Mr. Loury, Your comments on listening and giving some weight to Mr. Finklestein's opinions when you did not agree entirely with them struck a chord with me because earlier today I'd read the Wall Street Journal's excellent article about the Biden administration: "A federal judge issued a broad preliminary injunction limiting the federal government from communicating with social-media companies about online content, ruling that Biden administration officials’ policing of social-media posts likely violated the First Amendment." Bravo to you, Sir!

Expand full comment

I loved this so much that it listened twice.....I have two points: Finklestein is unreasoned when he expects Israel to be “more moral” than ALL other nations. Then shaming the country in a neighborhood of killers of acting badly. All have and would make the same mistakes to protect homeland. Concerning the Holocaust Industry I was born 5 years after the Holocaust to a Zionist Iwo Jima Vet. Most boys my age believed in Never Again and were ashamed that we ( majority) sheepishly walked to the camps. The Holocaust’s Industry painting us as sad victims which my generation of men rejected in favor of support “Strong and Tough” Jews who will fight back. Isreal is an inspiration to us Zionists who believe we need to hit back after 100s of European and Ukrainian Progroms

Expand full comment


Focus Peter, focus! Look at Jewish power and what it has meant not only for the Palestinians but for our endless wars in the Middle East, deliberately setting off all the tribal and ethnic hatred (Yinon plan) and the price the world has paid for it rather than condemning as anti- Semitic those who dare speak truth to that power. Again, barely touching on it. I don’t know what is being said on Right Wing websites. I don’t visit them, nor do I care. An exception was Breitbart, but then you know Breitbart was Jewish and wanted to go after Jews who dared to criticize Israel. If I were you, I would be more concerned about the mental impotents on the Left who drank the Zionist KoolAid for so long, have been asleep all these years, and are now finally waking up to begin understanding the breadth and depth of a lifetime of deceit and lies.

There are Jews in the Palestine Solidarity movement who care deeply about justice for the Palestinians and those who are there as gatekeepers to make sure the discourse and energy is directed in a way that remains harmless to the Zionist enterprise. Which are you?

Jews are in your face at the slightest hint of real, imagined, or fabricated anti-Semitism but tolerate no criticism of themselves, a mind boggling sense of supremacism, entitlement, and impunity. I believed in Progressive America Jewry for decades, that they were the solution ... no more. A question I have asked all these years is do Jews refuse to take a critical look at themselves or are they incapable of taking a critical look at themselves, a question of course I cannot answer.

Moving forward four years:

After George Floyd, after watching all the liberal media in Seattle could say about the violence and destruction in my city is that it “was mostly peaceful”, after watching the policies of our woke left city council turn parts of this city into a total shit hole, I found myself reading Fox News and later other conservative media the only ones who would call it what it was. I met Norman Finkelstein a couple decade ago at a Palestine Solidarity event in Seattle.

Expand full comment



Robert, if you can't distinguish Zionism from Jews then it's not my job to help you.
But the ideology implicit in your position overlaps significantly with Unite the Right and those who chanted "Jews will not replace us!" at Charlottesville.


Peter, the difference between Jews and Zionists is hardly worth mentioning. Israel and Zionism are the contemporary identifiers of the overwhelming majority of Jews. Armageddon Christian Zionists who in the end want Jews to convert or die are not part of this discussion. More later, but first I quit playing the circular game of don’t confuse Jews and Zionism long ago best summarized in this excerpt from Michael Neumann’s essay “What is anti-Semitism” in the 2002 Counterpunch publication “The Politics of anti-Semitism”, a book I suspect you are long familiar with.

“Antisemitism”, properly and narrowly speaking, doesn’t mean hatred of semites; that is to confuse etymology with definition. It means hatred of Jews. But here, immediately, we come up against the venerable shell- game of Jewish identity: “Look! We’re a religion! No! a race! No! a cultural entity! Sorry–a religion!” When we tire of this game, we get suckered into another: “anti-Zionism is antisemitism! ” quickly alternates with: “Don’t confuse Zionism with Judaism! How dare you, you antisemite!”

Secondly, as an ethnic German growing up in the years immediately following WWII and in all the decades since, Germans and Nazi’s were one and the same, Jews more often using Germans than Nazi’s. I am sure that you, your family, your friends used Germans as often as not when talking about the Holocaust. On that point, another extract from Neumann’s essay.

“Israel is building a racial state, not a religious one. Like my parents, I have always been an atheist. I am entitled by the biology of my birth to Israeli citizenship; you, perhaps, are the most fervent believer in Judaism, but are not. Palestinians are being squeezed and killed for me, not for you. They are to be forced into Jordan, to perish in a civil war. So no, shooting Palestinian civilians is not like shooting Vietnamese or Chechen civilians. The Palestinians aren’t ‘collateral damage’ in a war against well-armed communist or separatist forces. They are being shot because Israel thinks all Palestinians should vanish or die, so people with one Jewish grandparent can build subdivisions on the rubble of their homes. This is not the bloody mistake of a blundering superpower but an emerging evil, the deliberate strategy of a state conceived in and dedicated to an increasingly vicious ethnic nationalism. It has relatively few corpses to its credit so far, but its nuclear weapons can kill perhaps 25 million people in a few hours.

