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Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Updated Edition, With a New Preface

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  547 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Meticulously researched and tightly argued, Beyond Chutzpah points to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Norman G. Finkelstein exposes the corruption of scholarship and the contrivance of controversy shrouding human rights abuses, and interrogates the new anti-Semitism. This paperback edition ...more
Paperback, 488 pages
Published June 2nd 2008 by University of California Press (first published 2005)
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Ned Rifle
Dec 02, 2012 Ned Rifle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a thorough and well researched book - no surprise there. What makes this book far more enjoyable than others on the Israeli-Palestine conflict is that it is framed as an elaborate and detailed rebuttal of Alan Dershowitz's 'The Case for Israel'. Alan Dershowitz is a horrid but hilarious character, always one to go to for an original idea (see his idea to put the separation wall on wheels: "I proposed, actually, that the security fence be placed on wheels and constantly be able to be mov ...more
Amr Mohamed

ثاني كتاب اقرأه لـنورمان فينكلشتاين وهو أستاذ جامعي أمريكي يهودي معروف عنه مساندته للقضيه الفلسطينية وتم القبض عليه من فترة لمساندته ونزوله مظاهرات ضد اسرائيل بعد العدوان على غزة .

ينقسم الكتاب الى جزأين : الجزء الأول

يتكلم فيه الكاتب عن ظاهرة وإصدارات ودراسات والتى تحول أى نقد او حتي ملحوظة على أفعال اسرائيل ضد الفلسطينين الى معاداة السامية وحتي منظمة العفو الدولية وهيومان رايتس واتش أصبحوا متهمين بمعاداة السامية , ويوضح الكاتب ان ليس الهدف من تلك الاصدارات هو مقاومة معاداة السامية بل الهدف هو اس
Apr 20, 2008 Hatuxka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a careful, comprehensive, concise work that provides understanding of why Israel is so reviled in the world and which indicts, through its focus on one highly visible, well-connected, "media-savvy" apologist, Alan Dershowitz, an entire class of mainstream elite. This elite regularly justify war crimes and horrific human rights abuses on TV and other media. The sections on collective punishment (destroying homes of the accused, their family members and sometimes neighbors, even with them ...more
Simon Wood
Aug 01, 2013 Simon Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Norman Finkelstein first appeared in the 1980's with his thorough debunking of Joan Peters "From Time Immemorial" which had been widely praised on publication by Zionists and other supporters of Israel who were overjoyed to read an "academic" work that supported the Zionist assertion that the Palestinians didn't exist. Finkelstein in a memorable contribution to "Blaming the Victims" showed Peter's magnum opus to be a tissue of lies, distorted quotations
أحترم هذا الكاتب اليهودي وأسجل احتقاري لحكامنا العرب اﻷشاوس، الذين لا يجرؤ واحد منهم على النطق بسطر واحد مما جاء في هذا الكتاب عن توحش الاحتلال الإسرائيلي الغاشم، فما بالكم بالإتيان بفعل يهدد خطط الاحتلال؟
Dec 15, 2007 Seth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mideast-politics
Norman Finkelstein is a hero of truth. This book offers a rare look at the dishonest history and publicity manufactured by the Israel lobby. In every generation since Biblical times the Jews seem to produce prophetic figures who are doomed to speak truth to power -- Finkelstein is such a one.
Dean Dalton
Jul 10, 2017 Dean Dalton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative collection of Israel's human rights abuses and how Jewish elites distort and deny the findings of respected NGO's.
Ahmed Daabel
Sep 24, 2011 Ahmed Daabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a scholarly, very tightly reasoned book. It will not sway ideologues or zealots, but will clarify issues for anyone who is open to rational argument on the inflammatory subject of Middle-East politics and reality. Firstly, the book points out the moral and intellectual corruption of Dershowitz and his crowd. Alan Dershowitz, holding a named chair at the Law School is, for some reason, immune.

