Chomsky and Palestine II

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Slumberjack
Chomsky and Palestine II

Continued From Here.

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
 But then again you and Slumberjack are still mystified as to why Chomsky doesnt support sanctions.

Curious, as to his reasoning, beyond any hidden solidarity with the settler movement, as Blankfort incredulously suggests.

Fidel

Well dont look to me to speak for Chomsky. But I did provide a more rational explanation than Blankfart's petty comment about Chomsky's "Zionist origins" and now the additional "hidden solidarity with the settler movement" which I also wont take part in even referring to it as having any relevance. 

In fact, Chomsky alludes to the reason when he said in 2006:""I also don’t acknowledge other efforts to blame others [presumably Israel] for what we do. Cheap, cowardly, and convenient, but I won’t take part in it. That’s precisely what’s at stake. Nothing else"

".. for what we do."

That is profound, dont you think? Who is the "we" in this context,  and what exactly have they done?  Do "we" have permanent UNSC membership and capable of declaring null and void any and all UN-led sanctions against our vicious client regimes, and while at the same time shovelling billions of dollars and military aid their way? Or is this statement just as mystifying and most of all curious?

Cueball Cueball's picture

I guess this proves the point that the content of any writing is first and foremost defined, not by the intelligence of the author, but that of the person reading it. Between you and Blankfort, Chomsky is scoring just below average.

NOTE: Chomsky's statement about taking responsibility, does not preclude others taking responsibility for what they do.

Slumberjack, I posted several possible reasons that Chomsky says he is not in favour of Boycott and Divestment campaign, in the last thread. Not the least of which was the fact that he does not believe they can be made to work. Another, being that, within the construct of US politics, it is very possible that pressing to not send attack helicopters to Israel, is something that Americans can actually do, whereas the rest of us, don't live under governments that send attack helicopters to Israel, so such a statement is moot.

Our options for effective action in the civil and political realm are far more limited than those who have their finger on the button, so to speak. He has made no statements whatsoever challenging the morality of such a campaign, but rejects it on what he sees as pragmatic grounds.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Back to this earlier point:

M. Spector wrote:

Jeffrey Blankfort's crimes (both real and imagined) notwithstanding, my criticism of Chomsky stands.

There is no mystery as to why Chomsky refuses to call Israel an apartheid state. Chomsky recognizes, correctly, that calling Israel an apartheid state would tend to cut across his advocacy of a "two-state solution" - a solution that would transform apartheid de facto into apartheid de jure. It is a political disagreement, not a mere semantic one, and it places him squarely outside the activist movement for the defence of Palestine.

A clear reading of Chomsky shows that his support for the "two state solution" is basically pro forma, supported by tactical considerations, not a hard and fast dogmatic position, as I pointed out before:

Quote:
The only realistic political settlement, for the time being, in the past ten or twelve years, that would satisfy the right of self-determination for both national groups is a two-state settlement. Everybody knows what it would have to be: Israel within approximately the pre-June 1967 borders and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and a return of the Golan Heights to Syria, or maybe some other arrangement. This would be associated with maybe demilitarized zones and international guarantees of some sort or another, but that's the framework of a possible political settlement. As I say, I don't think it's the best one, but that's the realistic one, very realistic. It's supported by most of the world. It's supported by Europe, by the Soviet Union, has been for a long time, by almost all the non-aligned countries, it's supported by all the major Arab states and has been for a long time, supported by the mainstream of the PLO and, again, has been for a long time, it's supported even by the American population, by about two to one according to the polls.
Israel, the Holocaust, and Anti-Semitism

In other words your thesis about Chomsky's "motivations" behind supporting the "two state solutions" are simply wrong. He clearly articulates that his support is equivocal, and based on political realities of what he believes is achievable.

More Here:

Quote:
A second possible stand is support for a binational settlement, perhaps a federal arrangement of the kind that has long been discussed and exists successfully elsewhere, or in some other form. This stand moves from rhetoric and posturing to true advocacy when it is accompanied by a feasible program of action. There is such a program, with two essential steps. The first is to implement a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus, and reversing the escalating cycle of hostility, hatred, violence, repression, and dispossession. The second step is to proceed from there. For reasons that are clear to anyone familiar with the region, two states in cis-Jordan make little sense, and both communities have good reasons to seek further integration. That is a feasible program, but only in steps. Those who think otherwise have the responsibility of formulating their program to implement directly the alternative they propose; as noted, that was possible before the mid-1970s, but not since. Until we see that program, there is nothing to discuss, and there is no advocacy in the serious sense of the term.

