Glenn Greenwald airbrushes the bigotry and extremism of Noam Chomsky

Glenn Greenwald’s latest post includes a spirited defense of Noam Chomsky, one of his intellectual inspirations, titled ‘How Noam Chomsky is discussed‘,  March 23.

Greenwald has previously cited the wit and wisdom of the extremist MIT professor, and now is evidently devoting significant space in his new book to explaining how Chomsky’s “exclusion” from mainstream political debate represents a good example of how “media systems” restrict “alternative” views.

Greenwald argues, thusly: 

Nobody has been subjected to…vapid discrediting techniques more than Noam Chomsky. The book on which I’m currently working explores how establishment media systems restrict the range of acceptable debate in US political discourse, and I’m using Chomsky’s treatment by (and ultimate exclusion from) establishment US media outlets as a window for understanding how that works. As a result, I’ve read a huge quantity of media discussions about Chomsky over the past year. And what is so striking is that virtually every mainstream discussion of him at some point inevitably recites the same set of personality and stylistic attacks designed to malign his advocacy without having to do the work of engaging the substance of his claims.

Greenwald further complains that Chomsky has been smeared with horrible slurs, such as the claim that he is an antisemitic (self-hating) Jew, “due to defending some 35 years ago the right to free speech of a French professor who was later convicted  [in a French court] of Holocaust denial”.

However, the French “professor” Chomsky defended, Robert Faurissonwasn’t merely a Holocaust denier, but also “a proponent of Nazi-style bigotry and apologist for Hitler’s regime who had also written for neo-Nazi publications and spoken at neo-Nazi meetings”.

Additionally, as Paul Bogdanor observed:

The petition [which Chomsky signed] dignified Faurisson’s writings by (a) affirming his scholarly credentials (“a respected professor” of “document criticism”); (b) describing his lies as “extensive historical research”; (c) placing the term “Holocaust” in derisory quotation marks; and (d) portraying his lies as “findings.”

Chomsky not only defended Faurisson but offered the following views about those who engage in Holocaust denial:

I see no antisemitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the holocaust.

As Bogdanor argued, denying the existence of gas chambers and the Holocaust “was the brainchild of antisemites and neo-Nazi activists” and “a propaganda tactic of antisemitic and neo-Nazi individuals and movements all over the world.”

Additionally, arguing that the Holocaust is a myth is necessarily antisemitic, as it suggests an elaborate global Jewish conspiracy which, over the course of nearly seven decades since the end of WWII, popularized a grand historic “fiction”: that Nazis systematically murdered six million Jews. 

Further, this wasn’t a one-off for Chomsky. Here are other quotes from the esteemed radical professor on Jews, Zionism and Israel. 

On American Jews:

“Jews in the US are the most privileged and influential part of the population… privileged people want to make sure they have total control, not just 98% control. That’s why antisemitism is becoming an issue.”

On Zionism:

“Hitler’s conceptions have struck a responsive chord in current Zionist commentary.”

On Judaism:

“In the Jewish community, the Orthodox rabbinate imposes its interpretation of religious law… Were similar principles to apply to Jews elsewhere, we would not hesitate to condemn this revival of the Nuremberg laws.”

In addition to his hostility towards Jews, Chomsky has argued that the U.S. is “the world’s greatest terrorist state, has praised the Vietcongdefended the Khmer Rouge, and expressed support for Hezbollah – all of which Greenwald would no doubt characterize as “personality and stylistic” quirks which in no way detract from the righteousness of his “progressive” advocacy.

CiF Watch Special Report: Latest Assault on Israel’s legitimacy, ‘Air Flotilla 2′, April 15th, 2012

A guest post by Hadar Sela (this report may also be viewed on scribd by clicking here)

Hot on the heels of the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ will come yet another event designed to continue the assault on Israel’s legitimacy – the April 15th ‘Air Flotilla 2′ (also known as ‘Welcome to Palestine’) or flytilla‘ as last year’s  (Hamas approved) similar event was dubbed.

Once again, the aim is to have large numbers of international “activists flying in to Ben Gurion airport on one day – in the words of the organisers – as part of the “challenge to Israel’s illegal siege of Palestine”.

“There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.

Welcome to Palestine 2012 will again challenge Israel’s policy of isolating the West Bank while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population.”

The similarity of the methodology and rhetoric of this project to that of the Global March to Jerusalem is no coincidence; several of the organisers and endorsers are mutual to both campaigns.  In fact, Mazin Qumsiyeh recently put out calls for volunteers for both projects on his blog, claiming that over 1,500 Europeans have already purchased tickets for April 15th whilst the overall target number appears to be 2,500.

