July 25, 2003
When Chomskyites Attack!
Ah. I see that Noam Chomsky acolyte Edward Herman is unhappy with me.
I got bored reading Ed Herman, and if I did I'm sure everybody else did too. So rather than further boring everyone with responses to fifteen of Herman's misrepresentations and deceptions, let me confine my reply to one single point:
Ed Herman claims that Chomsky's defense of Nazi sympathizer Robert Faurisson was "solely a defense of the right of free speech and that from beginning to end that was all the struggle was about for Chomsky."
PUH-LEEAAZE! Chomsky did not write that Faurisson was a Nazi sympathizer whose right to free speech needed to be defended on Voltairean principles. Chomsky wrote that Faurisson seemed to be "a relatively apolitical liberal" who was being smeared by zionists who--for ideological reasons--did not like his "findings."
Herman then repeats the lie by claiming that Faurisson's critics were "unable to provide any credible evidence of anti-Semitism or neo-Naziism."
Shame on Herman. But not surprising. One more sign of the Chomskyite view of their audience as tools to be propagandized, rather than as people to be informed.
UPDATE: For anyone wanting to learn about Chomsky's (and Herman's!) carrying water and running interference for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, you should read Bruce Sharp's Averaging Wrong Answers. For Chomsky and Faurisson, see Pierre Vidal-Naquet.
Posted by DeLong at July 25, 2003 09:59 AM
>"...Herman then repeats the lie by claiming that Faurisson's critics were "unable to provide any credible evidence of anti-Semitism or neo-Naziism..."
I don't know ANYTHING about Herman OR Faurisson.
Don't know a helluva lot about Chomsky, if you want to know the truth....
BUUUT, Brad--a lot of people don't know this--and just so, you know, you DO know, there IS a difference between the terms "zionist" and "Jew".
They are NOT synonyms. Maybe this will help....
A Jewish Voice Left Silent: Trying to Articulate "The Levantine Option
The modern state of Israel is composed of Sephardic Jews, Jews who emanate from Arab-Islamic lands, and Ashkenazic Jews, Jews who hail from Christian Europe. These groups have developed within different cultural milieux and espouse divergent Weltanschauung. Occidental Jews have taken on many of the traits of Western culture, while the Oriental Jews, many of whom continued to speak Arabic and partake of a common Middle Eastern culture until the mass dispersions of Jews from Arab countries after 1948, have preserved many of the folkways and traits of Arab civilization.
Because of the stigma against all things Arab propounded by classical Zionism, many Arab Jews have surrendered their native Levantine perspective in favor of the ruling Eurocentric ideology in Israel; others in frustration have divorced themselves from the mainstream of the Jewish community; and still others have submerged their ethnic rage in a thunderous barbarity vis-à-vis the Arab Muslims...
NOT to belabor the point, but...
"Because We Are Jews"
By Rabbi Mordechi Weberman
There are those who ask us why we march with the Palestinians. Why do we raise the Palestinian flag? Why do we support the Palestinian cause?
“You are Jews!” they tell us. "What are you doing?"
And our response is very simple:
It is precisely because we are Jews that we march with that we march with the Palestinians and raise their flag!
It is precisely because we are Jews we demand that the Palestinian peoples be returned to their homes and properties!
Yes, in our Torah we are commanded to be fair. We are called upon to pursue justice. And, what could be more unjust then the century old attempt of the Zionist movement to invade an other people's land, to drive them out and steal their property?
The early Zionists proclaimed that they were a people without a land going to a land without a people.
Innocent sounding words.
But utterly and totally untrue...
Strange how Chomskyite tactics can almost seem, well, Straussian at times.
>Alan at July 25, 2003 12:16 PM
>"Strange how Chomskyite tactics can almost seem, well, Straussian at times."
Yeah. If academics would only confine their "tempests" to their ivy covered "teapots"-- keeping them scrupulously away from places like the National Security Council, Wall Street and/or the Pentagon for instance--the rest of us "mere mortals" would probably sleep a whole lot easier ;-)
Brad - why don't you try and refute Chomsky's arguments about the Balkans? That was the original argument. Your sneering dismissal of his assertion that the U.S. views the caspian sea area as strategic because of oil seems fairly weak.
