Noam Chomsky, retired professor of linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has not retired from his major avocation of speaking with forked tongue concerning a wide range of subjects. Long-time radical icon Chomsky, known for his anti-Israel invective, enthralls appreciative audiences as he pedantically analyzes and judges with seemingly complete certitude in his own knowledge and wisdom.
Chomsky’s falsifications and distortions have been documented by, among others, author and editor Paul Bogdanor in “The Top 200 Chomsky Lies.” The numerous anti-Israel defamations listed (including source citations) and debunked by Bogdanor include:
The Lie: None [of the attacks on Israel] is remembered with more horror than the atrocity at Ma’alot in 1974, where 22 members of a paramilitary [Israeli] youth group were killed in an exchange of fire…The Truth: The PLO attack commenced with the murder of a father, a pregnant mother and their four-year-old child, with their five-year-old daughter shot in the stomach. The terrorists took more than 100 schoolchildren hostage and threatened to massacre them unless their demands were met. They murdered 22 teenagers, and wounded 56, during an Israeli rescue attempt.
The Lie: We might tarry a moment over the Israeli attack on the island off Tripoli north of Beirut [in 1984], in which Lebanese fishermen and boy scouts at a camp were killed… One might ask why the murder of Lebanese boy scouts is a lesser atrocity [than the death of Israeli children at Ma’alot].The Truth: Israel bombed an ammunition dump on the island, known as a training facility for a jihadist faction allied to the PLO. Sources in the jihadist faction reported that there were 150 terrorists on the island and that 25 of them were hit.
Before an appreciative audience in the March 18 event, Chomsky is fed questions – on topics such as American foreign policy, the Cold War, nuclear weapons policy, fossil fuels, capitalism, the war on terrorism, Middle East politics, and Arab-Israeli conflicts – by David Barsamian, founder and director of an obscure (except to the radical left) entity named “Alternative Radio.” Barsamian has collaborated with Chomsky numerous times.
Barsamian lends undeserved credence to the opinions of veteran Israel bashers, Palestinian polemicist Ali Abunimah and unethical correspondent Amira Hass. Hass and her Haaretz colleague Gideon Levy are atop the short list of Israeli blame-Israel-for-everything “journalists.”Abunimah is a co-founder of the infamous anti-Israel Web hate site “Electronic Intifada” (see here and here). Hass has produced numerous yellow journalism pieces including blatantly false charges relating to West Bank water usage.
Well, what happened is that – one question is how much difference there is between the parties. They’re all pretty much on the right. There was a very minor sort of peace party, got four seats. Barely made it past the admissions point. There is the Arab party, which is the third largest, but it is pretty much excluded from the coalition just on racist grounds. No coalition will accept the Arab party as an important constituent. But there are some differences. One difference is, if you read Netanyahu’s appeal to the electorate, which carried him to victory after the tepid polling results – it was a combination of outright racism and extreme fear mongering. So you probably read in the newspapers, he warned the electorate that Arabs, Arab citizens of Israel, are being driven to the polls by leftists with support from foreign governments, all in an effort to undermine his policy of defending Israel from terrorists, and so on and so forth.”
legislators to be willing to join the Labor coalition. Meanwhile, Israeli Arabs have the third largest Israeli political block party (a coalition of Arab parties).
Chomsky’s misleading characterizations overlook facts such as that Israeli Arabs serve on Israel’s Supreme Court, in the Israel Defense Forces, and in the Foreign Affairs Ministry. An Israeli Arab, Rana Raslan, won the Miss Israel title in 1999 and represented Israel in the 1999 Miss Universe pageant. Israel, like other Western style democracies, is not free of discrimination against minority communities but the situation continues to steadily improve.
And that combination of fear-mongering and racism does work. It worked in Israel. We’re not unfamiliar with it here. And it’s a very dangerous sign about the nature of Israeli society which has just been drifting very far to the right, and this is a major nuclear weapons state. It’s a violent state that has carried out lots of aggression. Israel is in direct violation of international law in the occupied territories. That’s accepted essentially by the entire world with the exception of Israel and the United States.
• Chomsky mendaciously mischaracterizes Israel as a “violent state that has carried out lots of aggression” – but not a word about Israel’s right to defend itself being repeatedly attacked or drawn into wars by Arab armies or Islamist inspired terrorists such as in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982 (Lebanon- Hezbollah), 2014 (Gaza-Hamas). Chomsky’s claim that Israel has “been drifting very far to the right” is easily challenged with strong evidence refuting the claim.