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Q&A: Noam Chomsky

The world’s most important leftist intellectual talks about his Zionist childhood and his time with Hezbollah

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Noam Chomsky in Stuttgart, Germany, earlier this year. (Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images)

But there was an element of oppression I couldn’t get around. If you know the history, you know that most idealistic anti-nationalist settlers insisted on a closed Hebrew society, you can’t hire outside labor, that sort of thing. You could see the motivation. They didn’t want to become what the first settlers were: landowners who had cheap Arab labor. They wanted to work the land. Nevertheless, there’s an exclusionary character to it. Which then led into the policy of the state and became quite ugly later. So it was kind of an internal conflict that was never resolved.

You believe that the job of the intellectual is to dissent, to speak truth to power, and to wrestle with power. But there is a troubling way in which your single-minded emphasis on opposing power can lead to your having some very strange bedfellows. It’s still startling to me to see you at a Hezbollah rally in Lebanon. Hezbollah is not an outfit dedicated to the secular model of human freedom that you support. What were you doing there?

Notice that you don’t know what I did in Lebanon. You know what the propaganda system said I did.

That’s why I was asking. Why were you there?

I was invited to Lebanon by the secular left. Those were my associations and my meetings. This last trip but also my previous trip, I spent much more time with [Druze leader] Walid Jumblatt then with—

He’s a great talker.

You’ve met him?

Yes.

Within the Lebanese spectrum he’s maybe the most open. But the only thing that gets mentioned is that I was involved with Hezbollah. Either you don’t go to southern Lebanon at all, or you go in connection with Hezbollah, because they run it. Furthermore, Hezbollah is regarded, even by people like Jumblatt, as a national liberation movement. The last trip I had—happened to be—I gave a talk on May 25 at the UNESCO building, a talk run by the secular left. May 25 is a national holiday. It’s liberation day. That’s the day when Israel is thrust out of Lebanon by Hezbollah.

Remember that Hezbollah happens to be the majority party.

Hezbollah is not the majority party in Lebanon.

It’s part of a coalition. They won the last election with 53 percent of the vote. Because of the method of distributing seats, they don’t get the majority of parliament. So we’re talking about basically a majority coalition, which runs the south almost entirely. You can like it or not like it.

I had been there before the war in 2006. It was a period of a lot of excitement. I met a lot of people, visited the southern Lebanon cultural centers. I wanted to see what had happened since. You want to go back, so you go under the guidance of Hezbollah. There’s no other way to visit.

Hezbollah is a highly militarized organization that runs South Lebanon in a way that is hardly reflective of secular democratic ideals.

It’s interesting that secular Lebanese would not take that attitude.

Most of them see Hezbollah as an extension of Iran.

No, they don’t.

­They believe that the Iranians are trying to rip up their state.

Ultra-right-wing Lebanese think that. But the person who organized my trip was Fawwaz Trabulsi, the leading figure in the secular left. And he insisted we go through Hezbollah, and he didn’t look at it that way. If you read Rami Khouri, you can’t look at it that way. If you get to the ultra-nationalist right, they do look at it that way. But that’s not Lebanon.

In your work, there are two separate things that you’ve written that touch on the political question of anti-Semitism and that I look at together and try to reconcile. The first was the introduction you wrote to a book by Robert Faurisson, who became notorious for writing two letters to Le Monde denying that the gas chambers existed and claiming that the suggestion that they did exist was part of a Jewish plot or hoax.

No, I didn’t, actually that’s more propaganda. That’s more propaganda. Are you asking why I would support Faurisson’s right of freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech is one thing. Denial—

Freedom of speech is the whole issue for me. I happen to be an anti-Stalinist and an anti-Nazi, so I don’t think that the state should be granted the right to determine historical truth and to punish people who deviate from it. That is the one and only issue. The so-called introduction was a statement I was asked to write. It’s called “Some elementary remarks on freedom of expression.” That’s what it’s about: Freedom of expression.

You were simply concerned about the attempt of the French state to censor Faurisson, and you didn’t care what he wrote?

It’s more than censoring. It’s determining historical truth. The issue at that time, if you actually read the title of his memoir, it said, “Memoir in defense against those who accuse me of falsification of history.”

Alan Dershowitz’s critique of your engagement with Faurisson centered around your use of the word “findings,” which he said implied that you believed that Faurisson’s claims had some historical grounding.

But that is just childish! I can talk about Stalin and say he presented his findings—or the Ku Klux Klan. I can say that John Birch Society presented their findings and they were all worthless. That means nothing. This is a desperate effort by extremist ultra-nationalists to undermine any critical analysis. “Findings” is a perfectly neutral word.

Furthermore it wasn’t my word. It was a word that was in a petition, of which I was one of 500 signers. I mean Iranian radical clerics probably go after petitions that I signed, too. The word “findings” is absolutely neutral. I can use it about the stuff that Alan Dershowitz writes. As for the effort to try to turn a defense of freedom of speech into support for the idea that the gas chambers didn’t exist, this is really desperation.

The second thing I wanted to talk about was your critique on Znet of the Walt and Mearsheimer article published in The London Review of Books. I was grateful when I read your critique, because the thing that puzzled me the most about their paper was how such an unsophisticated understanding of American power could gain any traction among intellectuals. American imperial policy in the Middle East is shaped by the whims of a small coterie of Jews? Where does this stuff come from?

It’s very simple. Did you ever study international relations?

To my misfortune.

Walt and Mearsheimer are realists—what are called realists. Realists have a doctrine that says that states are the actors in international affairs and follow something called the “national interest,” which is some abstract ideal which is independent of the interests of the corporate sector. What they see from that point of view is that the United States is supposed to be pursuing its national interest, and they know what the national interest is. The fact that Intel and Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs don’t agree with them is irrelevant.

From their point of view, then, somehow the United States is not pursuing what they see as its national interest in the Middle East. So there must be some extraneous factor that’s driving it away from its path of innocence and perfection.

You have that very interesting remark at the end of your response, where you describe the motivation behind their assertions as stemming from the desire to salvage the Wilsonian idea of American innocence.

They’re not trying consciously. American innocence is built into international relations theory. That’s what American exceptionalism means. If you read the founders of the theory, like Hans Morgenthau, it’s very straightforward. Hans Morgenthau was a smart guy, a very decent guy, incidentally. He has a book called The Purpose of America. He said the historical record doesn’t conform with the purpose of America, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the purpose. In fact he says, this is like atheists criticizing religion because people do bad things. The truths are still there, even if the record conflicts with them. That is the foundation of realist international relations theory.

Another comment that you had about Walt and Mearsheimer’s argument was: Well, who says this hasn’t worked?

It worked great. I think the same criticism holds of other critiques of American policy. Take, say, the blowback theories. I like Chalmers Johnson, he’s a very good guy, but he argues that the U.S. policy of installing the shah didn’t work, because look at the blowback. Didn’t work? It worked perfectly for 25 years! That’s a long time in international affairs. Nobody plans for 50 years from now.