Endorsers of the Air Flotilla include occasional Guardian contributor and ‘Right to Enter activist Sam Bahour, Tony Benn (controversial president of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ which was involved in the GMJ) , Noam Chomsky (a GMJ endorser), Nazareth-based former Guardian journalist  Jonathan Cook, ‘Free Gaza’ and ISM activist Hedy Epstein and PA Ambassador Manuel Hassassian (whose mission promoted the Global March to Jerusalem).

Also on board are Ronnie Kasrils (a GMJ endorser), Nurit Peled, John Pilger, Jean Ziegler, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb ( a GMJ endorser), Susan Abulhawa (a GMJ endorser), Ali Abunimah (whose ‘electronic Intifada’ is promoting the Air Flotilla), Mustafa Barghouti (a GMJ organizer), Abdelfattah Abu Srour of the Al Rowwad Culltural Centre (which supported the 2011 flytilla and the GMJ) and Desmond Tutu (also a GMJ endorser).

Mustafa Barghouti’s ‘Palestinian National Initiative was also an endorser of the Global March to Jerusalem, as was The Siraj Centre (where Mazin Qumsiyeh is a member of the board) and the Palestine Justice Network which is currently involved in the organization of the Air Flotilla. The Palestine Justice Network solicits donations through the International Solidarity Campaign-linked ‘Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People’, of which Qumsiyeh is head.

In April 2011 the Palestine Justice Network launched its ‘One State Initiative’ and as can be seen from the endorsements, many of the names also appear on the list of those supporting or organising the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign, as well as on the list of signatories of the Stuttgart Declaration.

In short, as was the case with the organisers of the Global March to Jerusalem, the Air Flotilla initiators are united by their rejection of the internationally-accepted route of negotiations aimed at leading to a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Their aim is an imposed ‘one-state solution’ which would result in the end of self-determination for the Jewish people.

A list of foreign organisations endorsing the Air Flotilla – predominantly from the United Kingdom – can be seen here. Among the individual endorsers is Maha Rahwanji of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign executive committee. The PSC was of course heavily involved in the organization of the Global March to Jerusalem. Something of Rahwanji‘s mindset can be understood from her Twitter timeline.

Unsurprisingly, the Iranian regime-linked ‘Islamic Human Rights Commission’ based in the UK is also promoting the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ project, as is Iran’s ‘Press TV’ – according to which “[t]his year, the Welcome to Palestine movement aims to overwhelm Israeli officials by its sheer number of members”.

Purveyor of anti-Semitic cartoons Carlos Latuff presented a gift to the campaign:

The ‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign has no qualms about using the false – and highly charged – canard of ‘apartheid’ on its official website in order to curry support.

“Plans are underway to challenge Israeli apartheid during 2012 by having a large number of international activists land in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.”

The campaign’s supporting Twitter account – described as an ‘awareness campaign’ – goes even further, propagating lies and descending into anti-Semitic Nazi analogies.

The end-game of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ Air Flotilla is, however, revealed in this Tweet:

One of the people operating the ‘Airflotilla2′ Twitter account and its online campaign in general is Gaza Strip-born Ayman Qwaider who is currently resident in Spain.

Before leaving Gaza to study abroad, Qwaider worked for the ‘European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza’ – a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood project which is headed by UK-based Hamas operative  Mohammed Sawalha. Sawalha was instrumental in the organization of both the 2010 and 2011 flotillas and was also one of the organisers of the Global March to Jerusalem.

Ayman Qwaider has written for the Palestine Telegraph which is operated by Sameh Habeebwho is also spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza’ and connected to the Hamas-linked Palestinian Return Centre based in London which is proscribed by Israel.  Last year Qwaider was active in the flotilla campaign on behalf of the ‘Spanish Boat to Gaza’, including giving a talk at a Spanish university.

Part of the online support campaign for the ‘Airflotilla2′ initiative includes an e-mail campaign aimed at members of Parliament.

“Palestinians resist.  The British Government, however, joins with Israel to isolate the Palestinians while they are being dispossessed.  The UK Government, for example, refused to support the recent successful Palestinian bid to join UNESCO in the teeth of bitter US and Israeli opposition. The UK Government has also signalled it will oppose the Palestinian bid for full membership of the UN.

When our governments endorse illegal Israeli occupation, concerned citizens need to take action.”

The main difference between the Airflotilla2 and the Global March to Jerusalem is that the former is designed to appeal primarily – though not exclusively - to European audiences, as reflected in its campaigning and publicity which includes websites and advertising in various European  languages.

FRANCE : contact@bienvenuepalestine.com
UK : uk@bienvenuepalestine.com
SPAIN : pazahora1@gmail.com
ITALY : benvenutinpalestina2012@gmail.com
BELGIUM : bienvenuepalestine.wallonie.be@gmail.com / et pour Bruxelles (Brussels) : welcomepalestinebelgium@yahoo.com
GREECE : greece@welcometopalestine.info
USA: palestine2012us@gmail.com
PALESTINE : jneno@ejepal.org (school project) and info@palestinejn.org

In the Netherlands, Electronic Intifada’s Adri Nieuwhof appears to be utilising her connections within the ‘human rights’/international aid community in order to publicize the project.

