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Al Jazeera World
American radical
The trials of Jewish-American political scientist Norman Finkelstein.
Last Modified: 01 May 2012 07:18
"Every single member of my family on both sides was exterminated. Both of my parents were in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. And it is precisely and exactly because of the lessons my parents taught me and my two siblings that I will not be silent when Israel commits its crimes against the Palestinians."

Norman Finkelstein

American Radical is the probing, definitive documentary about Jewish-American political scientist Norman Finkelstein.

A devoted son of holocaust survivors, an ardent critic of Israel and US Middle East policy, Finkelstein has been steadfast at the centre of many intractable controversies, including his denial of tenure at DePaul University.

"You don't know who Norman Finkelstein is. He's poison, he's a disgusting self-hating Jew."

Leon Wieseltier, literary editor, The New Republic

Called a lunatic and self-hating Jew by some and an inspirational street-fighting revolutionary by others, Finkelstein is a deeply polarising figure.  

"Norman is a very careful scholar. And he feels very passionately about the Holocaust. His parents are both survivors of extermination camps and he was deeply involved in their lives and the tragedies and so on. [He] knows everything about the Holocaust. And when he sees somebody using it, exploiting it, demeaning the memory of the victims for personal gain, he doesn't like it. I can understand that."

Noam Chomsky, friend and professor of linguistics, MIT

From Beirut to Kyoto, the filmmakers follow Finkelstein around the world as he attempts to negotiate a voice among both supporters and critics.

"If he were not a Jew - that is, I don't think he is a Jew. As someone once put it 'he's only Jewish on his parents side". If he were not a Jewish person or a person of Jewish heritage with a name like Finkelstein, nobody would have any doubt that he was an anti-Semite."

Alan Dershowitz, author 'The Case for Israel'

 

Watch part two

Filmmakers: David Ridgen and Nicolas Rossier

The documentary was recently voted fifth best political documentary of all time by www.screenjunkies.com.

 
Al Jazeera World can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

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