You understand the State of Israel as having some independent existence, coming from Jewish culture and history, aside from simply being an American imperial vessel.

It didn’t become an American imperial vessel, if that’s the right term, until after ’67. That was a choice. It’s often misunderstood, but in 1971, Israel had a very important decision to make. Sadat had offered a full peace treaty. In return they were supposed to withdraw from the Sinai. There were other conditions, but they didn’t matter. And they talked about it, and they decided not to accept it, because they preferred expansion into the Sinai. If they had settled with Egypt in ’71, there’d be no security problem. Egypt was the only major Arab force. And at that point, once you decide to sacrifice security for expansion, you need a superpower patron. That’s where the dependence on U.S. power comes.

At the time I was writing that I thought that people who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction. And I think that was correct, unfortunately.

It is possible for you to imagine a State of Israel that didn’t act as an extension of American power. But is it too late?

No. I don’t think so. It gets harder as time goes on. As they get more—as the occupation role becomes more powerful, that influences the national culture. It gets harder to disentangle from that. They have to face the fact—they don’t like to—but they have to face the fact that they’re becoming an international pariah. Not because of anti-Semitism, but because they’re the only state that is occupying another country in violation—gross violation—of international law and U.N. Security Council orders.

I’m no supporter of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land or of state-sanctioned murder. But I always find something funny when people criticize Israelis for their very real abuses at checkpoints, and then you pick up the paper and you read that 40 people were wrongly killed by U.S. soldiers at checkpoints in Afghanistan and no one was punished. We blow up wedding parties with missiles fired from drones over Pakistan and sometimes we pay money to the grieving families, but no American is ever held responsible. I’ve come to the idea that part of the outrage about Israeli abuses has an underlying unconscious purpose of obscuring even grosser abuses that America commits directly, as a matter of state policy.

That they’re killing Afghans is the least of it. How about invading Iraq and destroying it? Killing hundreds of thousands of people, driving millions into exile. Part of American national culture is that we don’t look at ourselves. In fact if you look at what I write about Israel, it’s overwhelmingly about the United States. It’s about U.S. support for the Israelis, not what Israel does. What Israel does is not nice, but no state is nice.

But it’s quite different for us. We don’t support killings in the eastern Congo. Or Chinese repression of dissidents. But we’re completely responsible for what Israel does. Israel isn’t entirely an American satellite, but pretty close to it. They couldn’t do what they’re doing if it weren’t for the decisive support of the United States.

When you speak about Israeli crimes, do you feel that you have a special responsibility to speak out as someone who comes from a specific Jewish tradition, or do you simply speak as an American?

There are many factors, as always. A sufficient factor is that the United States is responsible. But of course there’s a lot more. Background. Childhood. Emotional connections. Friends. All sorts of things. But they’re kind of irrelevant to the fundamental issue, those personal things. The fundamental issue is quite simple: Every U.S. taxpayer is responsible for Israeli crimes. They can’t carry them out without the decisive military, economic, ideological, and diplomatic support of the United States.

The United States destroyed Iraq. Of course that should be harshly condemned. In fact I do it much more than I talk about Israel. In the case of the Vietnam war, we basically destroyed three countries. They’ll never recover. Same with Nicaragua. Same with Cuba. Go on and on. Same with Chile. That’s what we ought to be concentrating on. Israel happens to be a subcase of a larger problem. And yes, for me personally, it’s additional things.

Those additional things—namely, your parents, your childhood memories, your sense of emotional connection—

It’s all there. You can’t get out of your skin. But when we get down to the moral issue, it’s independent of one’s personal background.



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Good piece; a step up from Liel Liebowitz’s Pen Pals nonsense.

I completely disagree with Chomsky’s politics, but this was an insightful succinct portait of a complicated if misguided Jew.

Alas, Chomsky has failed as a Navi because he only preaches to his choir. The rest of us have long tuned him out as irrelevant.

Dovid K says:

“Religion is based on the idea that God is an imbecile.” And some people’s political/social activism is based on the the idea that people are imbeciles.

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

The fundamental question is: Why single out the Jewish people and deny it the universally accepted right of all other peoples, that of national self-determination and independence?

This denying of the Jewish people of this right is nothing short of a form of racism, anti-Jewish racism at that, and sadly, Mr. Chomsky is an active practitioner of this.

Thus, no matter how “progressive” Chomsky may characterize himself, and what a “navi” he may be, racism is a sickness and he is infected by it.

I’ve been wondering for a number of years now: since he has praised Castro so many times why he did not move to Cuba yet? Why he continuously stays in such dreadful country like USA, living in the house which is built on the stolen, from the natives, land? Why up until now he did not bother to return that land (the land he lives on) to its true owners acting the way he teaches others to act? Or he thinks that reservation and not the land where his house stands is right place for Indians? Why he continues to occupy office in MIT (which is also built illegally on the stolen land) instead of enjoying freedom and happiness in Cuba? Maybe he himself can answer on all these questions?

Keyn Eyhore says:

The word “findings” is absolutely neutral.
The word conclusion is neutral, Gnome. “Findings” imply results of a more rigorous process, one that usually involves intellectual scrutiny-in the case of a scientific experiment- but can often, as in finding gold, be the result of nothing more than luck.
Gifting the prejudicially based result of historical charlatanism as “findings” renders the sow’s ear a silk purse.
Chomsky’s lack of understanding for the nuances of words isn’t surprising.

Mike Darlington says:

The comments above are clearly intended to slander and lack any intellectual integrity or empirical basiss. Jehudah, Gene and Keyn are guilty.

Jehudah Ben-Israel, Chomsky is of course not opposed to Israel’s right to self-determination or nationhood. He is opposed to their egregious and unjustifiable human rights record. There are two options: reject peace of pursue peace. Israel, backed by the US, has opted for the former, and is thus rightly criticized by the likes of Chomsky and his ilk. To claim he is racist against Jews can’t even be taken seriously, and you know it.

Gene, where has Chomsky praised Castro? And what’s this about native land. What would you suggest, that he move to mountains in Montana and grow potatos? Who are you kidding.

Keyn, sorry to say but you’re the third who can’t be taken seriously. In fact, I’d be surprised if you made your comment with a straight face. You realize Chomsky is linguistic’s greatest mind to date, and you’re going to sit there and assume the authority on definitions? That aside, findings denotes the “results of an investigation” according to Merriam-Webster. Needless to say, such findings may be incorrect. Hence the word is neutral.

Regarding the interview, hasn’t the interviewer the internet? Bringing up the Faurisson affair is as inane as bringing up Chomsky’s alleged support for the Khmer rouge: long since proven false, amply documented online and elsewhere. And referencing Dershowitz, who has long been proven a charlatan… I am speechless.

shavit says:

Mike, for claiming others make gross misrepresentations, you seem to have quite a knack for doing it yourself. Dershowitz proven to be a chartlatan? Is that because the highly respected harvard law professor has different opinions then yours? Chomsky as “linguistic’s greatest mind to date”? In what world? Is this simply because you agree with him? Ever heard of Derrida? Might he be amply qualified to compete for the title? The same for any number of philosophers?