Several of the ‘Airflotilla2′ organisers took part in last year’s failed flytilla including Myriam de Ly and David Dupire from Belgium and Mick Napier of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Events were held in Paris , Brussels and other European cities earlier this year to promote the campaign.

The final speaker in the video – Jaques Neno of the EJE (Les Enfants, le Jeu et l’Education) is also one of the project’s organisers, along with George N Rishmawi – co-founder of International Solidarity Movement (ISM), head of the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), coordinator of the Siraj Centre and a former board member of the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between Peoples. As stated above, Airflotilla2 and GMJ organizer Mazin Qumsiyeh is connected to both the latter organisations.

Neno tells potential participants that they should expect three possible scenarios. The first is that they will get arrested.  In that case, according, to him “you have won because when Israel puts you in prison it shows how it becomes more and more fascist”.

The second scenario involves the activists being prevented from boarding their flights at the point of departure, as happened in many cases in 2011, but which Neno appears to consider unlikely this year. The third scenario is that they will reach their destination.

Obviously, provocation and bad public relations for Israel are yet again the real name of the game and several factors suggest that this latest publicity stunt aimed at undermining Israel’s legitimacy should not be taken lightly.

One of these factors is the date which, although originally planned to coincide with the anniversary of the death of ISM activist Vittorio Arrigoni, is also the day after the end of the Pessach holiday when Ben Gurion airport will be particularly busy with a large volume of travelers. For example, the UK airline Jet2 has added an additional flight to its usual schedule on that day which is probably aimed at returning Pessach visitors to Manchester, but is likely to be used by ‘Airflotilla2′ activists from Scotland and the north of England.

Another factor is the unverified claim by ‘Welcome to Palestine’ organisers (Palestine Justice Network) that following the 2011 flytilla during which the majority of activists were not permitted to board their flights, “[a]s a result of legal challenges, many European airlines not only fully refunded the tickets, but also agreed not to repeat the incident.”  In the event that airlines will refuse to transport the activists, demonstrations are already being planned.

The International Solidarity Movement in France is already very indignant regarding a statement put out recently by the French Foreign Ministry advising its citizens not to take part in the ‘Airflotilla2′.

The British government has similarly advised against participation in the project, but such recommendations are unlikely to make much of an impression on these activists, as can be seen by the reaction of the French organisers.

“We have no illusions about our leaders and the fact they eat in the hand of the Israeli occupation. We know how they behaved in July, and more generally how they refuse to apply international law and the principle of reciprocity, then they leave to enter France all Israelis who wish, including criminals war. They do not even defend French diplomats when they are humiliated, beaten or injured by the police or the IDF.”

“The method of intimidation will not work. Participants in the mission “Welcome to Palestine” have the right, justice and morality on their side. And they are aware of the seriousness of the situation for the Palestinians, every day more persecuted and dispossessed. They are not ashamed to go visit them. And to do head high, without lying, without going into the game of the occupant, which would wipe out Palestine and the Palestinians.

Gentlemen of the Quai d’Orsay, gentlemen of the government, history will record that you do not have much dignity.”

On the publicity front, the involvement of Ali Abunimah in this campaign means that we are likely to see a far more intense level of activity, particularly on social networks, than was the case with the Global March to Jerusalem which Abunimah and others shunned.

UPDATE, April 11th:

The full ‘Welcome to Palestine’ programme of events can be seen here. The stated aims of the project – building a school and a museum and refurbishing a kindergarten – appear to be confined to one day of activity, with the rest of the week’s visit dedicated to trips to various destinations and a seminar on the subject of “How to End the Occupation?”.

The organisation hoping to build a museum on the history of Palestinian refugees is the Al Rowwad Centre which was also involved in the organisation of the 2011 flytilla, is party to the BDS movement and was an endorser of the Global March to Jerusalem. Pictured below is one of its vehicles, bearing a logo which clearly rejects a negotiated two-state solution.

Another pejorative reference to Jews as “Chosen People” by a Guardian contributor

H/T Margie

Guardian Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott, in his quasi mea culpa, “On Averting Accusations of antisemitism“, wrote:

Three times in the last nine months I have upheld complaints against language within articles that I agreed could be read as antisemitic...Two weeks ago a columnist used the term “the chosen” in an item on the release of Gilad Shalit, which brought more than 40 complaints to the Guardian, and an apology from the columnist the following week. “Chosenness”, in Jewish theology, tends to refer to the sense in which Jews are “burdened” by religious responsibilities; it has never meant that the Jews are better than anyone else. Historically it has been antisemites, not Jews, who have read “chosen” as code for Jewish supremacism.