Do we want to say it is antisemitic to accuse, not just the Israelis, but Jews generally of complicity in these crimes against humanity? Again, maybe not, because there is a quite reasonable case for such assertions. Compare them, for example, to the claim that Germans generally were complicit in such crimes. This never meant that every last German, man, woman, idiot and child, were guilty. It meant that most Germans were. Their guilt, of course, did not consist in shoving naked prisoners into gas chambers. It consisted in support for the people who planned such acts, or–as many overwrought, moralistic Jewish texts will tell you–for denying the horror unfolding around them, for failing to speak out and resist, for passive consent. Note that the extreme danger of any kind of active resistance is not supposed to be an excuse here.

Well, virtually no Jew is in any kind of danger from speaking out. And speaking out is the only sort of resistance required. If many Jews spoke out, it would have an enormous effect. But the overwhelming majority of Jews do not, and in the vast majority of cases, this is because they support Israel. Now perhaps the whole notion of collective responsibility should be discarded; perhaps some clever person will convince us that we have to do this. But at present, the case for Jewish complicity seems much stronger than the case for German complicity. So if it is not racist, and reasonable, to say that the Germans were complicit in crimes against humanity, then it is not racist, and reasonable, to say the same of the Jews. And should the notion of collective responsibility be discarded, it would still be reasonable to say that many, perhaps most adult Jewish individuals support a state that commits war crimes, because that’s just true. So if saying these things is antisemitic, than it can be reasonable to be antisemitic. “

Expand full comment


I don’t know how to make this short, have been immersed in the Israeli/Jewish/Palestine world for 40 years. A brief background, then I am going to include a Facebook exchange I had with Peter, someone I have know for most of those 40 years and considered a friend. He unfriended me shortly after. I am 79, my political awakening came after returning from Vietnam and came to understand the breath and depth of the deceit and lies we had been fed. I have closely followed geopolitics since. Rachel, my current wife, grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a Jewish enclave a few miles from Glenn. She is two years older than Glenn and graduated from South Shore High School. Until I met her, all I knew about Israel was the standard Zionist narrative. She introduced me to Palestine solidarity. That was the beginning of a 40 year journey. A very large extended family, her father was the youngest of ten, all but a few are ardent Zionists. Both her parents were immigrants from Ukraine immigrating to the United States in the mid 20’s.

The exchange started with an Al Jazeera story four years ago


I included the following comment,

“Horrors at the thought we could have an honest discussion about Jewish power in this country”


You conflate the pro-Israel lobby with "Jewish power."
Robert, are you afraid by any chance that Jews will replace you?


I have no idea what you’re talking about. The root problem with nothing of any good for the Palestinians after 70 years lies right here in the United States with Jewish power. The Jewish “lobby” and Jewish power goes far beyond AIPAC, at the center at every level in our endless wars in the Middle East. Jews dominate the senior ranks across the entire media spectrum. Would you like names, would you like organizations? I didn’t start with names but with observing for decades how it was used, a constant super humanization of Jews and a corresponding constant demonization and dehumanization of Muslims in general and Arabs and Palestinians in particular necessary to wage war on others and sleep well at night. Jews have turned their suffering into our national religion while simultaneously creating for Jews in Palestine what the Aryan Nations can only dream of creating for white Christians in this nation, the goal of Zionism from Day 1 was the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Zionism was founded on the same ethno-racist supremacist principles as the Nazi’s only predates the Nazi’s by a couple decades. Congress cannot do a damn thing for America but shows near complete total support for whatever AIPAC trots out before it. Nothing hidden about it, it is all in the Congressional record. In the slaughter in Gaza in 2014, AIPAC trotted out its resolution justifying everything Israel did and there was not one single dissenting voice in either House of Congress. It is impossible to understand this world we live in, this dystopia we live in, the ever greater descent of the world into tribalism, communalism, sectarianism if you do not understand Jewish power in its myriad forms. I’ve barely touched the surface. I’ve been immersed in the Jewish world for almost 40 years, at another level for more than a decade before that, and yet another level going back to childhood. I have come to know it well. Can’t cover it all here. You were saying? Always glad to get together with you if interested.

Expand full comment

I'm unclear; is it left-wing snowflakes or right-wing snowflakes getting the vapours from Finkelstein speaking on campus? I'm not sure where the youthful left stand on the Israel-Palestine question. After 9/11 the hard left tended to be pretty firmly blame America, support Palestine and the right was the opposite. The left was much more reluctant to hold Islam and Islamism as accountable for its own brutal violence as it did the US and Europe. Have they changed at all?

