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Chomsky and the Terror Masters

This is a cross-post by Paul Bogdanor from The Algemeiner

As a defamer of his fellow Jews, Noam Chomsky is in a class of his own. “Hitler’s conceptions,” he once wrote, “have struck a responsive chord in current Zionist commentary.” Israel, he added, is guilty of planning a “final solution” for humanity, an apocalypse from which “few will escape.” The world-famous MIT professor and far-left intellectual guru has described the PLO as “heroic,” while vilifying America’s Jewish community as “deeply totalitarian.” He has collaborated with Holocaust deniers, allowing them to publish and distribute his books, and he gave his endorsement to an antisemitic author (the late Israel Shahak) who alleged that observant Jews pray to the Devil.

But these efforts pale before the cause that has animated Chomsky for the past decade. That cause is solidarity with the blood-drenched perpetrators of Islamist terror.

The fact that Iran’s rulers want to annihilate Israel is not in dispute among informed people. The ayatollahs and their accessories have characterised the Jewish state as a “cancerous tumor” that must be “uprooted from the region,” a “dried, rotten tree that will collapse with a single storm,” a “filthy microbe,” a “stinking corpse,” a “germ of corruption” that “will be wiped off the face of the world.” But as Chomsky sees it, “Israel and the United States are both threatening Iran with destruction.” Iran, declares Chomsky, would be “crazy” not to build nuclear bombs to counter this threat.

In 2006, Chomsky visited Lebanon, where he basked in the warm affections of Hezbollah. These terrorists, he announced, are perfectly justified in keeping their arms (which include tens of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel’s civilian population) as a “deterrent to potential aggression.” Some may recall the uses to which Hezbollah’s weapons have already been put: the slaughter of hundreds of American peacekeepers, the destruction of American and Israeli embassies, the indiscriminate bombardment of Israeli towns and cities, the massacre of Jews as far afield as Argentina. Was it for this, one wonders, that Chomsky allowed himself to be filmed greeting leaders of Hezbollah as long-lost friends?

Interviewed on Lebanese television, Chomsky gave further insight into his political allegiances. “The policies of Hamas,” he insisted, “are more forthcoming and more conducive to a peaceful settlement than those of the United States or Israel… The policies, in my view, are unacceptable, but preferable to the policies of the United States and Israel.” Viewers may well have been perplexed at the sight of this Jewish academic who apparently considers the demand for the murder of all Jews – clearly stated in the Hamas covenant – preferable to Israel’s official support for the two-state solution.

Evidently unsatisfied with mere apologetics for Hamas, Chomsky has now decided to show his fellowship with the jihadists in person. Visiting Gaza in October – shortly before the latest rocket attacks on Israeli towns and cities – Chomsky spoke at the Islamic University, an institution established by Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and recognised as a training ground for the Hamas leadership. Bestowing intellectual legitimacy on this terrorist front by attending an “international conference on languages and literature,” he also received an honorary doctorate for his anti-Israel activities, and rewarded his hosts by demanding an end to the blockade of the Hamas enclave. His words having met with the approval of the terror masters, Chomsky was granted an audience with none other than the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who hailed his “courageous positions in support of the Palestinian people.”

Even as he consorted with this dispatcher of suicide bombers, a man involved in the murder and mutilation of hundreds of innocent Jews, Chomsky’s travelling companions (most of them linguistics professors) brazenly insisted that nothing was amiss. In a public statement on the situation, they conceded that American academics “are prevented by law from having any contact with the government in Gaza,” and cited “assurances” (worthless, of course) that the Islamic University is not linked to Hamas. But they laboured in vain to conceal the truth: that the conference at the university was a mere pretext for assignations with terrorists. “Additional events,” they confessed, “were organised solely for Noam Chomsky,” and among those events were “meetings with Palestinian politicians (including the elected prime minister)” – that is to say, private sessions with figures from Hamas, including Ismail Haniyeh. Here, then, is an admission by his own supporters that Chomsky has been fraternising with the Hamas leadership, possibly in violation of American law.

Just how important is Chomsky? Why should anyone care that he is rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s most evil terrorists? The answer is that Chomsky was voted “the world’s top public intellectual” by over 4,000 readers of Foreign Policy magazine. His book 9-11, which denied bin Laden’s guilt for the September 11 mass murders, sold 300,000 copies. Wherever he travels, he addresses packed audiences and elicits rapturous applause. In Britain, one of his diatribes was broadcast in Manchester city centre by the BBC. When he tried to visit Ireland on an expired passport a few years ago, the country’s foreign minister intervened to grant him entry. As a result, cheering crowds were able to watch him denounce the Irish Government for war crimes, confuse the then-presidents of Egypt and Pakistan, and warn that American policies would culminate in an “Armageddon of our own making.”

Over his long public career, Noam Chomsky has plumbed the depths of political iniquity, from support for Maoist China (“quite admirable”) and apologetics for Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge (“may actually have saved many lives”) to the defence of Holocaust deniers (one of whom he labelled “a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort”) and dismissal of bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11. Now he describes the Iranian ayatollahs as victims of American and Israeli aggression, while embracing terrorist commanders notorious for their skill in murdering Jews.

When his political activities are called into question, Chomsky reacts by comparing himself to the prophets of the Bible. Perhaps, therefore, he should be judged in light of the words of Isaiah: “the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”