Chomsky and Palestine

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Cueball Cueball's picture

M. Spector wrote:

Except he doesn't support one particular initiative coming from "those who are directly involved" – namely the DBS campaign. And this just happens to be the one initiative that North American activists like us should be getting behind in a big way.

So his "semantics" have real implications for the direction of the Palestinian solidarity movement, and should not be lightly dismissed as the quibblings of a linguist.

Sure. I noted that I disagreed with him on that, earlier.

But, there is another point to be made here. The context of Chomsky's position is based in his position within the discourse of US politics, Israel's number one military supporter. In that context and from that perspective: "What we ought to do is push for changes in US policy. Now it makes good sense to press for not sending attack helicopters to Israel, for example," might seem a whole lot more effective, since most real trade that Israel does is with the EU. 

Let's not forget that Americans are in a position to influence the political discourse in a completely different manner, than the rest of us.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Fidel wrote:

Cutting off military aid to a US proxy doesnt amount to genocidal trade sanctions.

You are an idiot. And if you submit the idea that recommending a boycott against Israel is tantamount to anti-semetic genocide, I will ask for you to be banned for right wing trolling.

I'll help you a bit. The NDP does not have a position on sanctions. Maybe you should follow suit.

Slumberjack

Now now, he wasn't saying anything of the sort.  Open ended trade sanctions that include food, medicine and agricultural products, as I've said before in another thread, will increase the suffering of the Palestinians far beyond what we can see and imagine now.  Military hardware, technology, economic divestment, intellectual and political boycotts, things of that nature would be just as effective.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Those santions against Palestinians are already in force, as I explained to you before.

Nor did you suggest that sanctions against Israel would be genocidal. But in that light, would you consider the comprehensive trade sanctions and blockade against Gaza to be "genocidal"?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Cueball wrote:
But, there is another point to be made here. The context of Chomsky's position is based in his position within the discourse of US politics, Israel's number one military supporter. In that context and from that perspective: "What we ought to do is push for changes in US policy. Now it makes good sense to press for not sending attack helicopters to Israel, for example," might seem a whole lot more effective, since most real trade that Israel does is with the EU.

Let's not forget that Americans are in a position to influence the political discourse in a completely different manner, than the rest of us.

On that particular occasion when he made those remarks, it was to a US audience, and in the context of US politics. He opposes the BDS campaign there, and everywhere else in the world. His message is no different on that score when he is being interviewed for European or South American consumption.

In the same paragraph he says "I don't think divestment from Israel would make much sense, even if such a policy were imaginable (and it's not)." He does not acknowledge that the campaign for divestment from South Africa was not only "imaginable" but actually had an impact.

To end apartheid in South Africa it was not necessary for black South Africans to wait around until the USA changed its policy. Chomsky wants to tell the Palestinians "we'll support you not by a BDS campaign against Israel, as you ask, but by pushing for changes in US policy."

His recipe for changing US policy on Israel? As I have noted, his only strategy seems to be to vote for the Democratic Party.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Right, so you have added evidence to my thesis. Chomsky believes the policy will fail. Therefore, he suggests a different course of action. For all we know, the present circumstances, and recent actions of the Israeli government, and the resulting negative press will result in him rethinking the issue.

Who knows?

Slumberjack

Cueball wrote:
Those santions against Palestinians are already in force, as I explained to you before. Nor did you suggest that sanctions against Israel would be genocidal. But in that light, would you consider the comprehensive trade sanctions and blockade against Gaza to be "genocidal"?

It doesn't require consideration.  I am against sanctions on any country that would limit the distribution of food and medicine to the general population, and hinder the ability to maintain crops and livestock.  Having worked in countries that have been under international sanctions of this nature, and seeing it's effects, ghastly images of which are seared in my mind permanently it seems, I wish it upon no one.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

As for Unionist's suggestion that critcism of Chomsky should be off limits, I will not dignify that with a response.

Lucky, because I never dignified it with an assertion in the first place.

Criticism is not off limits, ever. Confusing allies with enemies, however, is risky business.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Cueball wrote:
Those santions against Palestinians are already in force, as I explained to you before. Nor did you suggest that sanctions against Israel would be genocidal. But in that light, would you consider the comprehensive trade sanctions and blockade against Gaza to be "genocidal"?

It doesn't require consideration. I am against sanctions on any country that would limit the distribution of food and medicine to the general population, and hinder the ability to maintain crops and livestock. Having worked in countries that have been under international sanctions of this nature, and seeing it's effects, ghastly images of which are seared in my mind permanently it seems, I wish it upon no one.

Excelent, you seem to spending a lot of time creating the ideological background upon which Israel is allowed to impose those conditions upon Palestinian people by talking up "theoreticals" about imagined dire consequences of a supposed BDS program that will never take on the form that you are proposing, in terms of Israelis.

What this program will do, in the best case scenario, is make Israel pay for its intransigence, and make it not economincally feasible for it to impose those conditions upon Palestinians. Quite clearly our goverments are not going to take a stand on this issue, so any kind of civil boycott, will do little more than make Israelis uncomfortable. Again, I am stressing that this is the best case scenario, were the boycott even to be marginally effective.