This post is going to receive a huge number of comments and will drift off topic very soon. At sites where I have posted, of course I am very critical of specific actions of the Israeli government.
But it's definitely true that many people who weigh in do cross a line and venture deep into the realm of virulent anti-Jewish bigotry. I've seen it a lot. Zionism dates from before the Dreyfus affair--but it became a dominant ideology because of events beyond the control of any Jewish person. If Zionism is bad, please understand the sin comes from non-Jews. A lot of the more extreme critics of Israel tend to regard this as a story with a clear villain and a clear victim, and no nuance is admitted to the story.
I tend to regard Chomsky as an anti-US fundamentalist who finds Israel and Turkey as convenient avatars of his Manichean religion...and I cannot regard fundamentalism in any direction as intellectually honest. Sorry.
Alan Dershowitz on Chomsky and Holocaust denial:
My next encounter with Chomsky revolved around his writing an introduction to a book by an anti-Semite named Robert Faurisson who denied that the Holocaust took place, that Hitler’s gas chambers existed, that the diary of Anne Frank was authentic, and that there were death camps in Nazi occupied Europe. He claimed that the “massive lie” about genocide was a deliberate concoction initiated by “American Zionists” “and that “the Jews” were responsible for World War II. Chomsky described these and other conclusions as “findings” and said that they were based on “extensive historical research.” He also wrote that “I see no anti-Semitic implication in the denial of the existence in gas chambers or even in the denial of the Holocaust.” He said he saw “no hint of anti-Semitic implications in Faurisson’s work,” including his claim that “the Jews” were responsible for World War II. He wrote an introduction to one of Faurisson’s book which was used to market his anti-Semitic lies.
In a subsequent debate at the Harvard Medical School, Chomsky initially denied having advocated a Lebanon-style binational state for Israel, only to have to back down upon being confronted with the evidence. He also tried to dispute the fact that he had authorized an essay he had written in defense of Robert Faurisson to be used as the forward to Faurisson’s book about Holocaust denial, but again had to back down. Chomsky took the position that he had no interest in “revisionist” literature before Faurisson had written the book. When confronted by Robert Nozick, a distinguished philosophy professor who recalled discussing revisionist literature with him well before the Faurisson book, Chomsky first berated Nozick for disclosing a private conversation and then he shoved him contemptuously in front of numerous witnesses.
>>Brad - why don't you try and refute Chomsky's arguments about the Balkans? That was the original argument. Your sneering dismissal of his assertion that the U.S. views the Caspian Sea area as strategic because of oil seems fairly weak.<<
Look at a map. The former Yugoslavia is *nowhere* near the Caspian Sea.
"If Zionism is bad, please understand the sin comes from non-Jews. A lot of the more extreme critics of Israel tend to regard this as a story with a clear villain and a clear victim, and no nuance is admitted to the story."
To deny Jews the right to self-determination is in and of itself anti-Semitic. To seek to destroy the Jewish state is without question also anti-Semitic. If you think otherwise, try informing a Swede that you're really not anti-Swedish but you wish to destroy Sweden.
And why do we never hear a word about the 750,000 Jews who were ethnically cleansed from Arab nations?
For the same reason the world stood silent during the Holocaust and even now offers so much encouragement to the genocidal murderer of Jews, the suicide bomber.
The only "sin" committed by Jews is more in the nature of a great misfortune: that we have had to inhabit a world stuffed full of individuals who, as Herzl so rightly put it, are inherently anti-Semitic.
And if we are going to explore the moral right of nations to exist why don't we start with those countries who directly collaborated with Germany to murder millions of their own citizens - Holland, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, France, Italy, Austria, Latvia, Romania, Estonia Greece, Croatia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary?
Whatever the nature of our misdeeds they pale into complete insignificance alongside the great and utterly unique crimes of those nations.
>>The only "sin" committed by Jews is more in the nature of a great misfortune: that we have had to inhabit a world stuffed full of individuals who, as Herzl so rightly put it, are inherently anti-Semitic.<<
A bunch of people driven from their homes during the 1947-1948 war could think of other sins, no doubt.
It's time to shut this comment thread down.