The columnist Elliott was referring to is Deborah Orr, who contemptuously referred to Jews’ supposed racist belief in their own superiority, in a bizarre missive which imputed bigotry to Israel in the context of the prisoner release deal to free Gilad Shalit.

Wrote Orr:

“…there is something abject in [Hamas's] eagerness to accept a transfer that tacitly acknowledges what so many Zionists believe – that the lives of the chosen are of hugely greater consequence than those of their unfortunate neighbors.”

Though Orr’s “apology” was far from adequate or honest, the incident at least set a precedent at the Guardian regarding the antisemitic pedigree, and unacceptability, of such tropes.

More recently, the Guardian removed a passage from Khaled Diab’s CiF essay after we alerted them about a similarly pejorative characterization of Jews as ‘chosen people’ – a quote, included by Diab, in support of his broader narrative of Israeli bigotry, by none other than Gilad Atzmon.

Yesterday, Feb 15, in a characteristically ugly anti-American, anti-Zionist polemic by Noam Chomsky, The Imperial Way: The American Decline in Perspective, Part 2,  there was this passage:

Christian Zionism in Britain and the US long preceded Jewish Zionism, and has been a significant elite phenomenon with clear policy implications (including the Balfour Declaration, which drew from it). When General Allenby conquered Jerusalem during the first world war, he was hailed in the American press as Richard the Lion-Hearted, who had at last won the Crusades and driven the pagans out of the Holy Land.

The next step was for the Chosen People to return to the land promised to them by the Lord. Articulating a common elite view, President Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior, Harold Ickes, described Jewish colonization of Palestine as an achievement “without comparison in the history of the human race”. [emphasis added]

While it’s not surprising that Chomsky – an outspoken opponent of Israel’s existence who has likened Zionism to Nazism and expressed support for Hezbollah – would engage in such anti-Jewish vitriol, its instructive to note that the seemingly sincere call by Chris Elliott on how the Guardian can “avert accusations of antisemitism” evidently hasn’t been taken seriously by his paper’s contributors and editors.

CiF’s Medhi Hasan, intolerant religious fundamentalist, provides commentary on post 9/11 bigotry

We’ve commented on CiF commentator – and New Statesman senior editor – Medhi Hasan on several occasions.

Hasan is opposed to the Palestinians’ Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) out of fear that in would deny an unlimited right of return to “nine million” Palestinian “refugees” living abroad, and because UDI would have the unintended effect of recognizing the of the right of the Jewish state to exist.

He also has opined that  Israel is to blame for rising antisemitism in Britain.

Recently, the Guardian included Hasan in their ongoing series of reports and commentaries on the significance of 9/11 – a list which includes George Galloway, Noam Chomsky, and  CiF’s .

While the premise of Hasan’s piece, “How the fear of being criminalised has forced Muslims into silence“, Sept. 8, that “in the UK, the effect [of the war against Islamist extremism] has been a chilling of speech inside Muslim communities” is easily refuted by the number commentaries published by Comment is Free who are either supportive of, or actively involved in, Islamist groups in the UK and abroad, his following passage is even more audacious given Hasan’s background.

Writes Hasan:

“I have lost count of the number of British Muslim students, activists and imams who have told me of their fear of being labelled as extremists or terrorists if they dare take an unconventional, unorthodox or radical position on a political or religious issue.”

So, Hasan not only wants the freedom of radical clerics and activists to advance extremist views, he also evidently believes that such views should be expressed with impunity from any social criticism – a view which is put into proper context by the following audio, posted at Harry’s Place in July of 2009.

Here’s a highlight of what he said:

“The kaffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran; they are described in the Quran as, quote, “a people of no intelligence”, Allah describes them as; not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of “no intelligence” – because they’re incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In this respect, the Quran describes the atheists as “cattle”, as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.”

This is truly remarkable. A secular left publication like the Guardian sanctions commentary sanctimoniously condemning bigotry by a writer who has literally likened non-believers to “cattle” – who possess no morality or intelligence.

Writing previously in the Guardian, Hasan complained:

“I grow tired of having to also endure a barrage of lazy stereotypes, inflammatory headlines, disparaging generalisations and often inaccurate and baseless stories.”

Evidently, Hasan isn’t quite so tired of such inflammatory, baseless, lazy generalizations and demonization of “non-believers”.  

Extract from Guardian article by Prof. Richard V. Biddable, newly appointed Chomsky Fellow in Cultural Relativity at All Balls College, Oxford

The following satire is a guest post by Friedell

…In cultural terms it is surely irrelevant whether ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is a fabrication or not.

To ask the question ‘Is it a forgery?’ is to misunderstand the forces that shape culture and the perception of truth itself. Since there is no such thing as objective truth, only truth created by culture, and since the cultural perception that ‘The Protocols’ is a true statement of Jewish objectives and aims in world history is so widespread, almost universal throughout the Arab and Islamic cultural sphere, but elsewhere too, then ‘The Protocols’ has a cultural veracity that makes it an expression of truth, in the same way that a myth may express the inner genius of its civilisation.

