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Chomsky on Moshe Dayan:

One of Noam Chomsky's favorite debating points regarding Israel is to allege that Israel has had a longstanding policy of intentionally destroying Palestinian society rather than attempting to make peace. He backs this up with a quote attributed to Moshe Dayan. Here, for example, is Chomsky in a 2005 debate with Alan Dershowitz:

One choice is to support Washington's continued dedication to the road to catastrophe that's outlined by Israel's four former security chiefs, namely watching in silence as Washington funds the cantonization of the West Bank, the breaking of its organic links to Jerusalem, and the disintegration of the remnants of Palestinian society. That choice adopts the advice of Moshe Dayan to his cabinet colleagues in the early 1970s. Dayan was in charge of the occupation. He advised them that "we must tell the Palestinians, that we have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes, may leave." That's the solution that is now being implemented. Don't take my word for it. Go check the sources I cited, very easy, all English.

A while back, a VC reader asked me whether I could confirm the accuracy of the quote attributed to Chomsky. The answer is, yes, but.

First, I've located the original source cited by Chomsky. It's Yossi Beilin, Mehiro shel Ihud 42-43 (Revivim, 1985), a Hebrew book, never translated to English, written by Israeli dove Beilin. It's a secondary source that provides only the barest context for Dayan's remark--all the book tells us is that Dayan's comment illustrates an extreme attitude toward Palestinian refugees, and was made during a meeting with other leaders of the small RAFI party, which was composed of hawkish defectors from the dominant Labor Party. Apparently, Chomsky couldn't be bothered to look up the original transcripts, which are footnoted by Beilin.

Second, Dayan didn't make this remark in the "early 1970s," he made it in September 1967, just three months after the Six Day War.

Third, he didn't say it to his "cabinet colleagues," or in any official government capacity, but at meeting of the leaders of his small party, and his statement on that particular day may or may not have reflected his more general, or his longer-term, views regarding the Palestinians.

Fourth, according the book, Dayan was addressing the situation of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, not all Palestinians, or even all Palestinians in the West Bank.

Fifth, and by far most significant, Chomsky leaves out the next few sentences uttered by Dayan: "For now, it works out. Let's say the truth. We want peace. If there is no peace, we will maintain military rule and we will have four to five military compounds on the hills, and they will sit ten years under the Israeli military regime." Thus, rather than this quote reflecting a long-term "plan" by Israel, it reflected Dayan's view of the alternative if a peace deal with Jordan (Beilin notes on the same page that Dayan was willing "to divide authority on the West Bank with Jordan"), could not be reached. Moreover, even in the absence of an immediate peace deal, Dayan was not speaking of a permanent occupation, but of a ten-year Israeli presence.

Nevertheless, the quotes in the book don't make Dayan look good. Shimon Peres objects that the occupation proposed by Dayan would make Israel act immorally like Rhodesia, and Dayan responds that moral considerations should be irrelevant.

So, if you want to claim, as Beilin does, that Dayan was prone to adopting extreme views regarding the Palestinian refugees in September 1967, this certainly provides strong supporting evidence. You could argue, moreover, that this suggests a moral blind spot on Dayan's part, as Shimon Peres (whom Chomsky also despises, and also claims was not interested in peace) did at the time. But if you want to argue, as Chomsky does, that the relevant quotation shows that in the early 1970s the man in charge of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank was lecturing his cabinet colleagues (without apparent dissent) that they should reject peace, and mistreat the Palestinian population so badly that they will all want to leave, you are stretching the truth beyond recognition.

For those who are interested, I've posted a translation of the relevant part of the book in the comments.

UPDATE: Commenter "Stu" makes a very salient point:

Assuming the statement was made to someone, I find it interesting that the statement was most likely made after the Khartoum Arab summit. After the June '67 war, representatives of eight Arab states met in Khartoum, Sudan and announced a resolution on September 1, 1967 calling for a continued struggle against Israel and reportedly adopting the position of infamous "Three NOs" with respect to Israel: 1. NO peace with Israel; 2. NO recognition of Israel; 3. NO negotiations with Israel. If Israel had no Arab state with which to negotiate, presumably including Jordan, which had previously occupied the West Bank until the '67 war, Israel had only a newly occupied population with which to deal. I don't recall ever reading that that population had any kind of any kind of representative government with which to negotiate or to whom to turn over possession of that territory.

I think that it gives some context to Dayan's alleged remark. Jordan won't negotiate peace and now Israel's stuck as an occupying power. If anything, it was probably said out of exasperation over the situation.

Putting aside speculation as to Dayan's motives, the fact that the relevant RAFI meeting occurred very soon after the Khartoum summit does provide some very important context.

davidbernstein (mail):
At this stage, there was, it seems, in Dayan’s position, a willingness to go back to the international border in Syria and Sinai, to find a way to transfer the refugees from Gaza to the West Bank, to add Gaza, and to divide authority on the West Bank with Jordan.

The single voice that represented the dovish position in the internal deliberations in RAFI [a small center-left party] was Itzhak Navon. Three months after the war, he said, “Time is not in our favor but against us... the West Bank is tied to hundreds of thousands, we need to decide on policy based on coordination with the Palestinians and not with Hussein...! We need to reach a settlement with them, meaning building an independent country. Meaning, part of the West Bank, and the IDF will say... ‘if we don’t stand face to face with [occupy and confront] the Palestinians, we didn’t solve anything, and we cannot keep our position as ruler of a million and a quarter Arabs... it’s a different nation, a different people that you can’t explain to them [the Arabs] why we’re sitting there.”

No one supported this position, and Navon himself didn’t repeat his position in RAFI forums, and later in Labor Party forums.

On the other hand, the RAFI attitude became more hawkish, under the leadership of Moshe Dayan. Even his position became more extreme after the Fall of 1967.

In the RAFI secretariat meeting in September of 1967, Tvzi Shiloah, one of the Founders of the Greater Israel movement, said, “borders is the most delicate thing in world politics, and we need to expel ‘arrangements’ from our thoughts. Our job is to educate our party to the notion that there are no political agreements.”

An argument between Dayan and Peres at the same meeting demonstrates a very extreme approach regarding the Palestinian refugees. Moshe Dayan states during this discussion “let’s say ‘we don’t have a solution, and you will continue living like dogs, and whoever wants will go, and we’ll see how this procedure will work out.’ For now, it works out. Let’s say the truth. We want peace. If there is no peace, we will maintain military rule and we will have four to five military compounds on the mountains, and they will sit ten years under the Israeli military regime. Whoever wants to go, will want. It’s possible that in five years, there will be 200,000 fewer people, and that’s an enormous thing.”

