Let me step in here for a second to provide a little context…
I used to personally know Norman Finkelstein. Not terribly well, but we hung out sometimes, had lunch on a couple of occasions, etc, used to work next to each other, etc.
I can safely say that there is almost no one I have ever met who feels the pain of Israel’s actions in Gaza more acutely than he does. As has been mentioned, his family were in concentration camps during WWII, and he feels very strongly that he can’t stand idly by and watch injustice happen to others as it happened to his family.
I personally don’t agree with everything he has said and written regarding the situation, but his MAIN intellectual project is to demonstrate that Israel uses the Holocaust to, in effect, stifle any criticism of their military and political actions, allowing them to commit actions he considers to be atrocities.
What I find interesting about the phenomenon is the degree to which this has made him a controversial figure. He was denied tenure and has become somewhat of a pariah figure in the media and academy for his views.
While some may definitely consider his views extreme, I do think it shows how one-sided the debate can be in America. There are, literally, dozens of politicians and political pundits who make statements roughly equivalent to what Finkelstein says but in the other direction (i.e. criticizing Arabs, Muslims, etc., rather than Israelis), without a peep from anyone save a few people on the internet.
I think the debate Finkelstein would want to start, then, would be less about whether juxtaposing images of Gaza with images of the Holocaust is appropriate because of how many people have died, what the ultimate goal was, etc., but whether or not, as with the Holocaust, people will stand idly by until its too late, refusing to comment, refusing to get involved, allowing innocent people to die at the hands of a government.
That’s my 2 cents.