As for Chomsky, I’m reminded of an article in the Tablet that was published not to long ago about how websites talk about Israel to get page hits. I suspect that Chomsky realized long ago that there was quite a bit of money to be made by stirring up controversy and spouting this nonsense. Consider his rejection of Intellectual Property Law Rights and the fact that he has copyright’s on his books. Or consider his fondness for speaking about the virtues of wealth redistribution and the simple fact that he utilizes tax shelters and has a hefty sum as personal wealth (yep, he’s a millionaire). Chomsky is a hypocrite … one that should be ignored rather than celebrated. Read this: http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/6222.

Chomsky, if you actually read the comments, I’d just like to say ‘get off the cross, we need the wood.’

R. Rocker says:

Jews, Schmews … it’s the economy, stupid!!

Israel is a high-tech nation, and its ruling elite is using the same hierarchy to impose their welfare on all of us — than the USA is. The dialiectic of terror, freedom, democracy and so on .. is just to pacify the upper-middle class who depend on the same hierarchy.

In short: There can only be a rich Israel, if there is poor arabs. The USA’s world-wide wars for resources and hegemony are just that.

Israel’s RIGHT TO EXIST is threatened with every injustice imposed on “the lesser people”. So is the right of the US EMPIRE.

USrael’s worst crimes have not even been made public. But they will.

In the meantime, google LAVON AFFAIR, KING DAVID HOTEL, and TONKIN GULF, and read wikipedia’s articles on GLADIO and FALSE FLAG and inform yourself about their terror and ours.

shavit says:

thanks ‘rocker’ … i was wondering when the nut jobs would arrive.

Oh honey, look what the cat dragged in: the “dialectic” word and some smelly old conspiracy theories. Chomsky’s legacy.

That’s the most readable interview with Noam Chomsky that I recall seeing. At least we get a sense of him as a human being, and I enjoyed that. Generally I find his reflexive anti-Israel opinions to be intolerable, both on logical and emotional grounds. He seems possessed, usually, of a kind of “rational” and “calculated” hatred, all the more infuriating and dangerous because he claims to be without emotion. He takes on the appearance of a monster.

But this is different. Here he advances a clear moral thesis about Israel and its crimes, and our guilt as Americans for them. And it is fairly easy to see both the strength of the argument and its fatal flaw. The flaw in his argument is that he doesn’t understand that international politics itself is a domain of massive criminality…. deployed in service of positive moral ends. Every nation that exists has blood on its hands. Every nation is a criminal enterprise, with a genocidal or quasi-genocidal past. And against all of those crimes must be balanced the crimes that force and power have prevented, and that they deter in the future.

No rational person can dispute the crimes committed by the Israeli state, or by the American empire, or by the Russians. But a rational person must face the crimes that might be committed in the absence of those crimes, the violence that today’s violence prevents, and ask whether today’s means justify noble ends, or not.

Israel, as Chomsky is right to point out, has drawn its account down, but it continues to be the prime force standing between Jews and genocide, between Jews and death. I’m not happy with all of the choices made by the Israeli state, but I believe that I see the crimes that have been prevented by many of those choices.

I choose to see the international system of violence and criminality as a whole, while Chomsky prefers to view each case. I don’t know which states will meet his standards. Costa Rica? The rest are mostly sinning to prevent greater sins.

Hey Mike.

You write:

“The flaw in his argument is that he doesn’t understand that international politics itself is a domain of massive criminality…. deployed in service of positive moral ends. Every nation that exists has blood on its hands. Every nation is a criminal enterprise, with a genocidal or quasi-genocidal past. And against all of those crimes must be balanced the crimes that force and power have prevented, and that they deter in the future.”

Chomsky would actually, almost undoubtedly, agree with you about every nation being a criminal enterprise. He would also say that all nations SAY their actions are “deployed in service of positive moral ends,” however this reflex response to their actions is part of what makes them a criminal enterprise, and brutal, over and over.

Finally, you say:

“I’m not happy with all of the choices made by the Israeli state, but I believe that I see the crimes that have been prevented by many of those choices.”

From my point of view, to truly have that type of vision—to see what was prevented—makes you, one of the wisest men on earth—or even wiser than anyone on the planet. If you’re not that, is it not deep arrogance (and those that have the power, danger) in the spirit of, in varying degrees, McNamara with Vietnam, Lenin in Russia and the suppression of dissidents, Hitler in Germany with the holocaust, Guevara and Castro in Cuba with the killing of political prisoners without trial, Begin in Israel blowing up the King David Hotel, Truman and the H-Bomb and so on? All for good moral reasons, they would state. Surely not moral, I would counter. It seems to me, these crimes that ‘prevent’ other crimes, have killed hundreds of millions, and by your definition, the other crimes were not even committed.

Just a few thoughts,

Pete

Pete — and this leads you to what remedy?

Even though I can’t stand the person this was a very good interview.His comments about Hizbullah just show that he has no idea what he is talking about and his comment about Jumballat viewing Hizbullah as some kind of resistance force is laughable. Resistance to what? Jumballat was an ally of Israel and is now an ally of Syria. Next week he’ll be an ally of whoever is strongest. Stick to Linguistics.

Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools.
R. Johanan

shriber says:

“His comments about Hizbullah just show that he has no idea what he is talking about…”

This isn’t the only place he shows ignorance.

If he thinks that there would have been peace had the Israelis “accepted Egypt’s offers in 1971″ then he is dead wrong.

Chomsky never refers to sources and he never admits that he can be wrong.

He is a megalomaniac.

He has a lot in common with Mearsheimer and Walt:

“John Mearsheimer: Often in error, never in doubt”

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=8&x_nameinnews=190&x_article=1949

shriber says:

Pete: “Chomsky would actually, almost undoubtedly, agree with you about every nation being a criminal enterprise. He would also say that all nations SAY their actions are “deployed in service of positive moral ends,” however this reflex response to their actions is part of what makes them a criminal enterprise, and brutal, over and over.”

If this is what he really believes why does he so often go after Israel and not say after China or Iran?

The man is an obsessed hypocrite. He is also an antisemite who defended French Holocaust deniers.

Anyone remembers the Faurisson affair?

“Pierre Vidal-Naquet: On Faurisson and Chomsky”

Naquet was a celebrated historian who was also at times critical of Israel

.
http://www.anti-rev.org/textes/VidalNaquet81b/

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

When Mr. Noam Chomsky state directly and clearly that he accept Israel’s RIGHT to be, to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people I’ll accept that he is not an anti-Israel activist.

But to date, all that he has published and done, for many decades, have been contrary to the Israel’s existence as the national home of the Jewish people, and that based on historic grounds, ethical grounds, and legal grounds.

