I earn – I’m not – I don’t want to claim I’m a scholar of great stature, but I have made a certain reputation for myself, I’ve published several books, I’ve never been able to get a permanent teaching job.
Conversion and zealotry, just like revelation and apostasy, are flip sides of the same coin, the currency of a political culture having more in common with religion than rational discourse.
I don’t feel particularly attached to Israel – ‘nationalism,’ as Noam Chomsky said, ‘is not my cup of tea’ – but I feel no particular need to demonize it.
The real goal of politics has to be getting people to act on what they already know was wrong.
Mainstream Jewish intellectuals became ‘pro’-Israel after the June 1967 war when Israel became the U.S.A.’ s strategic asset in the Middle East, i.e., when it was safe and reaped benefits. To credit them with ideological conviction is, in my opinion, very naive.
I’m an old fan of the Negro spirituals.
The Holocaust only emerged in American life after Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six Day war against its Arab neighbours.
I had been a Maoist, and then when the Gang of Four was overthrown, I was completely distraught. I was bedridden for three weeks; it was a very painful experience for me. Not only because I had been wrong, but because I felt really embarrassed that I had been lecturing and pontificating with such self-confidence.
My books don’t sell anymore. There are many reasons why they don’t sell, but one of the reasons is because people don’t read anymore. Forget about reading books of detail – they don’t read at all.
My original interest in the Nazi holocaust was personal. Both my father and mother were survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps. Apart from my parents, every family member on both sides was exterminated by the Nazis.