Expand full comment

What is the character limit for a comment. I know mine is long but all I am told is to “Please type a shorter comment”. and does not let me post. I can not find any information in substack help or google searches

Expand full comment

I briefly re-subscribed to comment here. Re: Finkelstein. It's one thing to support Palestine and oppose the Jewish state. Oodles of Jewish journos and academics do this - Peter Beinart to name one - and it fact, it's so unremarkable hardly anyone bothers to complain anymore.

It's another to deliberately provoke by calling those who study and write about the Holocaust an "industry." implying they're those stereotypical Jews who only care about money. (Unlike the lofty leftists, Marxists and WASPs who, as we know, solely work for the good of mankind.)

How would you react, Glenn, to being called a member of the "Black Conservative Industry?" (Since all good Black people are on the left, someone on the right is obviously there for the money.

Perhaps the most vulgar and disgusting is Finkelstein's appropriation of his parents' Holocaust survivorship as validation of his own positions: whether it be against Israel as a Jewish state, or a reverence for the Soviet Union, and the closest thing to it still in existence: Putin's Russia. (He claims his parents raised him to respect the USSR because the Red Army ultimately saved them by defeating Hitler.)

I cannot honestly claim status even from my parents' far-easier experiences -- they grew up poor in Depression-era New York City -- because I did not live my parents' lives. I happened to grow up in Westport!

I recently heard another hero of the left, Bernie Sanders, make a faux pas in an NPR interview in which he claimed to be of the working class. To his credit, the clearly affluent Sen. Sanders quickly corrected himself: "...child of the working class."

Expand full comment

Far from being powerless you invited Finkelstein at the outset to educate you on his largely odious Holocaust Industry views. He then prefaced his remarks that he wouldn't go on at length before proceeding to go on at length. Not the subject you had him on to talk about? Whatever that subject was, Finkelstein proceeded for 2 hours to shit on everyone he hates with a special hatred for Obama. The notable exception being Bernie Sanders who is the easiest target who gets shit on by everyone left and right. There I have to agree 100% when Finkelstein sings arias in praise of Bernie.

Expand full comment
Jun 8·edited Jun 9

Two self hating black guys hosting a self hating Jewish guy makes all the sense in the world, no?

Well played. I thought the interview was well done. I didn’t know much about Finkelstein prior to this and now I know more. He made some points I agreed with and some I didn’t and some I need to think on more.

I thought Glenn gave him appropriate space to make his points and I appreciate that Glenn doesn’t think his audience is too stupid to develop their own thoughts. I feel badly for those who seem to be asking how to think.

Keep it up.

Expand full comment

When I stated opposition to invading Iraq I was called anti-American. Despite being a white heterosexual male with roots going back into the 17th century. I was anti American.

When I state disapproval with Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, of which Golda Meir stated she was, I am a Jewish hating bigot.

See the trend?

Calling this trick out does not make you a bigot. Or anti American. These are tricks. Everyone in power plays them.

Don't be a stupid person.

Expand full comment

Finkelstein is a wonderful throw back to the 20th century in the tradition of Jewish intellectuals like Rosa Luxemburg, intellectually rigorous, incredible scholarly depth, and dedicated to challenging institutional power structures to actually change the world. . . which requires a good helping of courage alongside naivety.

While I can't say I agree with much of what Finkelstein preaches, we need more like him, and less of these think-tankers and apologists selling whatever their donors ask them to sell. Thank you Glenn.

Expand full comment

Again in the Holocaust Industry, Finbutclestein falsely claims that Hilberg, respected Holocaust historian, described David Irving, notorious Holocaust denier and Hitler admirer, as being a good historian -- but Finkelstein leaves out the fact that Hilberg said Irvingvwas a good military historian, writing about battles but that Irving was "all wrong" about the Holocaust. Why was that quote misrepresented in Finkelstein's book?

Expand full comment

Hi Glenn, when are you having Cornell West on the show to talk about his presidential bid?!

Expand full comment

I was very appreciative of you having Norman Finkelstein on your show. Is he outlandish? Yes. Is he now or has he in the past been on the Hezbollah payroll? I do not know, but certainly would not be surprised.

After listening to your conversation with Finkelstein, I ordered and read his extensively footnoted book. I found his ramblings to be at times borderline incoherent, much like his mentor Noam Chomsky. They’re both about 95-percent nuts. But because they have a dedicated following on the hard, hard left, I find it important to hear or read what they have to say.

So thank you Dr Loury for promoting free speech by have Finkelstein on your program.

Now onward!!

Expand full comment

In an early chapter of Holocaust Industry. Finkelstein made the false claim.that Deborah Lipstadt tried to stop notorious Holocaust denier and Hitler admirer, David Irving, from speaking or writing but itcwas just the opposite. Irving took Lipstadt to court in England for libel and tried to stop her book, Holocaust Deniers, from getting published. Lipstadt is a civil libertarian and was merely defending herself. Irving tried to shut her up.

Expand full comment