The son of Shoah survivors, he thinks "the Nazi Holocaust is now the main ideological weapon for launching wars of aggression" and that "pathological narcissism" desensitizes many American Jews to other people's sufferings. (One U.S. rabbi here theorizes that the sense of ongoing historical persecution has replaced religious observance as many Jews' primarily source of ethnic-cultural identification.)
Finklestein can be persuasively reasonable. To Defamation's credit, however, it doesn't yell "Cut!" when he whips himself into a crank-case frenzy that masochistically self-destructs his credibility. Absolute righteousness ain't pretty, anywhere on the political spectrum.
DEFAMATION opens Fri/20 at the Roxie.
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