RAFI secretary Shimon Peres retorts, “we could act like Rhodesia, but we need to avoid that. Putting aside our standing in the world, there is a problem for ourselves. We need to consider how to maintain Israel’s moral status, and let’s not ignore that.” To that, Dayan replies, “Ben-Gurion said that whoever approaches the Zionistic problem in the moral aspect is not a Zionist.”
4.5.2008 12:50am
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Chomsky's use of this is kind of reminiscent of why Scalia criticizes the use of legislative history: you can ascribe the intent of "Israel" to what one leader said at one time in one context.

Anyone who pays attention knows that there are all sorts of reasons why Israel has the policies it does with respect to the Palestinians, some of which I would whole-heartedly agree with (the need to fight terrorism, the lack of serious negotiating partners who can be trusted) and some of which I find wholly unpersuasive (the claim that a Supreme Being "gave" the West Bank to the Jews, or the desire to placate groups of electorally influential religious zealots who do believe that).

One can just as easily find many statements from many Israeli leaders over the years, advocating peace with the Palestinians, seeking a route to end the occupation, endorsing an eventual two state solution, and showing compassion for Palestinian suffering. Israeli policy on these matters is complicated, and is certainly subject to much criticism (I do a fair amount of it myself), but it can never be boiled down to one statement of one leader.
4.5.2008 1:56am
MHodak (mail):
Chomsky, a brilliant linguistic expert, has been so wrong for so long on policy matters, it's a wonder that anyone in the press takes him seriously.
4.5.2008 2:07am
A. Zarkov (mail):
This is Chomsky's style: cite an obscure and often untranslated reference. He knows few people will check him on it because it's too much trouble. And who cares what Chomsky thinks anyway?
4.5.2008 4:27am
marc (mail):
Can someone point me to an essay etc that describes how N. C. became the black star he is for the partisans of nonsense?
4.5.2008 8:48am
Chris 24601 (mail) (www):
There's a missing quotation mark at the end of the next-few-sentences quote.
4.5.2008 9:20am
pmatthewroy (mail):
First, to the comment that mocks Chomsky for quoting obscure and, often times, foreign language sources to support his argument: I find it utterly strange that this diminishes someone's credibility. If I wanted to seriously debate certain aspects of, say, the Austro-Prussian war, I'd be very happy to have a debating partner who could cite primary and secondary literature in German; this only adds credibility, not the reverse. Moreover, Dershowitz's childish ramblings on this point during their Harvard debate illustrated the core difference between the two: on the one hand, a scientist looking as best as he can to find the truth that lies behind the words and actions of government officials (see Chomsky's extensive use of actual government memoranda in his footnotes), and on the other, a tired lawyer, steeped in the art of sophistry, who utilizes smear tactics and pathos as his chief method of persuasion.

Second, the "corrections" made to Chomsky's remarks deserve no grand applause. Chomsky's style is to illuminate the words of government officials and make them visible to those interested. Whether or not Dayan himself was ultimately interested in peace is irrelevant; Chomsky argues that Washington has adopted a view manifested in Dayan's own words. And while the quote may have continued, the first part of the sentence is strong enough on its own to support Chomsky's assertion, to wit: "we must tell the Palestinians, that we have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes, may leave."

Not being as well-steeped in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as I would like, it's difficult for curious people like myself (neither Jewish nor Arab) to really make sense of the issue when we see a debate like the one held at Harvard. As a lawyer, I have a love of logical reasoning, and it seemed to me that Chomsky's arguments were constructed on such a basis. Dershowitz was nothing less than desperate.
4.5.2008 10:09am
neurodoc:
Yossi Beilin was born in 1948, so he was 19 in 1967 when Dayan reportedly said this. I doubt very much that he was an attendee at that meeting, able to give a firsthand account. So, unless there was a transcript of Dayan's remarks, which I rather doubt, then Beilin had to be relying on someone else's account of Dayan's remarks at a subsequent time, perhaps years later. So, are those "quotes" really quotes at all?

We all know that a story repeated by one to another, and then by the other to yet another, and so on down the line, is in the end rarely the same as in the beginning, sometimes varying greatly. No consider that if this was a "story" rather than simple reprinting of a contemporary recording of some sort, then we have at best a thirdhand account (Dayan to someone else to Beilin), the last person in the chain someone not a neutral historian, but rather a very partisan relater, his partisanship very polar to Dayan's.

(Dilan Esper, you make good points above.)
4.5.2008 10:17am
markm (mail):
pmatthewroy: If you can trust someone to translate an obscure quotation accurately and in the full context, it's no problem when they do so in a debate. Chomsky didn't.
4.5.2008 10:35am
anon252 (mail):
As a lawyer, I have a love of logical reasoning, and it seemed to me that Chomsky's arguments were constructed on such a basis.
As a lawyer, wouldn't you be sanctioned by a judge for misrepresented a quotation the way Chomsky did? And how exactly is it logical to say "Moshe Dayan said something at an internal party meeting in 1967, and therefore we can attribute all future U.S. and Israeli policy to serving what he articulated?"
4.5.2008 11:00am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

Chomsky, a brilliant linguistic expert


maybe.

he so rarely mentions:

his three houses and two sailboats (or is it two houses and three sailboats?)

tenured job-for-life

dy-no-MYTE retirement package
4.5.2008 11:01am
pmatthewroy (mail):
Anon252 did not read my post very well. I was commenting on the logical construction of his argument, not the perfection of his citation. I believe Chomsky was saying that the US adopted the content of Dayan's utterance through its support of the Israelis. If a comment made by an Israeli (quite a prominent one at that) to his party members mirrored the actions of the Israeli government, in Chomsky's view, then I see nothing wrong in the way Chomsky approached his argument there. If President Bush were to make policy comments to a group of Republicans, and the actual actions of the government were in line with those comments, who cares whether Bush made them to party officials, to cabinet members or to a potted plant?
4.5.2008 11:32am
pmatthewroy (mail):
By the way, let me say that I have approached Mr. Chomsky's righting with a great degree of critical thought as well. In fact, I took it upon myself to research his assertions relating to the ICJ Nicaragua case he frequently mentions. Among other things, I read the opinion of the court, and I came away with the sense that Chomsky did not exaggerate the seriousness of the court's admonition of US actions in Nicaragua. I concede that this was one isolated case of my own independent research. One post seemingly mocks Chomsky's tenure. I'll say the only negative thing about that aspect of Chomsky's work is it certainly gives him more time to do the research that you or I cannot, since we have to work for a living. So while I may not have time to check every footnote, when reading any commentary on any issue I try to keep an eye on the writer's argumentative construction and tendency for hyperbole. I don't think Chomsky is immune here, but his writing is much more convincing than those that oppose him (and chide him for having tenure?!)
4.5.2008 11:46am
Bender (mail):
pmatthewroy:

Researching Chomsky footnotes is somewhat of a cottage industry. I've probably read a dozen or a score of articles, postings, etc. on the subject. Based on what I've read here and elsewhere, it seems to me that a majority of Chomsky's more obscure citations actually differ considerably in import from that which Chomsky imputes to them. It's a cheap and common method of scoring illegitimate points in high school debating. Chomsky does not appear to have transcended it.
4.5.2008 11:57am
Cornellian (mail):
So Chomsky distorts, quotes out of context and flat out makes stuff up in order to make it seem like his crazy views have more support than they do.


And in other news, sun rises in the east.
4.5.2008 12:07pm
neurodoc:
pmatthweroy, two other posters here, markm and anon252, have already responded with what I would have said - Chomsky has proven himself untrustworthy many times over in the course of more than 40 years at this. So, when it is Chomsky, only the uninformed and completely credulous would be willing to accept quotes from "obscure and, often times, foreign language sources to support his argument." And you did read, did you not, that Chomsky misstated the relevant date, which might be important for context, but then Chomsky is not a context guy, especially when it wouldn't serve his tendentious ends.

Now pmatthewroy, you admit to "(n)ot being as well-steeped in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as (you) would like," and lament, "it's difficult for curious people like myself (neither Jewish nor Arab) to really make sense of the issue." If you are serious about this, ought you not do a minimum amount of due diligence before placing so much reliance on Chomsky to inform you about that conflict? I think you should, that is if you are indeed serious about this. For starters, and it might take no more than this, Google "Chomsky" together with "Holocaust" or "Faurisson." Then judge for yourself whether Chomsky is an utterly trustworthy person, someone you ought to place as much credence as you seem to do.

If you won't do even minimum due diligence where Chomsky is concerned, then it must be enough for you that you "have a love of logical reasoning, and it seemed to me that Chomsky's arguments were constructed on such a basis..." (One can start with lies or half-truths and construct from them an argument using "logical reasoning," can't one? Or is it illogical to accept unquestioningly what someone you have not properly vetted serves up to you as "facts" and reason from them?)

Please report back to us after you have done that minimum amount of due diligence on Chomsky. I really would like to hear more from you on this.

And finally, consider how well you, a lawyer who "love(s) logical reasoning," might do if you were to debate an exceptionally bright, less than honest partisan, thoroughly steeped in the subject matter, able to quote "obscure and, often times, foreign language sources to support his argument." It's easy for me to imagine you appearing "nothing less than desperate" as you struggled to overcome such an oppontent, though your case was the righteous one.
4.5.2008 12:16pm
neurodoc:
pmatthewroy, I did not see your subsequent posts before I posted in response to your first ones. Now, I think it is imperative that you check out Chomsky on Holocaust denial, in particular his own involvement with Faurisson. Read what others have charged him with in this regard, and read what Chomsky has said in an attempt to deny those charges. While not directly on point where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is concerned, that being something you confess to "(n)ot being as well-steeped in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as (you) would like," it will tell you a lot more about Chomsky's reliability as a rapporteur on that matter than will reading Chomsky on Nicaragua ever will. Again, please report back when you have done that due diligence, so we may know what you found and how you view it. The internet and Google make it easy enough to do, and you have represented yourself as an enquiring mind who wishes to be informed. (Or does "curious" mean something less than truly serious about informing oneself?)
4.5.2008 12:28pm
Passing By:
Has Uri Avnery ever commented on the quote? Given his position at the time, as well as his political stance then and since, one would think he would remember.
4.5.2008 12:32pm
cvt:
neurodoc,

You didn't read the original post by David Bernstein very well. Here's what you say:

So, unless there was a transcript of Dayan's remarks, which I rather doubt, then Beilin had to be relying on someone else's account of Dayan's remarks at a subsequent time, perhaps years later. So, are those "quotes" really quotes at all?

Here's what DB says:

Chomsky couldn't be bothered to look up the original transcripts, which are footnoted by Beilin.