After all, in Incan civilisation it would have been culturally reprehensible to suggest that there was something unreasonable about the sacrifice of tens of thousands of prisoners, who had their hearts torn from their bodies in order to appease the Gods, or that it was actually pointless, because there were no Gods to appease. It would certainly have been extremely impolite. The Gods existed culturally. Therefore they were real. And people had a right, in their own terms a ‘human right’, if you like, to witness that appeasement and draw comfort and satisfaction from it; to deny that right would have been an act of cultural imperialism.

And so it became, with the arrival of the most culturally destructive force in human history, what some of our older colleagues still like to refer to as ‘western civilisation’, in the shape of the Spanish crusaders. The issue had nothing to do with subjective ideas about brutality, cruelty, murder; it was about the equilibrium blood-sacrifice and mass slaughter gave to Incan society.

It was no more objectionable, culturally, than Muslim Friday prayers or the Catholic Eucharist, which of course is a symbolic echo of precisely the same blood-sacrifice myth. The demise of those sacrificial victims, with all the showmanship and razzmatazz of a medieval High Mass or a Shiite flagellation ceremony or an X-factor final, was far from pointless. In their agonising deaths they were the heroes of cultural coherence; martyrs to a particular societal vision. And who can say they didn’t go joyfully to meet their Gods? Is there not a parallel between them and today’s suicide bombers? In many ways ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is also an expression of cultural cohesion.

We may abhor the totalitarian excesses of Hitler’s Germany, since they were the totalitarian excesses of the right and not the left (I think that’s still the line, though the growth in Hitler’s popularity may require us to see those excesses with a more multicultural eye in the future), but no one can deny the part played by ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ in encouraging social cohesion in Germany. Nowadays, in providing an all-consuming focus for hatred, ‘The Protocols’ can cleanse a social milieu in which it has become a cultural truth of all the chaotic, divisive and socially destructive forces that question the unquestionable veracities that define any culture, all the more so when the religious tenets of that culture insist, with a clarity and force we can’t but find dazzling from the crumbling ivory towers of a civilisation now in terminal and well-deserved decline, that not merely hell in the next world but decapitation in this awaits anyone who thinks those veracities might not be unquestionable.

It is axiomatic that truth is whatever a particular cultural imperative demands it must be; except in the case of western civilisation where the truth is what almost any other culture’s cultural imperative demands. To criticise Hamas for instance, as so many Jews and right-wing extremists do, for making ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ a fundamental part of its charter is an expression of extraordinary arrogance and cultural supremacism on the part of a culture that only has one human right left: to spend its last days criticising itself for the barbarism it brought to humanity.

No, the true manifestation of twenty-first century intolerance is not to be found in the mischievously miscalled ‘intolerance’ of Hamas (in reality revolutionary integrity born of oppression), but in the intolerance of a corrupt intellectual and moral imperialism that blindly refuses to tolerate the culturally cohesive ‘intolerance’ (in reality recognition that the Jews really are all evil bastards) that we must fight for as a fundamental human right in a tolerant world.

Can anyone honestly say that when truth can only be what is culturally determined there is any difference at all between the Hamas Charter and the American Constitution? They are simply pieces of cultural documentation, meaningless outside their own cultural paradigms.

Yet which of those documents is the true enemy of freedom and tolerance? Which threatens civilisation’s light with darkness? You’re right, not the Hamas Charter…

Chomsky vs. Chavez and/or Chomsky vs. The Guardian

This is cross posted by our friends at the blog, Simply Jews. (The cartoon below, which I simply couldn’t resist including, was posted at the blog of one of the characters in the following saga, Alek Boyd)

Mastermind of the Century (the last one) decided to spice the current century. The story is simply delicious. It starts with an article by Rory Carroll where Chomsky criticizes Comical Hugo for his inhuman treatment of judge María Lourdes Afiuni, for his dictatorship, including hardly believable (for Chomsky) sentences like “Concentration of executive power, unless it’s very temporary and for specific circumstances, such as fighting world war two, is an assault on democracy.” 

One might want to ask the Mastermind where has he been for the last twelve years, when Caudillo stripped Venezuela of its democratic institutions, building up his ersatz socialism. Weren’t Chavez’ intentions clear from the day one?

But let’s go back to the story. Guardian, you see, was very excited for some reason about the rift opening between the hitherto best buddies: Noam and Hugo. So excited that the headline they’ve chosen says Noam Chomsky denounces old friend Hugo Chávez for ‘assault’ on democracy. Which is a bit of exaggeration indeed: whatever Mastermind said is not such a scalding denunciation of Comical Hugo, rather a liver-spotted finger shaken in his general direction. Of course, our Mastermind, hilariously egged on by a blogger, blames the hapless Guardian in “extreme dishonesty”. A classic case of pot calling kettle.