Historically, the Land of Israel has been the cradle of the Jewish people and its civilization of Judaism of nearly 4,000 ago. Ethically, Israel is the Jewish people’s exercise of the Jewish people universally accepted right of all peoples of national self-determination and independence. And legally, Israel was proclaimed in May 1948 based on a series of declarations, decisions and resolutions all of which amount to be part of “international law”, i.e. Balfour Declaration, 1917; San Remo Conference, 1920; League of Nations decisions, 1922; United Nations Resolution, 1947 and again 1949.

Chomsky words and actions to date disregard any of the above and instead he continues to collaborate with those calling for Israel being wiped off the face of earth, e.g. Hizballah, Hamas, Fatah, PFLP, etc.

Benjamin says:

Chomsky is clearly an admirer of Bertrand Russell’s motto: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life; the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” I don’t know whether Chomsky has passionately longed for love. I assume he has passionately searched for knowledge (at least before he became a know-it-all). And I think he feels pity for the suffering of mankind, which, in the case of the Palestinians, leads his to equate suffering with virtue. This is a malady that afflicts many on the left.

Pete. You say, “Chomsky would actually, almost undoubtedly, agree with you about every nation being a criminal enterprise. He would also say that all nations SAY their actions are “deployed in service of positive moral ends,” however this reflex response to their actions is part of what makes them a criminal enterprise, and brutal, over and over.” ”

That would count as disagreeing not agreeing, or agreeing with a predicate condition, but disagreeing with what I’m actually saying. Nations may tend to claim moral righteousness, but we are not required to grant their claims.

I consider the situation of Israel and find considerable credibility in its fundamental claim to the legitimate use of violence in many, but certainly not all circumstances. (I oppose the occupation, support the two state approach etc. Chomsky would despise me.)

Seeing the fate that awaits my people in the absence of the State of Israel does not mean that I am or claim to be a prophet, and your effort to attribute such a claim to my position is not reasonable. We can all peer into the future to some degree and attempt to imagine the consequences of various actions and non-actions. I believe that reason and experience lend credence to my “prophecies” concerning the fate of the Jews in the middle east without a State willing to exercise violence in their defense. There’s nothing woo woo mystical about that.

Chomsky, to the best of my understanding and reading of him is opposed to the very idea of nationalism… but for reasons that I can only assume are more psychological or Oedipal (or connected in some other way to his parents and early experiences) than they are rational… Chomsky is deeply and passionately opposed to the idea of Jewish nationalism in particular.

What makes me conclude in the end that there is some kind of core quasi-antisemitism, some kind of passion against Jews, is his seeming inability to explain why Israel is intellectually/politically targeted by him.

shriber says:

Benjamin says:
“Chomsky is clearly an admirer of Bertrand Russell’s motto: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life; the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” I don’t know whether Chomsky has passionately longed for love. I assume he has passionately searched for knowledge (at least before he became a know-it-all). And I think he feels pity for the suffering of mankind, which, in the case of the Palestinians, leads his to equate suffering with virtue. This is a malady that afflicts many on the left.”

People who “suffer for humanity” have done more harm than good. The earth is littered with corpses which were killed in the name of humanity and progress.

Chomsky is a killer looking for a reason to justify his inner rage.

Shriber says:

I hate the phot of Chomsky. It makes him seem like a benevolent grandfather thinking about humanity.

In reality Chomsky is a fiend who has defended Holocaust deniers and traffics in lies.

aditya says:

Donno why these “isrealeis” hate Hizbollah and Hamas so much after all they were brought up by them, and they are democractic parties elected by majority of palestenians.

some isreali wacko said
<<<Consider his rejection of Intellectual Property Law Rights and the fact that he has copyright’s on his books

In India RSS fascist are saying the samething to Arundhati Roy , may be they say the same thing to dissenters everywhere.

some other nut said
<< why doesnt he leave US for Cuba

Chomsky himself said he is indirectly paid by Pentagon, as most of funds for MIT come for defense research.
If you love your country and know its going the wrong way , u dont stay quiet.

Shalom Freedman says:

Treason is not a small matter. Chomsky has betrayed again and again the United States of America, and Israel. Behind the smiling avuncular appearance there looma s a fanatic ideologue, a programattic hater of the United States and Israel. His lame excuse in regard to support for a Holocaust- denier, his pathetic support of the Islamic fundamentalist organization Hizbollah define truly what he is.
He is one of those who consistently has undermined the legitimacy of Israel and has led to this terrible global campaign whose aim is destruction of Israel.
Unfortunately the Jewish people have produced not a few traitors who we have good reason to be ashamed of. He is one of the most prominent in our time.

shriber says:

On the whole I don’t know what aditya was trying to say, but the following points are clear enough.

“Chomsky himself said he is indirectly paid by Pentagon, as most of funds for MIT come for defense research.”

This makes him a hypocrite.

“If you love your country and know its going the wrong way , u dont stay quiet.”

This cliché doesn’t mean much since you could say ‘“If you HATE your country and know its not going your way, u dont stay quiet.”

In other words like all clichés the obverse of the comments can also seem true.

In any case there is more than one way not to ‘stay quiet.’ Chomsky’s way is to lie about what he personally doesn’t like.

The man is a liar.

Many Jews who wished to divorce themselves from traditional Judaism became anti Jewish and thus anti Israel. The movement of secularization began in Germany starting in the 1820′s and still continues today. These anti-Jewish Jews will staunchly tell you that they are Jews, but as such they are worse than the most rabid Nazi anti semites.

In the 1820, and 30′s the most revered Jewish scholar and Rabbi was Moses Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn had 12 children and ironically all but one converted to Christianity as their means of being totally accepted into Christian society during that period.

Is there any difference then as there is now between the social anti semitism of Noam Chomsky and his total disregard for Judaism and for the State of Israel? For Chomsky to be accepted in the overall Christian and more importantly left wing Jewish East Coast society, he would have to come up with one outrageous statement after another.

Jews have been waging this war with themselves over tradition vs. modernity. To be accepted, one has to choose Modernity. To make the point clearer, how is it that an intelligent person like Chomsky and a host of others can reject the State of Israel complete with all the trappings of a modern democracy, complete with all its faults, over a feudalistic and barbaric society that the Arabs and Moslems in general have to offer. What is appealing to Chomsky et.al, when they see a young woman be stoned to death, or an individual get his hands chopped off in a public square. What part of democracy does that represent? In Saudi Arabia today, it still is impossible for a woman to go out alone without a male escort, or even drive a car alone.

Supporting the Arabs or Palestinians in general is similar to the support of the Nazis, and I am not quite sure if Chomsky did not support them in the 1930′s as well. This may sound absurd, but given Chomsky’s arena of friends, it certainly makes sense.

Plonialmoni says:

“At the age of 10 I came to the conclusion that the God I learned about in school didn’t exist.”

Isn’t that completely natural? I don’t believe I’m smarter or better than Chomsky, but I take issue with anyone whose spiritual growth seems to stop before puberty.

Danny Black says:

aditya, you know Palestinians cannot vote in Lebanon right? Unlike say, Israel, they have no rights whatsoever in Lebanon.