During the 1967 war, I happened to make the comment that "Palestinians are people with rights, t
Jordan McPeek
Dec 03, 2011 Jordan McPeek rated it really liked it
Israel/Palestine: terribly complex issues, tread carefully, don't want to be anti-Semitic. Finkelstein says not really, that's just so much smoke thrown up by pro-Israeli apologists to keep people from examining the issues. This book tackles many of them, primarily through closely examining the work of Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and a leading proponent of Israel, and comparing it to reports from various human rights agencies. When reading opinion pieces like this, I assume I'm ju ...more
Hussain Ali
Jun 20, 2013 Hussain Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
لم أكن يومًا ما مهتمًا بالصراع الفلسطيني - الإسرائيلي بشكل مفصل، كنت أكتفي بما أسمعه في نشرات الأخبار وما أقرأه في الصحف، إلى أن وجدت هذا الكتاب في أحد المكتبات، وما جذبني ليس العنوان بتاتًا، بل إن ما جذبني لأمسك هذا الكتاب وأشتريه لأضمه إلى مكتبتي هو اسم المؤلف "نورمان فنكلستاين".

"نورمان فنكلستاين" يهودي أمريكي الجنسية استاذ العلوم السياسية الذي فُصل عمله كأستاذ في جامعة ديبوول بسبب انتقاداته اللاذعة لاسرائيل والغطاء الذي تشكله الولايات المتحدة لممارساتها، نعم ما جذبني هو الإسم، فقد مر علي اسمه
Dec 07, 2008 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serious scholarship that illuminates a painful history.
Henry Lockett
Sep 28, 2011 Henry Lockett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that Finkelstein puts too much focus on discrediting Alan Dershowitz; he sometimes comes across as petit. However one of the main aims of the book is to illustrate how stretched the definition of 'anti-semitism' has become, and much of Dershowitz's writing is a shining example of such abuse. So perhaps the popularity of his book 'The Case For Israel' warrants the critical review given in 'Beyond Chutzpah'. The record needed to be set straight.

Finkelstein's footnotes and references are ex
Aug 16, 2008 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally destroys Alan Dershowitz's credibility. A little shrill, to say the least.
Dec 25, 2009 Joeji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful guide on the correct methods of academic citations.
Dec 27, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book (and, frankly, most of Finkelstein's books) could just as aptly be titled Norman Finkelstein Complains about People and the Dumb Things They Say. To be honest, that's largely why I read his books. I find something about his moral outrage and indignation utterly fascinating. And they can be quite funny--he's a sassy little malcontent who just can't help but be recklessly abrasive.

My favorite parts of this book were those that focused on Alan Dershowitz and his Case for Israel. The speci
Firstly, I should say that this is both a well-written and well-researched book, and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the Middle East conflicts. While it's probably only going to be read by people with similar beliefs to Mr. Finkelstein's (and those of myself, for that matter), it should be read by a broader spectrum, even though it almost certainly won't be (obvs).

But I should also add that it is a bit snarky and a bit polemical, which might annoy you, and that especially whenever Al
Nov 05, 2008 david-baptiste is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
this is a second edition--i didnt read the first one so is al new to me--norman finkelstein is one of the most extraodinary scholars of words i've encountered, as he combines, to me , any way, a literary, legalistic, historian's approach, really out of a Talmudic tradition i think--he's a brilliant teacher, really, as i feel like i am learning continually how to read and examine words in reading him and following his thought--one of the best speakers i ever heard on issues and matters of languag ...more
Timothy Faust
Just, you know, some light reading.
Chris Ramirez
Mar 07, 2017 Chris Ramirez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's no better asskicking I like seeing better than an intellectual one. Where people take what you wrote, quote it, and then quote other stuff to show how silly the claim is or how full of shit a guy is. No one seems to do it better than Norman Finkelstein especially when he's laying into Zionist apologist like Alan Dershowitz. Yes, the Harvard legal scholar you see on TV all the time and member of OJ's dream team is a HUGE apologist for the atrocities committed against the Palestines and le ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Aleix rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a certain way, this is an appendix of what has to be Finkelstein's centrepiece, which is the Holocaust Industry. It represents the ongoing fight against nasty types like Alan Dershowitz, like Daniel Goldhagen, like Joan Peters.

When I first happened upon Finkelstein, I think at the beginning of the last Gaza conflict in 2014, I was stricken by his views and his idiosyncratic expressiveness. I live in a country where Israel has few defenders and it seemed strange, then, and even shocking, to se
Mar 07, 2012 Dale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, nonfiction
There are two parts to this: an opening section on the way that charges of 'anti-Semitism' are used to smear and intimidate anyone who is critical of Israel's policies, and a sustained dissection and attack on Dershowitz' book 'The Case for Israel'.