Well, the next act of the drama follows: The Guardian, hurt to its bone marrow by the accusations of the Mastermind (but also mindful of their previous clash with the latter) produces a transcript of Rory Carroll’s interview. It’s quite a boring reading and, to be frank, still doesn’t support the headline that so riled the Mastermind.

So, we have here not only a rift opening between Chaves and Chomsky but also one opening between two important disinformation sources of the free world. Two birds and no stone wasted. Cool.

And, of course, as a bonus, the priceless correspondence between the Mastermind and Alek Boyd – the blogger mentioned already. Here is the second part of it. There are quite a few interesting passages in both parts, but I shall quote only a sentence: 

The world needs to understand just how unhinged you, those you admire, and those who admire you, are, and these exchanges are just the perfect way to do it.

Indeed. I would suggest adding ” and those who admire those who admire you” for completeness, but it’s excellent as it is.

P.S. Still, I tend to disagree with Alek on Manning. Whatever the rights and wrongs, the man took the POTUS’ dime

The Guardian’s “Respected American Academic”: Noam Chomsky

In characteristically ‘fair and balanced’ form, and apparently fully embracing its role as self-appointed defence advocate for Raed Salah, the Guardian published two more letters in support of the Islamist Sheikh currently detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure on July 4th.  

One of the letters is from veteran anti-Israel campaigner Noam Chomsky and its content does little to surprise. What is interesting, however, is a report on Harry’s Place which would suggest that the letter/article first appeared on the website of the Hamas support group MEMO but was then later removed and at a subsequent juncture appeared on the Guardian letters page.

Imaginative minds can only speculate as to the goings on behind that scenario; after all, it wouldn’t be the first time that the proximity of views between the Guardian and MEMO has been revealed and noted.  

What is slightly more surprising was the apparent need to promote Chomsky’s letter further on the ‘Middle East Live liveblogging section of the Guardian’s news section where, among news of renewed violence in Tahrir Square and the Syrian town of Hama, Matthew Weaver squeezed in the earth-shattering news that:

“The respected American academic Noam Chomsky has written to the Guardian to condemn government plans to deport the Palestinian activist Sheikh Raed Salah.”

Not just any old academic, one notes, but a ‘respected’ one. Presumably that word is intended to add gravity and authority to the Chomsky epistle but, rather, it indicates the type of person considered to be worthy of admiration at Guardian HQ.

Chomsky’s record is famously rich, but one of his more egregious actions was his decision to spend a week visiting Hizbollah in Lebanon in 2006, which included a meeting with Hassan Nasrallah who, weeks later, rained over 4,000 rockets down on northern Israel, killing dozens of civilians.

During the visit, Hizbullah’s ‘Al Manar’ TV station quoted Chomsky as saying:

“Hizbullah’s insistence on keeping its arms is justified… I think Nasrallah has a reasoned argument and [a] persuasive argument that they [the arms] should be in the hands of Hizbullah as a deterrent to potential aggression, and there is plenty of background reasons for that. So until, I think his position [is] reporting it correctly and it seems to me [a] reasonable position, is that until there is a general political settlement in the region, [and] the threat of aggression and violence is reduced or eliminated, there has to be a deterrent, and the Lebanese army can’t be a deterrent.”

One has to wonder if the people of Lebanon, who have seen Hizbollah take over their country in recent months, without needing to fire a shot, and anxiously await the outcome of the indictments of the Special Tribunal on Lebanon, would agree with the Guardian’s definition of Chomsky (the terrorist supporter) as ‘respected’ – likewise the Syrian and Iranian protesters who found themselves being attacked by Hizbollah thugs brought in by their respective regimes to help quell dissent.   

But at least they now know the type of person whom Guardian editors find worthy of respect. 

Raed Salah Week continues at the Guardian, offering the sage analysis of Noam Chomsky

Chomsky in a tete-a-tete with Hezbollah's Nasrallah

The Guardian, not content with six pieces (news items and commentaries) already published defending the anti-Semitic radical preacher, Raed Salah, and demonizing his opponents, decided to publish two additional apologias (Letters: Double standards over Salah arrest, July 4) from ferocious critics of Israel – Ghada Karmi and Noam Chomsky.

Evidently, the Guardian felt that Karmi, an outspoken proponent for the end of the Jewish state, and Chomsky, who believes the U.S. is “the world’s greatest terrorist state“, has defended the Khmer Rouge, expressed support for Hezbollah, and has likened Zionism to Nazism, could provide unique, and thoughtful, insights into the UK’s detention of Salah.