Mike Darlington, Israel has been “pursuing peace” for at least 17 years now with the Palestinians. They always say no. Whenever Israel offers one thing they come up with another reason to say no. Same with Hizbollah, they are “resisting” an occupation that Israel ended over 10 years ago. Since then they have kicked off every single attack on Israeli soil, including 2006 when they started the war with an unprovoked shelling of indisputably Israeli sovereign territory. As for being the greatest linguistic mind, his last contribution to that field was in the 50s and 60s.

Mr Chomsky, you are aware I am sure that “hundreds of thousands” of Iraqis were killed by militia backed by Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia right? That the US, during the surge, STOPPED these attacks.

Danny Black says:

Cody, I don’t think he is that sophisticated. I think he is simply pro whatever the Americans are anti. So when the US became Israel’s backer, he became anti-Israeli.

MonkFish says:

As per usual Chomsky trades in distortions and half-truths made credible by the autority with which he delivers them. Far from being an apoligist for Hezbollah, Jumblatt has worked tirelessly to make the case for a disarmament and/or integration the “Party of God’s” paramilitary force into the Lebanese army. Hardly the sort of position one expects from a supporter of Lebanon’s so-called “national liberation movememt.”

And, of course, he elides all mention of Hezbollah’s May 2008 mini coup which was squarely condemned firmly by all pro-Democracy groups in Lebanon(http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2008/02/2008525144513168980.html). “Propaganda” no doubt, like any fact that cannot be fashioned into “evidence” for Chomsky’s anti-Western narrative. As Michael Berube as demonstrated in his excellent tome “The Left at War” the Chomskyite left is no so much a political persuasion as a religious one; Manicheanism with a humanitarian and rationalist gloss.

BH in Iowa says:

Without getting dragged into the weeds of lies and obfuscation of Chomsky and his supporters, the bottom line is we must work as hard to defend the Jewish People as Chomsky is at destroying them.

he is very far from the most important. if he is important it is for his notoriety, his immoral stance, his over the edge of the world left backward twist such he cannot tell what is right from wrong and the progressive brain disease he has. he is truly an example of what happens when the mind stops thinking and slinks left due to thinking from a totalitarian, fascist, anti-democratic, anti-humanist stance. his is is evolutionary thinking it is devolution to barbarity.

What Noam Chomsky doesn’t understand: Israel needs the West Bank!

See this:

http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/

Different Mike than the other Mike.

The problem with Chomsky is that his political views have proven to be so off track and illogical that they are ignored, except by those with no sense of reality.

Then you add to that the fact that, almost literally, all of his theories of linguistics have been disproved (something he jumps up and screams about at academic conferences…with no effect), leaves him as a voice howling at the moon. Only his few acolytes (most of whom seem to be either former pupils of his, or their pupils) are left to support him.

In other words, were it not for his tenure, the filthy lucre that he earned selling books and making speeches to those he disdains, and those few that continue to worship him, he would be wearing an aluminium foil hat and living in a one room apartment.

As always, when Chomsky is brought up, there is a plethora of misinformation and dubious (unsupported) claims coming from people who have most probably read nothing he has written. It seems the idea of his “apostasy”, earning him the label “traitor” (and other fantastical ideas) from some fanatical corners of the community, cloud some peoples’ vision, making them a priori biased against anything he says. That’s too bad.
No, the last invasion of Lebanon dates from 2006 (what, the 4th, 5th invasion? I’m losing track…), less than 10 years ago. And some wonder why Hezbollah even exists and has gained popularity – it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. Lebanon is complicated, no doubt, but that is largely a product of foreign intervention, and Israel’s repeated brutal invasions (“Dahiyah doctrine”, etc.) definitely aren’t helping.

The fact that the Lebanese (until recently) have not treated the Palestinian refugees with the humanity they deserve should not cover up the fact of why they are there in the first place…

A beautifull interview, especially the parts about his childhood, and about hime reading the Nevi’im as a little child. But as usuall, the parts about current politics are perfectlly bright and clear: unfortunetlly, “people who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction” – as simple as that.

ראיון נפלא, במיוחד החלקים על הילדות שלו, ועל איך קרא את הנביאים בתור ילד קטן. אבל כרגיל, גם החלקים על פוליטיקה בת זמננו הם בהירים וברורים להפליא: למרבה הצער, “אנשים שקוראים לעצמם תומכי ישראל הם למעשה תומכים של ההידרדרות המוסרית שלה ובוסופו של דבר של ההרס שלה” – פשוט ונכון.

צריך לתרגם את זה לעברית

צריך לתרגם את זה לערבית

Herbert Kaine says:

I wish someone would just ask him whether he believes the Holocaust occurred.

Everything else aside, “the world’s most important leftist?” Really?

Baruch says:

Am I the only one who finds critiques of Chomsky’s politics more credible the less vitriol they contain?
I understand how angry his criticism can make people, but infuriation is not the same as repudiation. Facts and cogent arguments, like those suggested several times by the interviewer are welcome and essential contributions to a discourse of truth. This is not to say that angry detractors don’t have the facts on their side, it’s just to say that facts are more convincing than anger when establishing the truth that people are so afraid that Chomsky is distorting.

Donald says:

” wish someone would just ask him whether he believes the Holocaust occurred.”

If you were curious you could read his books–yes, like every sane person he thinks the Holocaust occurred.
The only reason this comes up is because of the dishonesty of people who criticized his defense of Faurrison’s right to free speech. But no, he’s not a Holocaust denier–not even remotely.

I think Chomsky is a dedicated contrarian, and sees his mission in condemning whatever West/US/Israel ever done, defend their detractors and “weak”, even it means stating opposite views, depending on the situation. That position has some legitimacy, considering all the power West has, but it is misguided when equating West with Israel, as the former historically has plenty of resentment against the later. And try to tell people who were blown up that their suffering is caused by some global injustices of capitalist enterprise.

Rabbi Yonah says:

Mr. Samuels refers to Chomsky as “last great thinker of the Enlightenment” without any attribution or proof. He tosses softball questions – not one with any teeth or grit – so we can only assume that the author is so enamored of his subject that he cannot possibly supply us with journalism, let alone a good Q&A.

The fact that he lets Chomsky off the hook after he refers to himself as a modern day Navi, further proves that this Q&A is designed to offer Chomsky a unchallenged soapbox and fawning adulation.

Pity.

Chomsky certainly came across as more thoughtful and engaging than he does in most interviews he gives, possibly because Samuels didn’t play the sychophant. I might have enjoyed a more probing interview style, however, I did find it interesting how Chomsky sidesteps the more difficult questions (as diplomatically phrased as they were.)

Samuels clearly had some familiarity with Lebanese politics and all Chomsky could do was voice contradictions.

Furthermore, Chomsky also sidestepped his most incriminating statements regarding the Faurisson affair, notably his claim that Holocaust denial does not represent antisemitism– or that he’s misrepresenting a group of academics condemning Faurisson’s pseudo-historical writings and the ideology they represent as “the state dictating historical truth.” In addition, Chomsky, an academic, knows full well that the word “findings” means a conclusion based on facts or the results of an investigation.