[SNIP]

How should we rank these objectives in order of preference? My own judgment, since childhood and still today, is that among these alternatives, the no-state solution is by far the best (not just in this region), a binational state second, and a two-state solution worst. Note that I have omitted the one-state version. One reason I have already indicated: a binational system is much better suited to the needs and concerns of the two communities, and I suspect would be preferable to them if it can be approached in steps. But we need not speculate about that. Until the immediate one-state proposal accepts the discipline of “realism,” and is accompanied by some indication of a feasible program of action, we are back to the Martian seminar.

 Your idea, that Chomsky is objectively and disingenuously trying to block the struggle for the Palestinian cause by supporting a solution that would "transform apartheid de facto into apartheid de jure", is simply not in his writing at all, and something you have extrapolated from a very surface reading of his statements on this issue, apparently. 

I personally supported this view myself until a few years ago, but the recent attempt to bury the election of Hamas as the governing party of the Palestinian people, has burried the idea along with those elections. I am sure Chomsky will be catching up soon enough.

Slumberjack

Cueball wrote:
Slumberjack, I posted several possible reasons that Chomsky says he is not in favour of Boycott and Divestment campaign, in the last thread.......He has made no statements whatsoever challenging the morality of such a campaign, but rejects it on what he sees as pragmatic grounds.

Yes, I've read them.  One of my earlier statements, which mentioned the word 'curious,' in referring to Chomsky's refusal to endorse BDS initiatives, might have been better expressed as 'interest' instead, although to me, the two would seem interchangeable, when considered separately from curiously in the natural sense, due to a lack of understanding, or an inability to grasp the obvious.  Personally, I believe he values his scholarly independence on the issues, to draw conclusions unfettered by becoming the poster boy for the various causes.  I see nothing wrong with it, and it certainly doesn't lessen the impact of his writing.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Chomsky pushes the two-state solution because he claims it represents the "international consensus" - meaning the "solution" favoured by all the governments of the world (except Israel and the US, which favour no Palestinian state at all). Those world governments are almost entirely capitalist, and many are imperialist. The fact that they want to impose any "solution" on the Palestinians is no argument at all for leftists to support it. Nor is the fact that capitalist states and organizations in the Arab world support it as well. The "international consensus" has been imposing "solutions" on the Palestinians since 1948.

Sure, Chomsky has all sorts of "pragmatic" reasons why it is the only viable option - all based on a realpolitik view of the world. It's the same view that says the only viable option for US leftists is to vote Democratic Party, except when they live in a "safe" state, where they can indulge their consciences by voting for real change, secure in the knowledge that their vote won't actually challenge the duopoly of the capitalist parties.

What do the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories themselves want? As I pointed out in the "forget the 2-state solution part 2" thread-chunk, [url=the">http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/31970/most_palestinians_reject_two_... majority oppose the two-state idea.[/url] So, as between Chomsky and me, which of us is trying to dictate to the Palestinians?

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
What do the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories themselves want? As I pointed out in the "forget the 2-state solution part 2" thread-chunk, [url=the">http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/31970/most_palestinians_reject_two_... majority oppose the two-state idea.[/url] So, as between Chomsky and me, which of us is trying to dictate to the Palestinians?

Sounds good to me. I think Palestinians are as lucid as theyll ever be and prepared to read the fine print about now. So where do they sign up for this generous deal for 22% of their pre-1948 land title? And let's step on it - time's a wastin' and body count ticking up.

Cueball Cueball's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Chomsky pushes the two-state solution because he claims it represents the "international consensus" - meaning the "solution" favoured by all the governments of the world (except Israel and the US, which favour no Palestinian state at all). 

Well, we have had a few discussions on this board about dealing with what people say they are saying, directly, confronting the arguement they actually make, as opposed to their "hidden agenda". Chomsky is a political figure, he says what he says. Not much point in spending a lot of time speculating on his intentions, based in extrapolations.

When I was suggesting a phased process that would eventually lead to an integrated binational state, through the implimentation of 242, and the "two- state" solution was I secretly promoting Apartheid de jure?

Let me see. I will think about it.

Ok.

The anwser is no, I was not. In fact I was thinking that a period of peacful co-existance, would engender unification under a binational state structure, because niether of the states are really tenable as seperate entities, as some point in the future. The problems for the Palestinian state would be obvious, the problems for Israel, mostly relating to access to fundamental resources, such as a reliable water supply.