While Chomsky’s letter characterized Salah – who’s advanced anti-Semitic conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 – as an important voice for “rights” and “justice”, Karni chastised the UK for failing to arrest Israeli leaders, who she characterizes as “war criminals”, and advances the blatantly false claim that “Raed has committed no crime in Britain or elsewhere.”

Karmi, evidently writing without the services of an internet search engine, neglected to inform her readers that Salah was imprisoned in Israel after acknowledging funding Hamas, served time for assaulting a police officer, and has been banned from Jerusalem for repeatedly engaging in incitement to violence.

More broadly, in eight pieces and over 3000 words in the course of a week, the Guardian has displayed a disgraceful, if characteristic, obsession with the “cause” of an extremist preacher with a proven record of anti-Semitism, support for designated terrorist organizations, and incitement to violence. 

Of course, the ubiquity of such profound moral inversions at the Guardian – regarding radical Islam, Israel and anti-Semitism – doesn’t render such ideological pathos any less outrageous or shameful.     

CiF legitimizes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, again

Take a look at the article entitled “On Palestine, the US is a rogue state” by John Whitbeck which was published on CiF on December 29th.

Now see this article entitled “Palestinian Statehood: Quality as Well as Quantity” by house contributor John Whitbeck from the Palestine Chronicle of December 22nd.

Spot the difference? No, neither can I. The Guardian has merely recycled Whitbeck’s article from a website known for its virulent anti-Zionism. Although the Palestine Chronicle claims that its writers do not “champion any specific political agenda”, according to Honest Reporting:

“It’s honorary editorial board includes Hanan Ashrawi and Noam Chomsky and writers and contributors include a number of known anti-Israel activists such as Neve Gordon and the anti-Semitic Gilad Atzmon.”

So despite the well-known and documented insistence that it is “fair and balanced”, CiF has now resorted to simply regurgitating propaganda from a virulently anti-Israel Palestinian-run website.

As for Mr. Whitbeck himself, well his years spent in Jeddah appear to have infected him with that peculiar local ability to perceive Zionist tentacles round every corner.

“The US, subservient to Israel, stands out”

“Western politicians and the western media customarily apply the term “international community” to the United States and whatever countries are willing to publicly support it on a given issue, and apply the term “rogue state” to any country that actively resists Israeli-American global domination.”

By its slavish subservience to Israel – as reflected yet again, both in the absence of a single brave voice raised against this new House resolution and in the Obama administration’s recently rejected offer of a huge military and diplomatic bribe to Israel in reward for a mere 90-day suspension of its illegal colonisation programme – the United States has effectively excluded itself from the true international community (redefined to refer to the great majority of mankind) and become a true rogue state, acting in consistent and flagrant contempt of both international law and fundamental human rights.”

(My emphasis)

The fact that Whitbeck, suspended from practicing law for four years in 2001 – due to his involvement in money laundering for a boss who was named in a French parliamentary report from 2002 as connected to the financial networks of Al Qaida – is lecturing readers of “the world’s leading liberal voice” on issues of right and wrong is mind-boggling in itself.

That CiF continues to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (Jewish power controlling American foreign policy) is simply reprehensible.

Times must be very hard if the Guardian has to stoop so low.

The moral clarity of Christopher Hitchens

While I’ve never been a big fan of Christopher Hitchens’ zealous atheism, his moral clarity regarding the threat of radical Islam – especially in the days following the attacks on 9/11 (highlighted by this essay in The Propagandist) - is indeed inspiring, and stands in stark contrast to the moral equivalencies advanced by some of his political co-religionists at the time, and in subsequent years.  Put simply, he is in the very best tradition of the anti-totalitarian left, and there are not many people I’d like to spend time with in a foxhole fighting the ideological scourge of our time.


Hitchens had it right, then and now.

by Lauryn Oates

The Propagandist

In the days that followed September 11th, 2001, most of us had dizzying question marks hovering in our minds in the hazy chaos of this tragedy, as the dust was still falling, both literally and figuratively. Who did it? Why did they do it? What does it mean for the future? The world was going to change, that would be certain, but the view ahead was foggy.

But not for one person.

Christopher Hitchens was already rigorously scanning the facts and forging insights, as he poured down to the page his biting, take-no-prisoners analysis in his usual prolific output. Only one day after the towers came down, Hitchens’ pen was cutting through the fog, as well as predicting what would come next, from the hassles in airport security to the “great deal of pugnacious talk to be endured in the next few days.” On September 12, 2001, in a moving and respectful reflection he wrote in the Evening Standard,

“Much of what is said by the cable bombardiers will be worthless, or bluff. But the overused words “civilized world” seem to me appropriate. You could see the civilized world in the streets of Manhattan yesterday, as people of all faiths and shades kept calm, kept moving, kept in touch and kept up their solidarity. This is a strength that the sadists and fanatics do not possess and cannot emulate.”