So you want to be a “navi”?
well, that’s admirable. However, please recall that whatever the “neviim” preached was to their own people. Self critism is good. No Israeli “navi” went and spread their bad ideas among the nations surrounding israel. the idea was to criticise from within. there is a world of difference. Why? Because no nation is flawless. and each nation should do their own self criticism. Including Israel and America. and Lebbanon and Iran and Palestine etc.

“Not because of anti-Semitism, but because they’re the only state that is occupying another country in violation—gross violation—of international law and U.N. Security Council orders.”

That’s very inaccurate for Chomsky, who usually just distorts the whole picture around isolated facts. The West Bank is not a country, but if we were to call it so, Morocco’s occupation of the Western Sahara violates international law and UN resolutions. As for UN Security Council orders, I don’t recall the SC telling Israel to end occupation of the West Bank. Finally, Turkey is occupying part of Cyprus, which is an actual state.

Chumpsky says:

Nice interview…BARF!

The tragedy here is that there are so many jews who being successful still hate themselves more than they hate real 100% anti semites. Chomsky is no exception. He joins the Soros group of Jews who reject Judaism. This hatred stems from the fact that Jews are successful, thus there is a problem with the success. This whole notion of Jewish self hatred is so bizarre, that maybe Hitler killed the wrong group of people. It’s simply amazing how Jews can support known killers like the Palestinians, then in the same breath declare that the Holocaust was a fiction is simply mind boggling.

panchurret says:

Nice interview. Here in Spain Chomsky is very well known and read, at least by the left.

Israel has for sure a complicated neighborhood -Iran Goverment makes me cringe-, and the Jews have an undoubtedly suffering past. But treating Palestinian like animals for decades leaves you without virtually any sympathy here. It’s a shame, like Morocco’s one with Western Sahara. But it’s your lifelong shame right now.

Chomsky is a demagogue. As a demagogue he is not different from the other demagogues, like Hitler or Castro or Joseph McCarthy. He is nothing exceptional.

Panchuret this is your shame:

“Israeli Student Attacked By Palestinians In Italy”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3984097,00.html

“Student in Italian university threatened by Palestinian students, one of whom was armed. Police fail to apprehend suspects. Israeli: They shouted ‘slaughter the Jews’”

By Menachem Gantz

An Israeli student at the University of Genoa in Italy was harassed and threatened by Palestinian students last Tuesday, only to be ignored by the police.

Assaf, a 26-year-old Israeli architecture student, was eating at the cafeteria when Ibrahim Haji, a student from Gaza, came and began taunting him.

“He came towards me, punched me and said ‘why are you looking at me?’ I told him I wasn’t looking at him, and asked him to let me eat in peace,” Assaf said. “A minute later he was back, swinging a fork, and called me in front of everyone to come outside while cursing Israel and declaring his intention to kill.

I understood that I have to avoid this dangerous situation. I told my Italian friends, who were eating with me, that I’m going back to my room so as not to respond to this provocation. On my way out I turned to the cashier and told her, ‘Call the police. You heard the man threatening to kill,’ and she responded, ‘It’s not my job to separate Jews and Arabs.’”

‘I saw death in front of my eyes’

Assaf’s attempt to distance himself from the fight failed. Ibrahim waited for him outside and went for the attack. As Assaf tried to defend himself, Italian passersby stepped in to intervene and held him back. Ibrahim took the opportunity to draw a large kitchen knife. The Italian students tried to stop him.

“I saw death in front of my eyes. I broke free and ran into the storage in the kitchen and locked myself in. After a few minutes more Muslim students arrived and began shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great) and ‘Itbach el Yahud’ (slaughter the Jews). Later I u

juancs says:

wow i can’t believe some comments here. really, you are the most hypocritical, truth denying people iv’e seen. the funny thing is most non jewish/israeli rich-posh people i know also agree with israel’s “ideals”, makes me wonder if being blind, self centered, egotistical, greedy and elitist is the essence of israel’s existance.
your whole defense is calling people antisemitic or anti jew or whatever, no matter what they say. your world is jews and “the rest” of the people. you really believe you are special. it’s so pathetic and funny!

Chumpsky says:

“wow i can’t believe some comments here. really, you are the most hypocritical, truth denying people iv’e seen. the funny thing is most non jewish/israeli rich-posh people i know also agree with israel’s “ideals”, makes me wonder if being blind, self centered, egotistical, greedy and elitist is the essence of israel’s existance.
your whole defense is calling people antisemitic or anti jew or whatever, no matter what they say. your world is jews and “the rest” of the people. you really believe you are special. it’s so pathetic and funny!”

Yes, I imagine the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Babelonians, Persians, the Spanish inquisition and the Nazi thought the same thing about us.

Daniel says:

juancs I get it, Jews can never be right. THey can never be a “minority” they can never be “the other” all we are is occupier and colonizers, greedy mongrels who should be dealt with as some kind of disease.

You and Ingall have a lot in common.

juancs says:

it’s not about being jews or not, there are jews who don’t agree with israel’s policies. it’s the tag you put yourself. you make a conscious effort to be the other, to be a “team”, the hated ones, the chosen ones, the persecuted ones. you are just people, like everybody else. you are scattered around the world like everybody else, russian, argentinian, spanish, whatever, that’s where you are from, stop pretending you are a privileged club. stop pretending you are special victims, that has worn out a long time ago. the same goes to any other fanatical religion or “club”. it’s ridiculous. and yes, those who participate in the occupation and colonization ARE “greedy mongrels”, just as any other “greedy mongrel” regardless of their race, religion or super cool club.

Chumpsky says:

“it’s not about being jews or not, there are jews who don’t agree with israel’s policies. it’s the tag you put yourself. you make a conscious effort to be the other, to be a “team”, the hated ones, the chosen ones, the persecuted ones. you are just people, like everybody else. you are scattered around the world like everybody else, russian, argentinian, spanish, whatever, that’s where you are from, stop pretending you are a privileged club. stop pretending you are special victims, that has worn out a long time ago. the same goes to any other fanatical religion or “club”. it’s ridiculous. and yes, those who participate in the occupation and colonization ARE “greedy mongrels”, just as any other “greedy mongrel” regardless of their race, religion or super cool club.”

Suuuure, and I imagine the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Babelonians, Persians, the Spanish inquisition and the Nazi also thought the same thing about us.

Chumpsky, are you a robot? Are you programmed to answer always the same nonsense? Are you (what are you anyway) the only people who have gone through shit?

Chumpsky says:

“Chumpsky, are you a robot? Are you programmed to answer always the same nonsense? Are you (what are you anyway) the only people who have gone through shit?”