(Emphasis added.)
4.5.2008 1:38pm
cvt:
DB,
This was an interesting post, but I'm puzzled by one aspect of it. You seem to critcize Chomsky for not looking up the original transcript, but as far as I can tell, your real complaint is that Chomsky has misread or misused the account by Beilin. I'm not sure that you read the original transcripts either, but if you have, you don't say anything based on the transcripts themselves (as far as I can tell). Finally, you say that Beilin's book provides only the "barest context" for Dayan's comment but your post does not provide any more context.
I'm not cricizing you for not doing archival research, but I think it is silly to criticize Chomsky for not doing that either.
4.5.2008 1:55pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Chomsky has gained much influence in the field of theoretical linguistics from his theory of a Universal Grammar. On the other hand, Chomsky has acted to retard research on the origins of language. No full length article about the evolution of language appeared in the Linguistic Society of America’s journal Language until 2000 (Before The Dawn, page 39). According to Stephen Pinker, Chomsky has had a significant impact on the field because of his stature and aggressive style of debate that polarized the field (page 41). This leads me to wonder if Chomsky net worth as an academic scholar is positive. Outside of his academic activities he’s only inflamed debate about the conflict in the Middle East, something we really don’t need. He’s also contributed to anti Americanism throughout the world. I remember seeing Venezuela’s latest strongman, Hugo Chavez, on the podium holding one of Chomsky’s anti American books. Clearly he pours gasoline on the flames of international passions.
4.5.2008 2:04pm
davidbernstein (mail):
CVT, just about every book, essay, speech, or interview given by Chomsky on Israel involves this quote. Yet, if he never read the original transcripts, he can't possibly know the significance of the quote, because the secondary source provides such limited context. I didn't look up the original source either, but I'm not the one relying on the quote. All that said, the lack of original research is not the main point, the fact that Chomsky misused the quote even based on the secondary source, especially given that he ALWAYS fails to mention or deletes with ellipses the part where Dayan says "we want peace," is the main point.
4.5.2008 2:36pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Chomsky is the epitome of the pro-Palestinian Jewish leftist, and has been accused several times of misquoting and taking words out of context.
4.5.2008 2:41pm
davidbernstein (mail):
On the other hand, if we want to know what we can learn from this in a less tendentious way, and is consistent with recent information coming out of the Israeli archives, there were, contrary to my previous impression, some farsighted Isrealis, like Navon, who thought after the 6 Day War the wise thing would be to negotiate with local Palestinians and provide them with a sovereign state to end the conflict. This was before the PLO had much power, and perhaps things could have been worked out. The Israelis instead put their faith in King Hussein, who was not bold enough to seize the day at the time (having seen his grandfather assassinated for being suspected of trying to work out a deal with the Israelis). This left things open for the growth of both the Greater Israel movement, and the rise of the PLO, both disasters for Israel. So, Chomsky loses points for severe tendentiousness, but he nevertheless manages to help shed some light on Israel's mistakes.
4.5.2008 2:45pm
cvt:
For Chomsky, it's a great quote because it's by an important political and military leader and it's evidence that the Israelis wanted to drive away as many Palestinians as possible, at least from the West Bank. The full quote, which you put in the comments, concludes with this sentence, which you leave out of the main post: "Whoever wants to go, will want. [sic] It’s possible that in five years, there will be 200,000 fewer people, and that’s an enormous thing."
That seems to support Chomsky's reading better than your reading.
By the way, did you translate the end of the first sentence correctly? Shouldn't it be "Whoever wants to go, will go."?
4.5.2008 2:53pm
neurodoc:
cvt, thank you for pointing that out. I did overlook it in my rush to get to the rebuttal. I see no reason to take back or modify anything else that I said above. And I do think that context is hugely important here, as it usually is.

Chomsky is the one with the burden here, is he not? If Chomsky was relying on transcripts presented in their entirety in Beilin's book, and there was no reason to suspect they were other than what they purported to be (no Dan Rather type authenticity questions), then I don't think we should demand "archival research," that is going to the primary source himself, of Chomsky. It may be seen, though, that such a quarrel with Chomsky's methodology was but a minor point raised by Professor Bernstein, though. ("Apparently, Chomsky couldn't be bothered to look up the original transcripts, which are footnoted by Beilin.") Professor Bernstein took issue with a good deal more, quite rightly I think.

Call it "providing context" or just calling it being intellectually honest, one is expected to quote fully, not selectively, that which is directly on point. Professor Bernstein shows that Chomsky did not do so, and didn't do so in a way entirely consistent with Chomsky's modus operandi. ("Fifth, and by far most significant, Chomsky leaves out the next few sentences uttered by Dayan: 'For now, it works out. Let's say the truth. We want peace. If there is no peace, we will maintain military rule and we will have four to five military compounds on the hills, and they will sit ten years under the Israeli military regime.'")

Also you reproach Professor Bernstein, saying as you did, "Finally, you say that Beilin's book provides only the 'barest context' for Dayan's comment but your post does not provide any more context." Clearly, that is not true. You may chose to discount its significance, but Professor Bernstein noted that Dayan said these things in the immediate aftermath of the '67 war, when Israel captured the West Bank from the Jordanians, not in the "early 1970s," as Chomsky had it." Dayan didn't say it to "his cabinet colleagues," as Chomsky had it, nor to other government officials, but rather to a party gathering. And he failed to note that Peres, no inconsequential Israeli leader, forcefully dissented. Perhaps you don't think this changes anything very much, though at a minimum it should call into question Chomsky's integrity, but it flatly contradicts your reproachful retort, "but your post does not provide any more context." That is both more context and correct context as opposed to Chomsky's less context and false context as to timing and audience.

So cvt, tell us, do you consider Chomsky a reliable source or a suspect one? I trust that I have made clear my own answer to that question.
4.5.2008 3:13pm
cvt:
No doubt, it would have been better to follow Navon's advice than Dayan's.
4.5.2008 3:17pm
cvt:
neurodoc,
You did it again. You need to go back and read the original post and the longer quotation from Beilin's book that David Bernstein put in the first comments. If you do that, you will see that all of the context that you say that Bernstein provides is already in the quotation from Beilin: when Dayan's statement was made, who he was talking to, and how Shimon Peres responded. I wasn't "reproaching" Bernstein for saying that Beilin provided too little context, I was just asking what other context he thought that Beilin should have provided.
4.5.2008 3:26pm
neurodoc:
OK, didn't see the posts after A.Zarkov's before I posted 2:13PM. Don't see a need to change anything I wrote, just wanted to put my remarks in the "context" I wrote them in.

cvt, you say this is a great quote for Chomsky and say why it is so. Clearly, it is a great quote for his purposes, and that is why it deserves the closest scrutiny. Chomsky is exactly the sort of person one would expect to cherry pick quotes, truncate them, take them out of context, or otherwise misuse them. One would never expect to learn from him of less than great quotes or inconvenient facts. He is 100% polemicist, with a particularly nasty Leftist approach, which makes him such a favorite among those of his ilk, e.g., Alexander Cockburn, to name but one.
Do you think there is anyone who is themselves a Holocaust denier or associated with Holocaust deniers is to be trusted, especially on the subject of Israel?


[cvt, are you translating from the Hebrew for yourself? Had you read this stuff before Professor Bernstein called attention to it here?]
4.5.2008 3:26pm
cubanbob (mail):
For the sake of discussion lets assume Chomsky's quote is spot on accurate and in context. So what? If the Arabs are that truly desirous of peace, then make the Israeli's an offer worth their while. Otherwise why the sanctimony of demanding that Israel treat her enemies better than any other nation treats their enemies especially while in a state of war. If the Arabs are not willing to settle for what the Israeli's are willing to offer, Israel should stop wasting time, effort, money and above all blood with this nonsense and just expel the Arabs out of the area they wish to keep. Indeed send them of to the former German and now Russian area of Germany, Koenigsberg and circle the square.
4.5.2008 3:27pm
neurodoc:
Professor Bernstein: It's Yossi Beilin, Mehiro shel Ihud 42-43 (Revivim, 1985), a Hebrew book, never translated to English, written by Israeli dove Beilin. It's a secondary source that provides only the barest context for Dayan's remark—all the book tells us is that Dayan's comment illustrates an extreme attitude toward Palestinian refugees, and was made during a meeting with other leaders of the small RAFI party, which was composed of hawkish defectors from the dominant Labor Party.
cvt at 12:55PM: Finally, you (Professor Bernstein)say that Beilin's book provides only the "barest context" for Dayan's comment but your post does not provide any more context. I'm not cricizing you for not doing archival research, but I think it is silly to criticize Chomsky for not doing that either.
cvt at 2:26PM: neurodoc,
You did it again....I wasn't "reproaching" Bernstein for saying that Beilin provided too little context, I was just asking what other context he thought that Beilin should have provided.
I don't know what exactly was in Beilin's book by why of context to Dayan's remarks, nor what exactly Professor Bernstein did or did not take from Beilin's book as far as the context he provided in his post.