In the days and months to come, he would write a multitude of articles, with predictions that would turn out to be astoundingly accurate months or years later, and with insights that are as relevant today as they were in those early post-9/11 days, if not more so now. As we continue to wade through the complexities of the post-9/11 world while more than 30 nations fight and die together in Afghanistan, and as Hitchens wages his own personal battle against cancer, I thought it timely and valuable to bring back to life excerpts from some of the best of his polemics from that winter of 2001/2002.

While commentators like Noam Chomsky, Sam Husseini, and Michael Moore quickly started sounding out the “the US brought this upon itself” line, Hitchens poignantly slaughtered their apologism-riddled arguments and reminded us in his lucid, merciless prose who the actual enemies were. In the October 8, 2001 edition of The Nation, Hitchens wrote,

“The Taliban and its surrogates are not content to immiserate their own societies in beggary and serfdom. They are condemned, and they deludedly believe that they are commanded, to spread the contagion and to visit hell upon the unrighteous. The very first step that we must take, therefore, is the acquisition of enough self-respect and self-confidence to say that we have met an enemy and that he is not us, but someone else. Someone with whom coexistence is, fortunately I think, not possible.

…the under-reaction to the Taliban by three successive United States administrations is one of the great resounding disgraces of our time. There is good reason to think that a Taliban defeat would fill the streets of Kabul with joy. But for the moment, the Bush Administration seems a hostage to the Pakistani and Saudi clients who are the sponsors and “harborers” the President claims publicly to be looking for! Yet the mainstream left, ever shuffling its feet, fears only the discomfort that might result from repudiating such an indefensible and humiliating posture. Very well then, comrades. Do not pretend that you wish to make up for America’s past crimes in the region. Here is one such crime that can be admitted and undone–the sponsorship of the Taliban could be redeemed by the demolition of its regime and the liberation of its victims. But I detect no stomach for any such project.”

Read the rest of the essay, here.

History Repeating Itself

This is a cross post by Matt of the The Brothers of Judea

I’m taking my own turn reading “Why the Jews?” by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin, and it’s pretty interesting. This particular section that I felt is worthy of your attention is a section about “non-Jewish Jews”. Non-Jewish Jews are, according to Prager and Telushkin’s definition, Jews who are Jews in heritage alone, they don’t practice religious ceremonies, believe in God, or follow Jewish laws. What is remarkable about these Jews is that in their pursuit of acceptance outside Jewish circles, they often bring disaster on their fellow practicing Jews.

Prager and Telushkin point out that a lot of revolutionaries turn out to be Jewish (at least in Europe). Not a lot of Jews are revolutionaries, but a lot of revolutionaries are Jews. They’re not totally sure why this is the case, they think it has something to do with the belief that non-Jewish Jews keep looking for a community to replace the Jewish one they abandoned, and when they can’t find it, they seek to make everyone else just as community-less as they are. In any case, they give two examples of revolutionary non-Jewish Jews whose actions bring up pain and suffering for Jewish Jews.

First is the Bolshevik Jews of revolutionary Russia. Because so many of the Bolsheviks were Jews (i.e, Trotsky and Lenin), their enemies associated Judaism in general with Communism. So the anti-Communist Ukrainians considered all Jews their enemies and took steps accordingly, culminated in the deaths of 50,000 Jews in the 1918-20 civil war. On the other side, even though the Bolsheviks were led by Jews, those Jews didn’t like the practicing Jews either, as they were religious, something Communism rejected. The Russian Jews were stuck between a rock and a hard place because of these non-Jewish Jewish revolutionaries. The second example Prager and Telushkin cite is 1920s and 30s Germany. At the same time the Nazis were rising to power, non-Jewish Jew intellectuals were virulently criticizing the government. Many of them were part of the extremist revolutionary Left, and the Nazis used their disloyal speech and action to turn the German people more solidly against Jews in general. Once again, non-Jewish Jews bring down suffering on their estranged relatives.

I couldn’t help but think after reading this section that it’s happening again today with the I/P conflict. We see far-Left non-practicing Jews fiercely condemning Israel (and the United States), trying to overthrow the Israeli government/create a one-state solution, and believe so strongly in their own political ideals they are willing to ally with people who disagree with everything the Jews are. Such non-Jewish Jews include Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and MJ Rosenberg. These people were willing to put their own beliefs, ambitions, and lust for attention before everything else, and they are (deliberately or not) putting their fellow Jews in danger. If MJ Rosenberg gets his wish and AIPAC is dissolved as a US lobby, and the Arabs invade Israel and destroy it because Israel can no longer prevent UN sanctions (a doomsday scenario to be sure), Rosenberg will be able to disappear into the US, shrugging his shoulders and saying “Oops”, while his fellow Jews have to pay the price.

We have to be on guard against these people. They claim they have our best interests in mind, but they’ve internalized their own ambitions so much they refuse to accept the possibility that what’s best for them isn’t necessarily what’s best for Israel.