No one is talking about starving Israelis the way Israel is starving the Palestinians. That is your fantasy. Even the term "geoncidal" is being bandied about freely as if this is legitimate comment, and not mere scaremongering.

I am talking about reality, here.

Slumberjack

It would depend on the extent of the proposed sanctions part of the BDS proposition. While ideology, theoretical and imaginations are one thing, reality is something altogether different. But yes, you do have a point, the chances of sanctions to this extent being placed upon Israel cannot be considered as even a remote possibility, in the way it is done to other countries. Perhaps that is the core of Chomsky’s argument, as in lets see what can be done with reality.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Please find for me the exact section of the proposed BDS program where it suggests that Israel should have its food and medical supplies cut off? Or even anyone of note who has even suggested such a thing. 

If you can't find it, please tell me why you are talking about it?

Slumberjack

Well, it's not so much fantasy as it is at the far end of possibilities, or perhaps not so far removed, that hypothetical shortages of essentials placed upon the Israeli state would be the cause for significantly more backlash against the oppressed, far beyond even now. Israel has proven so often that it is capable of stage managing a crisis, capable of wishing for and carrying out the most horrific genocidal atrocities. Israel would exact revenge against it's captives by creating another incident, one where borders would have to be shut down again out of dire military necessity, shutting off all humanitarian aid entirely. Quid pro quo, and then some.

Cueball Cueball's picture

And this differs from the present situation how?

Slumberjack

It differs slightly...international agencies are currently able to operate to some small degree. I wasn't discussing BDS as it is currently envisioned, I play my own part in it actually.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

You know, the only excuse the Israeli's have ever needed to commit atrocities against Palestinians has been the mere presence of Palestinians.

Fidel

Cueball wrote:
Fidel wrote:

Cutting off military aid to a US proxy doesnt amount to genocidal trade sanctions.

You are an idiot. And if you submit the idea that recommending a boycott against Israel is tantamount to anti-semetic genocide, I will ask for you to be banned for right wing trolling. I'll help you a bit. The NDP does not have a position on sanctions. Maybe you should follow suit.

Imposing genocidal trade and commerce sanctions on any country is a lesson in supreme stupidity. As I was saying before, ghettoizing Israel to prove that ghettoizing Gaza is wrong, is wrong.

And neither the NDP nor Noam Chomsky recommend the laying of medieval siege to any country and for good reasons.

And the example given that the US should stop sending attack helicopters to Israel is an excellent idea. Fewer US weapons and ammunition shipments to Israel would be a really damned good idea.

But the genuses talking about genocidal trade sanctions against Israel or any nation of human beings for that matter should be given a half a brain each so that their heads might rattle where 'er they may be. That way the smart people could better keep track of where they are and what they're up to under adult supervision.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Fidel wrote:
Cueball wrote:
Fidel wrote:

Cutting off military aid to a US proxy doesnt amount to genocidal trade sanctions.

You are an idiot. And if you submit the idea that recommending a boycott against Israel is tantamount to anti-semetic genocide, I will ask for you to be banned for right wing trolling. I'll help you a bit. The NDP does not have a position on sanctions. Maybe you should follow suit.

Imposing genocidal trade and commerce sanctions on any country is a lesson in supreme stupidity. As I was saying before, ghettoizing Israel to prove that ghettoizing Gaza is wrong, is wrong.

You are engaging in slander and smearing the Palestinian Solidarity movement, with implied anti-semitism and trolling by suggesting that the BDS movement is advocating genocide. I asked you to stop. Now I am going to report your activity as I said I would.

Fidel

Cueball wrote:
You are engaging in slander and smearing the Palestinian Solidarity movement, with implied anti-semitism and trolling by suggesting that the BDS movement is advocating genocide. I asked you to stop. Now I am going to report your activity as I said I would.

Yes, and dont forget to turn me in to the thought police while you're at it.

I can not and will not support genocidal trade sanctions against any nation of people. Observe the handy work of medieval sieges in Iraq and North Korea and Cuba.

Laying medieval siege to tiny nations is cowardly and avoiding the issue of dealing with the real culprits of neocolonialism.

Viva La Revolucion!

Cueball Cueball's picture

No one anywhere has suggested any kind of genocide against Israeli people. You have walked of the pier and into the sea fantasy.

Israel is the fourth most powerfule military power in the world, and the most powerful regional power in the middle east bar none, your charactherization are not only obscene smears agains the Palestinian Solidarity movement, but also rank distortions of the facts.

If you had actually bothered to read Chomsky on this issue, as opposed to trying to pidgeon hole him as some kind of Jack Layton parrot, you would know that Chomsky has debunked the "little Israel" myth over and over again. You could do him a favour and read what he says on the subject.

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.

Fidel

Cueball wrote:
If you had actually bothered to read Chomsky on this issue, as opposed to trying to pidgeon hole him as some kind of Jack Layton parrot, you would know that Chomsky has debunked the "little Israel" myth over and over again. You could do him a favour and read what he says on the subject.

I'm not the one who tried to write off Chomsky's reluctance to support the convenient cowardice of sanctions as being down to his "Zionist origins" Because that was you, mate.

