

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