The point is that these ancient and extinguished civilizations said the same disparaging things and yet we the Jews are still here in spite of being a minority and survived so long through out history. Nothing short of a miracle just ask Mark Twain;

http://philosemitism.blogspot.com/2007/08/concerning-jews-by-mark-twain-harpers_09.html

(yes I am a mot)

HAHA my friend that is what I always hear, the same thing over and over again, “we are the best, we have survived” blah blah blah. you sound just like any hardcore football fan, always defending their team with the most irrational arguments ever. what do you mean you have survived so long, ¿are you thousands of years old? what matters is you as an individual and the present, not a politically convenient invention of a “nation” or a religion; both human creations. you will probably call me the usual names, i don’t care. i say this for any religion or group of people who think they are special for any stupid made up reason.
there are “ancient and extinguished civilizations” and even contemporary civilisations (including jews) who say disparaging things and do horrible things to other people too, but hey, it’s “us the jews” who are the victims! forget the others!! “we have to guarantee our security, even if we have to recreate ghettos all over again but with different prisioners!” = hypocrites

Chumpsky says:

“HAHA my friend that is what I always hear, the same thing over and over again, “we are the best, we have survived” blah blah blah.”

I guess you must be much smarter than Mark Twain and Pascal;

http://hnn.us/articles/38887.html

I won’t waste any more or your precious time.

well, roaches have lived even longer, it ain’t no miracle. stop posting useless self glorifying propaganda, you don’t impress me. actually that makes me feel sad for you. you must be so sad and alone feeling so different and unique, i’m sure it’s at a DNA level. say something for yourself, or are you afraid of not being a member of your team or super special club?

Daniel says:

juancs says:
“well, roaches have lived even longer…”

Yes, Juancs, we get it. You have been sent by some Islamo Nazi group to liven up the debate.

Tell it to Chomsky, he loves people like you. To me you are just a resentful and jealous fa-t.

You are just another unoriginal Jew hater.

to-chumsky says:

yes, you must be right. at least, you are surviving way better than the nations whose territories you occupy and whose people you starve and mass murder.

Chumpsky says:

“yes, you must be right. at least, you are surviving way better than the nations whose territories you occupy and whose people you starve and mass murder.”

You? Exactly what you are you talking about? I’ve purposely only quoted non-Jewish authors to avoid any bias I might have on this subject. Or perhaps you think Blaise Pascal and Mark Twain are Jewish?

Small request:

Can we keep the discussion in the comments section to Chomsky and the interview? We don’t need to argue over the entire Israeli-Arab conflict except where Chomsky may have misstated the facts.

this comments section is super-depressing. the argument you people are having doesn’t even make any sense.

Why did not you ask the “world’s most important leftist intellectual” if the Arabs have nothing to do with the present state of affaires ? How blind can one be to the fact that Israel’s presence in the middle east is the root of the problem from the Arab’s perspective and not the “crimes” of Israel.

Chumpsky says:

“Why did not you ask the “world’s most important leftist intellectual” if the Arabs have nothing to do with the present state of affaires ?”

Because “a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise.” This type of personality has sold out for bit of comfort and the false promise if we make ourselves like other nations (especially anti-semitic ones) they will accept us. History has shown us how wrong this philosophy is. ALL Jews, religious and secular, ended up together in the cattle cars to death camps, selling out didn’t help one bit. The same applies to Israel, we can bend over backwards to conform to our enemies but in the end they will not accept us because we are different than they are and we will always be no matter how much we sell out.

Z. R. Stern says:

Noam Chomsky’s father was one of my teachers at Gratz Hebrew College in Philadelphia in the mid 1960′s. Dr. William Chomsky pronounced his last name Khomsky with a “khet”. It was his son, Noam who changed the pronunciation to Chomsky, as in “churlish”. Contrary to the son’s remembrances, my memories are of the father talking proudly and fondly about his ritual observances and of his unconditional love for Eretz Yisrael. He was an outstanding teacher with great pedagogic expertise and compassion.

GrossIsrael says:

Wonderfully insightful comments by Chomsky, despite his loathsome, pro-Israeli, sickening vermin of an interviewer.

Absolutely no one of conscience supports Israel today. Only filth. Only riff raff.

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

Perhaps Mr. Chomsky can enlighten us with that which never ceases to amaze one of the blind spot some, seemingly intelligent people, have to a certain aspect of reality: Consistent Muslim-Arab rejectionism since 1917 of an accommodation of peaceful coexistence between Arab and Jew, and later between the Muslim-Arab world – not the Christin-Arab world, not the Druze-Arab world – and the nation-stare of the Jewish people, Israel.

1917 – Balfour Declaration, rejected

1920 – San Remo Conference, rejected

1922 – League of Nations decisions, rejected

1937 – Peel Commission proposal, rejected

1947 – United Nations partition, rejected

1948 – Israel’s peace offer, rejected

1948 to 1967 – Instead of setting up an independent state in the entire territory now demanded by the Arabs and proclaiming eastern Jerusalem its capital city, all “cleansed” of the former Jewish residents and totally ruled by Muslim-Arab, the Muslim-Arab, instead, set up the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, three full years before Israel captured the now disputed territories in the Six-Day War. Which part of “Palestine” was this organization to “liberate”…??

1967 – Israel’s peace offer, rejected

1978 – Begin/Saadat offer, rejected

2000 – Barak/Clinton offer, rejected

(to continue…)

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

(…continuation of previous post)

2008 – Olmert/Bush offer, rejected

2009/10 – Netanjahu’s offer for direct talks, rejected

There is a single common denominator to all of these rejections: The refusal to accept the RIGHT of an independent Jewish political entity, state, to exist on any parcel of land between the River and the Sea.

Thus, instead of attempting to find shortcomings with the Jews, their leaders and the nation-state of the Jewish people, it is very high time people looked carefully at the pattern of rejections by the Muslim-Arab world and its underlying cause and demanded of the Muslim-Arabs, now into the 21st century, to simply accept Israel’s RIGHT to be, to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people, since without such an acceptance no peace will ever come to this region… and then perhaps this is precisely what the Muslim-Arab leadership hopes for…??

(end)

Zionism is the Nazism of our time.

Freedom's Cost says:

Heil Hitler, Emil! Adolf is looking up from the grave and smiling at smiling proudly at you! Bravo!!!! Alla-hu-Akhbar!

Goggins says:

Actually, Emil is the Nazi of our time.

Freedom's Cost says:

Or a disguised Islamist using a false name because he has no woman handy behind whose skirt he can hide

Shingo says:

Let me explain Jehudah Ben-Israel,

1915 – Brotain proposes that Palestinians will be offered independence

1917 – The Balfour Declaration is never put to the Arabs as an offer

1920 – San Remo Conference: Administration of Mandate handed to the British. No offer made to the Arabs.

1922 – League of Nations makes no declartion or offer

1937 – Peel Commission proposal makes no offer

1947 – United Nations partition”: Ben Gurion rejects the borders.

1948 – Israel’s peace offer: False. Israel accept the terms of legitimacy made by the UN (to allow refugees return), then violates them

1948 to 1967 – Israel continues to refuse the return of refugees, violating the UNSC resolutions and rejects motions for Palestinians self determination

1967 – Israel attacks Egypt and Syria and takens the West Bank from Jordan.

1971 – Israel rejects peace offer from Sadat.