I suppose Beilin noted that the year was 1967, but did he elaborate in his 1985 book on the significance of 1967 and the recency of the Six Day War? Did he observe that the RAFI party "was composed of hawkish defectors from the dominant Labor Party"? Or that, "Dayan was addressing the situation of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, not all Palestinians, or even all Palestinians in the West Bank."? And if Beilin did include all this and still more, so what? Why should it be silly for Professor Bernstein to criticize Chomsky's "methodology" if he didn't do archival research himself. Do you think that Professor Bernstein has any of his facts wrong, or that he has drawn unjustified conclusions from them?

The burden of proof comprises both the burden of production and the burden of persuasion (yeah, courtroom stuff, but it applies here too) is clearly Chomsky's. It is Chomsky who is obliged to make a prima facie case and defend it against all rebuttal. If it can be shown, as I think Professor Bernstein has, that Chomsky isn't to be trusted, then pmatthewroy and other "love(rs) of logical reasoning" ought to reconsider anything they have previously been persuaded of by Chomsky.

If you would like further expansion by Professor Bernstein, that's fine. But let's not be distracted. This is not about Yossi Beilin, who is a story himself, nor Professor Bernstein, but about Chomsky and his unrelenting attacks on Israel and preference for its enemies. So, do you have anything to say about Chomsky, his methods, or the case he makes? (For the record, I don't care how many houses or boats Chomsky may have, nor the retirement package my alma mater provides him and other equally productive senior faculty. None of those relate to my quarrels with Chomsky.)
4.5.2008 4:04pm
Applekeys:
I've never understood why the Volokh conspiracy - a website by conservative and libertarian leaning law professors - is the forum for this sort of thing? Bernstein should create a side-project (like what Orin Kerr is always dabbling in) focusing on Jewishand Israel-related issues and middle-eastern politics, or responding to various slights and anti-semitism.

I'm not against it, but what if the VC had an African-American law prof blogger who continually posted about inflammatory remarks (wherever they come from), ongoing perceived racism, the lack of political support for race-related causes or the ending of practices that are perceived as racist or have a disparate impact? I don't think it would go over all that well. So why all this all the time?
4.5.2008 4:14pm
davidbernstein (mail):
By the way, did you translate the end of the first sentence correctly? Shouldn't it be "Whoever wants to go, will go."?
No, the translation is correct, for Hebrew speakers, it says "me she'yirtzeh lalechet, yirtzeh."
4.5.2008 4:20pm
neurodoc:
cubanbob ...why the sanctimony of demanding that Israel treat her enemies better than any other nation treats their enemies especially while in a state of war.
Excellent question, but one we cannot hope to answer definitively today, if indeed we ever can. Clues to the answer, or rather the answers since it is "multifactorial," lie in:

Chomsky's personal make-up and that of like-minded Jewish Leftists (see The Jewish Divide Over Israel by Alexander and Bogdanor for a partial listing); the hard Left itself (not "Liberal" Left, and who knows what "Progressive" encompasses), Jewish and non-Jewish); global geopolitics (especially petrodollars, oil, and other strategic considerations); religion (1B+ Muslims, most observant; maybe 13M Jews, all over the place in terms of their identities as Jews; other religious groups that may be more predisposed to one side or another for reasons not directly related to the merits of their respective cases); the media's treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict; ignorance of history and other relevant matters; etc. A huge amount to take into account when after a comprehensive answer to "why the sanctimony of demanding that Israel treat her enemies better than any other nation treats their enemies especially while in a state of war."
4.5.2008 4:22pm
neurodoc:
Applekeys, a few answers to your questions/objections come readily to mind:
- it is the VC's blogsite, and theirs to do with as they please; and,
- while they are all professors of law who do tend to be "conservative and libertarian leaning," they do on occasion go with that which can't be labeled conservative or libertarian, including from time to time a movie recommendation by the lead blogger;" and,
- many of the other VCers posts are about that which in no way relates to the law; and,
- Professor Bernstein's posts about "Jewishand Israel-related issues and middle-eastern politics, or responding to various slights and anti-semitism" elicit many responses, some quite informative themselves, the surest indication of interest, though to be sure not universal agreement; and,
- bandwidth doesn't seem to be an issue for them; and,
- visitors like you can see at a glance whether a post may be of interest to them or not, and elect to read the post or not as they chose, and then whether to have a look at the comments or not as they chose; and,
- it ain't like you are paying anything to visit this blogsite, or can assert any shareholder interest in the enterprise; and,
- more.
4.5.2008 4:41pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Chomsky seems like one of the most polarizing public figures I can think of. Every blog discussing him seems to degenerate into a food fight between his fans and detractors. They never get anywhere. I'm not sure why he provokes such passion.
4.5.2008 6:01pm
neurodoc:
A. Zarkov, I am surprised that you can't see "why he provokes such passion." Do you know the story of Chomsky and Faurisson? Read that, his accusers' account of it and his answers, and see if that doesn't help.
4.5.2008 6:35pm
cvt:
neurodoc,
First, I agree with your response to Applekeys. I've never understood that type of complaint.
Second, no I can't read Hebrew. I just thought that "Whoever wants to go, will want" might be a mistranslation because it seems like a strange thing to say.
Third, I don't think that Chomsky is a Holocaust denier or is "associated with Holocaust deniers." (I know about Faurisson, so please don't lecture me about that. I don't think Chomsky ever meant to do anything more than defend Faurisson's right to free speech. If Chomsky said or did more than that, it was a mistake. I'm sure you have reached a different conclusion.) One thing I like about Chomsky is his anarchist perspective. I think that leftists like Michael Moore who say "the state is not the problem" are ignoring a lot of problems.
Fourth, not to beat a dead horse, but do you realize that the first comment above is an extended quotation (translated) from Beilin's book? I.e., in the comment Bernstein is quoting Beilin. If you realized that, then I misunderstood you.
4.5.2008 6:37pm
pmatthewroy (mail):
I agree with CVT here. Given the atmosphere in Europe, where one can be imprisoned for three years on the basis of a publication the state does not like, I think Chomsky's vigorous defense of someone's right to publish their views--as ridiculous as they may be--cannot then be used to say Chomsky ascribes to those views.