You've probably noticed that in recent years television pundits have been leveling charges of anti-Semitism at critics of Israel. Even if the critics are Jewish; even if they are Israeli citizens; it doesn't matter. By definition, now, if you criticiz
A helpful, damning, and at the same time entertaining read. Finkelstein began his career by debunking the false claims and scholarship of Joan Peters' wildly popular "From Time Immemorial". Alan Dershowitz has arguably written today's equivalent in "The Case for Israel". It too is wildly popular, often distributed for free by Israeli embassies, student groups, and even by Evangelical supporters of Zionism. Finkelstein takes on Dershowitz the same way he took on Peters and exposes him as a bald-f ...more
Sep 25, 2011 Randa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nypl, non-fiction
The books is mainly a response to Alan Dershowitz's "bestseller": The Case for Israel. The title calls to mind an earlier Dershowitz title "Chutzpah". The discussion is mainly focused on arguments brought forth in The Case for Israel, but anyone familiar with the Middle East conflict can benefit from the research.

People have short memories and the longevity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict means that there is almost no living memory of the actual events leading to 1948 and only vague memory o
Andy Statist
Jan 03, 2010 Andy Statist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beyond Chutzpah destroys two birds with one stone. First, Finkelstein dispells the myth of an inexplicable, ever growing antisemitism which will lead to Shoah 2.

Second, he takes apart the most common arguments in favor of the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine as espoused by Alan Dershowitz in The Case for Israel using documentation from human rights organizations.

I disagree with Finkelstein's emphasis on ICC and UN law. This is minor compared to the information within this book. Comes wit
Jan 31, 2014 Cymric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, sociology
Finkelstein uses tenacious argument backed by rigorous research to shred Zionist rationale for the Israeli apartheid. Finkelstein is himself the child of Holocaust survivors and he has chosen to take the part of the weaker party--that is, he stands on the side of the "human race" rather than any one group, whether defined by "race" (a fictitious notion) or any other criteria-- in this divisive debate. We can all learn from Mr. Finkelstein. Would that all of humanity were so logical and compassio ...more
Jared Della Rocca
Jul 01, 2011 Jared Della Rocca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
A fascinating, fact-filled, yet easy to read refute of a variety of Alan Dershowitz books, including "The Case for Israel" and his autobiography "Chutzpah". Finkelstein presents side-by-side counterpoints, utilizing reports from international organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Israeli organizations such as their human rights commission. Very interesting and well worth the time spent reading it.
Vidur Kapur
Dec 09, 2013 Vidur Kapur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
An extremely well researched book that extensively searches through the human rights record. Additionally, the book serves as a magificently detailed rebuttal to Alan Dershowitz's works, again backed up by a pile of evidence from internationally respected organisations, as well as the United Nations itself.
يوسف أحمد
نورمان فينكلستين (من الآخر) مابيعتقش!

لقد قاد الكاتب الصهيوني المشهور آلان درشويتز حملة نازية أشبه بحملات مطاردة الساحرات في القرون الوسطى ليقوم بطرده من الجامعة، ويكفي أن تقرأ هذا الكتاب لكي تعذره!!!
Li Seagull
I can't say that I was always a fan of Finkelstein's rhetorical style, but the dude has some fantastic points to make.


Brian Judd

Lots of solid seeds of information, woven together to create a confusing tapestry of half truths, defending a not so solid argument.
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Norman Finkelstein, son of a holocaust survivor, is a fierce and controversial critic of Israeli policy, especially toward Palestinians. He has had a tense rivalry with his pro-Israel counterpart, Alan Dershowitz. In 2007 DePaul University denied his tenure, a decision for which Dershowitz lobbied. For his views and suspected connections to anti-Zionist groups, Israel has denied Finkelstein entry ...more
More about Norman G. Finkelstein...

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“The childhood of tens of thousands of Palestinian youngsters is being lived from one trauma to the next, from horror to horror. Their homes are demolished, their parents are humiliated in front of their eyes, soldiers storm into their homes brutally in the middle of the night, tanks open fire on their classrooms. And they don’t have a psychological service. Have you ever heard of a Palestinian child who is a “victim of anxiety”?” 1 likes
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