1973 – Israel is almost defeated in surprise attack from Egypt

2000 – Barak/Clinton offer so inadequate that Israeli foreing minister at the time, Shlomo Ben Ami admits that he would also have rejected it were he Palestinian.

2001 – Clinton proposes parameters that both leaders accept on principal. Israel calls off talks early due to elections.

A question for Mr Chomsky:

When you enter a theater full of people, and in the middle of the dark you shout “Fire! Fire! Fire!”, is that freedom of expression?

Chomsky is a demagogue, just like Hitler and McCartney were. He lives on the stolen from the local Indians land but has no intention to return it to the true owners. Instead he demands from the West Bank Jews to give the land they live on to the local Arabs because, according to him, it was stolen. He does not care if they (Jews on the West Bank) have more right to own their land than he has his.

Re Z. R. Stern’s comments about Chomsky’s father: This is from William Chomsky’s book “Hebrew: The Eternal Language”:

“…the Diaspora can safeguard the State of Israel from turning
in the direction of narrow nationalism. There is a strong
temptation for a small people that has regained power,
after having suffered for a long time from oppression and
persecution, to become over-aggressive and chauvinistic.
A strong international-minded Diaspora would serve as a
brake and would induce Israel to resist such temptation.”
(p. 276)

Threads like these illustrate why comments are a pretty bad idea. You may agree with Chomsky or Mr Samuels, but at least they are having a respectful, thoughtful exchange. This is more than can be said about the extremely immature comments thrown around in the comments. It is depressing, as someone stated. Really depressing.

you mean brain diseased lefty. as such he and his ilk have the worst record on implementing peace or world understandings. the only thing he proves is that the world is flat and he has fallen of the edge.

Sorry for taking a break from the politics and moving to linguistics:

“Hebrew is based on a root vowel pattern distinction… The whole language builds up from that. And that’s how I treated it in my early work, which is kind of the way it was done in traditional grammar. Now people do it differently, rightly or wrongly.”

Could someone let me know what this new way is?

For extra credit, can anyone opine as to how well Chomsky père’s “Hebrew, the Eternal Language” holds up to modern scholarship?

Noam Chomsky is on the committee to free Lori Berenson but not to help free kidnapped Israeli soldier Shalit.

I would not want to share the 21st century equivalent of a cattle car with Noam Chomsky.

We really are our own worst enemy. Brilliant but stupid. The death of Jews and Israel would not mean a thing to him. Chaval

Yea, yea, yea. Some Jews hate Arabs. Some Arabs hate Jews. We get it. F**k the lot of yous.

What resonates in the interview, to an American, is that I have a direct moral responsibility for Israel’s crimes because without my tax dollars they couldn’t happen. I have no responsibility for Arabs who commit crimes against Israelis.

It’s perfectly understandable, in light of what happened in WWII, for many Jews to desire a country where they represent the power and the majority. But it doesn’t excuse taking someone else’s land away from them or treating them like non-humans. I don’t want my tax dollars paying for that, or for the other illegal wars in the Mideast.

Zionists are going to have to figure out how to live in a pluralistic society that recognizes everyone’s human rights if they want to survive but, given the recent history of Israel, I’m not optimistic. I know that there are a lot of Israeli citizens who agree with me, but the proto-nazis are in power and they aren’t going to go away without a bloody fight.

The history of Israel so mirrors the history of white South Africa that it’s hard to imagine it having a different ending, unless it’s in the annihilation of the state itself.

Bill, who would you want to share the equivalent of a cattle car with? Israel holds how many (7000) Palestinians in it’s prisons for political crimes (many of them being subjected to torture), and some Palestinian organization holds one Israeli. It’s a real puzzle why the whole world isn’t on a hunger strike to free him.

“We don’t support killings in the eastern Congo. Or Chinese repression of dissidents. But we’re completely responsible for what Israel does”

The seeming inability on the part defensive Israeli policy defenders to take this in is the most glaring and dangerous example of cognitive dissonance in our times.

In terms of compromised brain function, it ranks right up there w/every case study ever documented by Oliver Sacks.

observer says:

This article presents lots of interesting material, although it is a hostile interviewer. Many of the comments are from off-the-wall Chomsky-haters.

What would a friendly interview of Chomsky be like? Check out Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/11/30-7

The Jews (& “Samaritans”) have survived; so have the people of Palestine, including the Arab-Israelis – in the book of Genesis, the city of Salem is already founded by other than Abraham’s descendants (whether by Sarah or by Hagar), and they have always been there and still are. All have to learn to live together & not dream dreams of ethnic cleansing & devote themselves to that. The current situation is unjust and unrighteous: it naturally sows the whirlwind. Both sides, the currently weak & currently strong, have to begin to work together, but Chomsky is entirely right that the US is ultimately to blame for letting this situation develop, and the US will suffer for it along with everyone else.

sawnetbean says:

The beauty of Chomsky is he lies and then denies it over and over again!!

sawnetbean says:

Dershowitz has shown that Chomsky lies all the time!!!

sawnetbean says:

There is no Karma or divine retribution.

Adrienne Ross says:

To Amy T – - What crimes are you talking about? The crime of firing rockets from Gaza and Lebanon directly into civilian zones in Israel. Oh, is that resistance? What about the crime of refusing a state in 1948 and having your political and military leadership be a Nazi war criminal (Husseni) who missed Nuremberg simply because the Allies needed Arab oil. What about the crime of Jordan grabbing the West Bank in 1948 (as it had earlier grabbed the major Palestinian part of the Palestinian Mandate in 1922)? Oh, that’s just protection from a European colonial movement, right? What about the crime of refusing peace agreements that gave contiguous territory (97% – 100% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza) in 2000, 2008 and 2009 (please, no lies about Bantustans – - see Dennis Ross’ maps). What about the crime of keeping people who are 2nd, 3rd and now 4th generation from 1948 designated as “refugees” – - something the UN would never have done to another group – - and imprisoned in camps. The biggest cognitive dissonance of our time is the blind refusal of the left / progressive movement to see anti-semitism for what is, and that’s seconded only by the lie of calling a democracy an “apartheid state”.

Disabuser says:

Sad comments on this interview. Half of the posts here are simply rabid invective, just like on any other site that dares to carry criticism of Israel.

Rob (Nov. 15) makes one of the few sensible comments.

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very interesting interview, Noam Chomsky is a complex man, this sense of atonement, and conscience, and concern for injustice against humanity, a rare intellectual, the truth. I visited Israel in the 80′s, the Israelis were beautiful and also tough, like sharpened stones, a little too harsh on the bedouin arab tribes in the moshavs and kibbutzims, very hard working people, also very civilised, blind to their own flaws of course, with regard to their neighbours, but I loved this land, and always longed to return, the question is, without the Israeli Jewish influence, what would Israel become? Has anyone ever asked that question?

I thought this interviewer was rather good, not afraid to challenge, so many of Chomsky’s interviewers are weak

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Q&A: Noam Chomsky

The world’s most important leftist intellectual talks about his Zionist childhood and his time with Hezbollah

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