Neurodoc impugnes Chomsky's credibility based on the Faurisson issue--fine, do what you will, but it fails to persuade.

I have listened to, and read Chomsky on a number of issues, including Nicaragua and Chile. Chomsky's accounts of US involvement in Chile mirror those of my close friends there (friends whose relatives had to escape the country and move to Sweden), as well as numerous books on the matter (see e.g. "Clandestine in Chile," by Garcia Marquez). Thus, while I view everything I read with a critical eye, I find much of Chomsky's work persuasive and well-researched.

My posting will end here; this has been a useless exercise. I wrote to voice support for Chomsky's reasoning and methodology. Numerous posters here would like to change the subject because confronting Chomsky's assertions is a difficult task if one cannot resort to his associations, use of footnotes, foreign language sources, etc. I'm surprised nobody brought up Chomsky's support for Finkelstein as an academic...is that next? Because it completely diverts attention from the original post by Professor Bernstein and only demonstrates Chomsky's commitment to unfettered academic freedom.
4.5.2008 6:52pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):

Chomsky seems like one of the most polarizing public figures I can think of. Every blog discussing him seems to degenerate into a food fight between his fans and detractors. They never get anywhere. I'm not sure why he provokes such passion.


Because he says things that certain people want to believe, and gives them handy sound bytes to let them believe what they already wanted to believe. All the believers have to do is ignore the subsequent corrections or dismiss them as the work of the neocons and hence unworthy of consideration.

Anotherwords, he is selling what people want to buy.
4.5.2008 7:00pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
... and if what people want to buy is snake oil, then what of it? As pmatthewroy reminds us, he's a veritable champion of free speech!

Which is sort of like calling a person who sells patents on perpetual motion machines a champion of free scientific inquiry, but never mind the details...
4.5.2008 7:08pm
Smokey:
pmatthewroy:
First, to the comment that mocks Chomsky for quoting obscure and, often times, foreign language sources to support his argument: I find it utterly strange that this diminishes someone's credibility.
In the very first paragraph, Chomsky explicitly states that the references were available in English, not 'obscure foreign language sources.' Chomsky is quoted:
"Don't take my word for it. Go check the sources I cited, very easy, all English." [emphasis mine]
Chomsky has zero credibility. He states very matter of factly -- and with 100% mendacity -- that his references are available in English. They are not.

And anyone blindly accepting Chomsky's prevarications has credibility problems of his own.
4.5.2008 7:18pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Neurodoc:

"Do you know the story of Chomsky and Faurisson?"

I did not, and I guess that's my problem. As I said, I don't regard Chomsky as worthy of much of my attention. Reading the Wikipedia entry on the Faurisson matter (with the knowledge that Wikipedia often gets things wrong) it does seem that Chomsky was defending free speech more than he was defending Faurisson. Free speech as we know it has all but disappeared in Europe, especially in Sweden and Belgium.

Chomsky comes across to me as an anti American fanatic who has wasted his time trying to smear his own country and Israel in the international community. I don't think I can learn much from him.
4.5.2008 8:25pm
neurodoc:
pmatthewroy at 9:09AM: Not being as well-steeped in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as I would like, it's difficult for curious people like myself (neither Jewish nor Arab) to really make sense of the issue when we see a debate like the one held at Harvard. As a lawyer, I have a love of logical reasoning, and it seemed to me that Chomsky's arguments were constructed on such a basis.
pmatthewroy at 5:52PM: I think Chomsky's vigorous defense of someone's right to publish their views--as ridiculous as they may be--cannot then be used to say Chomsky ascribes to those views....Neurodoc impugnes Chomsky's credibility based on the Faurisson issue--fine, do what you will, but it fails to persuade...I wrote to voice support for Chomsky's reasoning and methodology.
Tell me if I am taking any of the above out of context, thereby distorting the meaning of what I quote, or my synopsis is somehow wrong or unfair to pmatthewroy and his views:

pmatthewroy freely admits to being so uninformed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that he is unable to make sense of a debate about it like the one between Chomsky and Dershowitz. He professes that as a lawyer himself, he has a love of logic, and it seemed to him that Chomsky's arguments were constructed on such a basis, while what Dershowitz had to say amounted to childish ramblings. Furthermore, pmatthewroy saw a "core difference between the two: on the one hand, a scientist looking as best as he can to find the truth that lies behind the words and actions of government officials (see Chomsky's extensive use of actual government memoranda in his footnotes) [footnotes to a debate?!], and on the other, a tired lawyer, steeped in the art of sophistry, who utilizes smear tactics and pathos as his chief method of persuasion." (italics added)

[Hmmm, energetic scientist truth-seeker vs. tired lawyer, steeped in the art of sophistry, who utilizes smear tactics and pathos as his chief method of persuasion.]

Now, whereas pmatthewroy admits to being so minimally informed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as to find it "difficult...to really make sense of the issue when we see a debate like the one held at Harvard," he makes no such disclaimers when it comes to the Chomsky-Faurisson business. And he thinks no less of Chomsky for it, indeed it only enhances his opinion of Chomsky, the admirable "scientist" truthseeker, whom he reads with his usual "critical eye" and still finds much that is persuasive and well-researched. pmatthewroy makes no mention of anything Chomsky has said or written that is other than persuasive, well-researched, entirely credible and honest. Pretty much a blanket endorsement of Chomsky by pmatthewroy.