How many Israels and South Africas should there be before lefties decide to deal with the problem head on - abate the problem at the source and root cause? Why are lefties afraid to confront the bully of all bullies, that central factory for all fascist abominations and supplying Israel with money donations and miltary aid every year? Ever play whack a mole? Played lawn croquet with the master of disaster? There has to be a strategy of cooperation, or the master croquet player wins every time.

There are over 700 US military bases or soldiers stationed around the world and the only remaining superpower with nuclear weapons floating around the seven seas and planted on foreign soil. This particular vicious empire doesnt give up real estate so easily. In fact, they are back to to the bullshit of surrounding Russia and China with missiles all over again.

And BDS is right that Israel is not South Africa. Israel is nuclear armed and a permanent front line state for the vicious empire. Hawks in the US wont give up supplying Israel with money and weapons of oppression any time soon. Not unless Iraq became the same willing partner that Israel is except with a lot more oil. Or perhaps Iran would see the light after a ten year-long medieval siege to soften them up with mass die off of children and adults, a subsequent shit-kicking and permament stoogeocracy installed. Then and only then would the US lose all interest in Israel as a Middle East toe hold in the grand chess board scheme of things.

Down with the USSA, the last aggressive superpower and escalating colder war and nuclear weapons proliferation since 1991. Then its minions of doom will fall one by one until there are no more vicious empires.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Fidel wrote:

Cueball wrote:
If you had actually bothered to read Chomsky on this issue, as opposed to trying to pidgeon hole him as some kind of Jack Layton parrot, you would know that Chomsky has debunked the "little Israel" myth over and over again. You could do him a favour and read what he says on the subject.

I'm not the one who tried to write off Chomsky's reluctance to support the convenient cowardice of sanctions as being down to his "Zionist origins" Because that was you, mate.

No. That was Blankfort who I critiqued quite thoroughly. You have moved on I see from distorting Chomsky and lying about the aims of the Palestinian solidarity movement by suggesting that they are advocating genocide against Isralis to lying about what I have said.

Chomsky is all over this thread. I am tempted to suggest you read him, but that seem pointless since you would only try and distort it. 

Now fuck off, troll.

Fidel

Cueball wrote:
Fidel wrote:

Cueball wrote:
If you had actually bothered to read Chomsky on this issue, as opposed to trying to pidgeon hole him as some kind of Jack Layton parrot, you would know that Chomsky has debunked the "little Israel" myth over and over again. You could do him a favour and read what he says on the subject.

I'm not the one who tried to write off Chomsky's reluctance to support the convenient cowardice of sanctions as being down to his "Zionist origins" Because that was you, mate.

No. That was Blankfort who I critiqued quite thoroughly.

Did you or did you not say this: "So what if Chomsky occassional gets sentimental about Israel or his Zionist origins?"

Because that sounds as if you werent disagreeing very strongly with Blankfart that Chomsky's Zionist origins might have something to do with his reluctance to support sanctions against Israel. In fact, you went on to say in a subsequent post that Chomsky's reluctance to support sanctions against Israel is curious as far as you are concerned.  

And just prior to you and Slumberjack stating that you are both stupefied as to Chomsky's reluctance - which is apparently due to Chomsky's "Zionist origins" as a child for lack of anyone here actually defending the now senior Chomsky - I was not as curious and stated that it was more likely that Chomsky realizes that Israeli hawks' sugar daddy is the USSA. You know, that vicious imperial master nation with permanent UNSC membership with the authority to veto any real and effective UN-led sanctions, you moron! 

Quote:
You have moved on I see from distorting Chomsky and lying about the aims of the Palestinian solidarity movement by suggesting that they are advocating genocide against Isralis to lying about what I have said.

bla bla bla grow up

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yes, I said: "So what if Chomsky occassional gets sentimental about Israel or his Zionist origins?"

Do you even have a clue what the phrase "So what" means. I won't even bother trying to explain what it means in context. You will distort any explanation, just as you distort everything else.

Now fuck off Troll!

Fidel

Well I guess you told me a thing or two.

Quote:

Do you even have a clue what the phrase "So what" means. I won't even bother trying to explain what it means in context. You will distort any explanation, just as you distort everything else.

So what in that context meant that you werent disagreeing with Blankfart about Chomsky's Zionist roots or that old Chomper may even be  sentimental about Israel from time to time. If you didnt want anyone to draw a straight line between old Chomsky's sentimentality for Israel and his reluctance to support vicious sanctions, then why did you yourself bother to address Blankfart on that particular comment?

But then again you and Slumberjack are still mystified as to why Chomsky doesnt support sanctions. So I suppose you're only a little guilty of ageism and defamation of Chomsky's character while remaining stupefied as to Chomsky's reluctance to endorse BDS.

Michelle

This thread is a good example of why babble - or maybe just certain babblers' accounts - should maybe be closed every night overnight. ;)

Fidel, please don't accuse people who support sanctions against Israel of advocating "genocide".  Cueball, please stop telling people to "fuck off".  It really destroys threads when you two go off on your all night screaming matches.

I doubt this is going to get back on topic - feel free to start a new one.

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