Now, the object of pmatthewroy's unbounded admiration in his own words, those most relevant here:
Chomsky: I see no antisemitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust. Nor would there be antisemitic implications, per se, in the claim that the Holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of antisemitic implications in Faurisson's work.
I have nothing more. Let it go to the jury.
4.5.2008 8:35pm
annon6:
"why the sanctimony of demanding that Israel treat her enemies better than any other nation treats their enemies especially while in a state of war"

The Bible describes the Jewish people as a nation of priests. The Jews, Christians and Muslims view the Bible as more or less true. As a result there is a deep assumption that Jews should be held to a higher standard. This view has steeped deeply into our culture, even among those who are now secular.
4.5.2008 8:42pm
neurodoc:
A. Zarkov, the Wikipedia account of the Chomsky-Faurisson business is grossly inadequate, and I don't recommend that you rely on the cited piece by Christopher Hitchens for a thorough account either. (IIRC, though I may not, Hitchens had something very different to say years later, when he broke ranks with the Left.) The C-F business (affair?) is by no means the only reason to regard Chomsky with a jaundiced eye, but will do for starters when answering an admirer of his like the logic-loving pmatthewroy. Do you think someone who "see(s) no hint of antisemitic implications in Faurisson's work" ought to be viewed as a credible "scientist looking as best as he can to find the truth that lies behind the words and actions of government officials"? [BTW, "political scientists" may do that, but real scientists don't, at least not when acting as scientists, do they?]
4.5.2008 8:46pm
neurodoc:
annon6, I think few of those who belabor Israel so regularly, while forgiving the other side so much, do it based on anything found in the Bible. The only person I can think of who has done so is the former peanut farmer from Georgia when speaking to Golda Meier.
4.5.2008 9:04pm
neurodoc:
annon6, I think few of those who belabor Israel so regularly, while forgiving the other side so much, don't do it based on anything found in the Bible. The only person I can think of who has done so is the former peanut farmer from Georgia when speaking to Golda Meier.
4.5.2008 9:04pm
neurodoc:
cvt: I don't think that Chomsky is a Holocaust denier or is "associated with Holocaust deniers." (I know about Faurisson, so please don't lecture me about that. I don't think Chomsky ever meant to do anything more than defend Faurisson's right to free speech...I'm sure you have reached a different conclusion.)
What difference could it possibly make to you what I or anyone else might have concluded in this regard, since you say,
cvt: If Chomsky said or did more than that, it was a mistake.
4.5.2008 9:17pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
neurodoc:

"... the Wikipedia account of the Chomsky-Faurisson business is grossly inadequate,..."


I'm not surprised to hear that and anticipated as such. Note my parenthetical remark.

"Do you think someone who "see(s) no hint of antisemitic implications in Faurisson's work" ought to be viewed as a credible "scientist..."

Absolutely not. I agree with you completely.

"[BTW, "political scientists" may do that, but real scientists don't, at least not when acting as scientists, do they?]"

I don't regard Chomsky as a scientist outside of linguistics. See my next post.
4.5.2008 9:21pm
neurodoc:
pmatthewroy: I'm surprised nobody brought up Chomsky's support for Finkelstein as an academic...is that next? Because it completely diverts attention from the original post by Professor Bernstein and only demonstrates Chomsky's commitment to unfettered academic freedom.
It seems that pmatthewroy was looking forward to a discussion of "Chomsky's support for Finkelstein as an academic," asking (hopefully?) "is that next," as he went out the door in a huff, exasperated with those he accused of not wanting to engage with Chomsky's "reasoning and methodology."

If pmatthewroy will come back for just a little while, we can discuss Chomsky's support of Finkelstein when DePaul denied him tenure. As part of the discussion, we can get into how it is that "Chomsky's commitment to unfettered academic freedom" did not express itself in support for Thomas Kloc, a DePaul adjunct who was canned because he offended Muslim students with his challenge to their attacks on Israel.

Surely, it can't be that "Chomsky's commitment to unfettered academic freedom" only extends to Holocaust deniers (Faurisson) and Jews who vicously attack other Jews and Israel, while expressing solidarity with Hizbollah (Finkelstein). Or is it that the seemingly indefatigable Chomsky, fearless seeker of truth that he is, can't find the time to defend "unfettered academic freedom" for those who don't share his political views?
4.5.2008 9:46pm
Hoosier:
pmatthewroy bailed (because the VCers didn't pay due deference to his great powers of reasoning?) before anyone asked him why he avoided one of the most salient points. Chomsky uses this quote as often as I kiss my children nighty-night. And he deploys it to show the atitude of "Israel" in 1967.

p-matt's comment, in part: "If I wanted to seriously debate certain aspects of, say, the Austro-Prussian war, I'd be very happy to have a debating partner who could cite primary and secondary literature in German; this only adds credibility, not the reverse. "

FINALLY, something comes up on VC that I actually know, since I am a not a lawyer, but am a European diplomatic historian. And so I think I'm pretty well placed to say that it *depends upon whom I would be quoting*. If I were qutoing a comment made by Bismarck, especially one he made on multiple occasions, I might have a point about the Prussian position on a given issue.

On the other hand, if I am quoting von Roon on a matter of international politics, I am giving the position of . . . von Roon. As a historian, I would not be so sloppy as to conflate the expression of an opinion by the war minister with the official expression of the position of the Kaiser's Government. *If* there was other evidence that von Roon was expressing the position of the government, and if his quote was the clearest or best expression of that position, then I'd use it. But only after establishing how I concluded that it was a statement that fairly represented what I was claiming it represented.

Otherwise, I would be "cherry picking" my quotes to support a conclusion that I had reached without benefit of evidence. Which is, alas, what Chomsky has done in this case.

Fianl point: Am I the only one crude enough to find it funny that David said Dayan had a "blind spot"?
4.5.2008 10:55pm
neurodoc:
pmatthewroy: Numerous posters here would like to change the subject because confronting Chomsky's assertions is a difficult task if one cannot resort to his associations, use of footnotes, foreign language sources, etc.
How exactly is one to "confront" assertions (a positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason) if they are not permitted to challenge the speaker's credibility, the "facts" the speaker adduces, the speaker's "methodology," and the speaker's "reasoning"? Or are we to let the other side have the ball on our 1-yard line 1st and 10, and play defense with whatever they haven't counterclaimed, hoping to impress pmatthewroy and not let him see us indulging in "childish ramblings" or appearing to be a "tired lawyer, steeped in the art of sophistry, who utilizes smear tactics and pathos as his chief method of persuasion."

His (Chomsky's) associations go to his credibility, and as such should be fair game for questioning. (see prior posts here re Chomsky and Faurisson, and feel free to request more, if needed)

Who in this thread brought up Chomsky's use of footnotes? Someone who wanted to "change the subject because confronting Chomsky's assertions is a difficult task"? No, it was none other than pmatthewroy himself, letting us know how impressed he was by "Chomsky's extensive use of actual government memoranda in his footnotes" and telling us to have a look at them for ourselves. (But note, pmatthewroy will brook no criticism of Chomsky's use of footnotes.)

More power to anyone who can find support in foreign language sources, however obscure they may be, so long as they are assiduously honest in reporting what is there. Posters to this thread have expressed well-founded doubts as to Chomsky's honesty in this regard.

PLEASE pmatthewroy, won't you come back, your logic-loving lawerly presence is missed.
4.5.2008 10:59pm
neurodoc:
pmatthewroy: If I wanted to seriously debate certain aspects of...
Hoosier, you say what you would do, which is what we would expect of you. We are talking here of Chomsky, though, someone not constrained by scholarly integrity. He is not someone looking to debate seriously certain aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or other political issues here or abroad, he is a polemicist with an agenda.
Hoosier: Am I the only one crude enough to find it funny that David said Dayan had a "blind spot"?
Wicked! You must know that it is very un-PC to call attention to a person's physical imperfections. (It should be noted that it was an injury he suffered while fighting with the Allies during WWII.) I failed to see that "blind spot" though my own vision is 20/20 OU with correction. (see all that comes up when Googling "Dayan" and "blind," the first being this Volokh thread, perhaps on account of currency, then various others, including ones that speak metaphorically of his "blindness" to certain things, e.g., the collection of antiquities).

[Hoosier, it just happens that I am headed for Evansville tomorrow. (Business is in KY, but hotel accommodations are better in IN, food marginally better.) If you care to say, is that somewhere near where you do your academic thing? (Also, I had money riding on the junior senator from there, but he didn't make it himself, and unlike Richardson he backed the wrong horse after dropping out, so not much chance of the number 2 spot for him.)]
4.5.2008 11:30pm
Hoosier:
Neuro--No: I'm pretty far away from Evansville. Indiana is home, so I hate to malign it in any way--but the internal transport links are pathetic. Evansville is not connected with Indy by a freeway. Nor is South Bend or Bloomington. N-S driving in this sate is just such a pain, so I don't go down to Evansville. The city does have two universities, and I have colleagues in the history departments of both. But, as I said, I don't go down to visit.

BTW--I also thought Bayh would be a "contendah." I was disappointed when he decided not to run. But the point he made was valid: He didn't think he could raise the money with Hillary in the race.

He'd make a good veep candidate for either of the Dem hopefuls. But Strickland will most likely get that position, even under Obama (according to my pointless prediction): Latest polls have Ohio in the McCain camp, which is BAAAAAAAAD NEWS for Obama.

(Some informal "polling" of friends and family in Ohio--Hoosierwife's home state--tells the story, in part. You can't say what Wright or Michelle Obama have said about the US, and then expect to win Youngstown, Toledo, or the West Side of Cleveland. And without them, Democrats can't win the state. Y-town looks particulalry bad for Obama, if the Y-town media are ay indication.)
4.6.2008 12:45am
neurodoc:
Hoosier, you're calling it for McCain now come November? And you think what will make the difference is what Wright and/or Michelle Obama have said to date?

To me, McCain in '08 is looking more and more like Bob Dole in '96 as time goes by. Opposed to increased financial regulation notwithstanding what we are going through now?! (Mind you, I like him, but that unsettles me. He may not be kidding when he says he doesn't know much about economics.)

I may be the most reliable predictive tool you will ever come upon - when I call it a lock or near lock (e.g., Oliver North in the '94 VA race for the Senate; Gore over that other guy in 2000; etc.), bet the other way and you will do great.)
4.6.2008 1:37am
Rabbi Popping In:
Whenever I see "Noam Chomsky", I just yawn and move on. Whether it refers to linguistics or insane lefticism. If he hadn't made a demagogue fool out of himself, I might actually pay attention to his opinions on linguistics.

In other words, I know the man in insane. Does the context of his remarks matter?
4.6.2008 2:38am
LM (mail):
In the prior post on this subject, David linked to Democracy Now's site for the Chomsky-Dershowitz debate. As I mentioned on that thread the audio, video and transcript are edited to fit Democracy Now's one hour program format. If you're familiar with the program or Pacifica, you can guess how content neutral the editing was. They cut the only segment where either debater was thrown. Naturally it was Chomsky. An audience member who had been an aide to Ehud Barak at Camp David pointed out that the Israeli scholar, Ron Pundak, who Chomsky cited repeatedly for his rejection of the accuracy of Dennis Ross's and Bill Clinton's maps and recollections of the negotiations, hadn't in fact been at Camp David.

If you're going to watch/listen to/refer to that debate, I recommend the unedited Kennedy School feed.
4.6.2008 8:30am
neurodoc:
Radio Pacifica?! Oh, my gawd, them?

Thanks for pointing that one out, LM, and for the alternate, unedited source. I'll try to watch both for myself when I can get to it. It would be interesting to hear from pmatthewroy about the Pundak point, if he was aware of it.
4.6.2008 9:36am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Pacifica?(!)

Is Marion Barry, Mayor for Life, still on the Board of directors?
4.6.2008 10:09am
neurodoc:
cvt, I have no intention of "lecturing" you or anyone else here about Chomsky and Faurisson. ("I know about Faurisson, so please don't lecture me about that. I don't think Chomsky ever meant to do anything more than defend Faurisson's right to free speech.") I'll just call your attention, and that of any other Chomsky defenders who may be reading this, to what Oliver Kamm has written about the matter.
http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2004/11/chomsky_and_hol
.html>
4.6.2008 10:41am
Mark Gaughan (mail):
You all can say what you want about Noam Chomsky but
nothing can ever make the Zionists look good.

I don't remember where I found this at but I've been carrying it in my wallet ever since:

In 1956 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion told Nahum Goldman, President of the World Zionist Organization who was urging him to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Arabs:

"I don't understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural. We have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to me, but what does it matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it is true, but two thousand years ago, and what is it to them? There have been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, and Aushwitz but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country."

"If you hate something, don't you do it too." Pearl Jam
4.6.2008 1:15pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Marion Barry, Mayor for Life, still on the Board of directors?

In a coup about five years ago, the listeners took over the Pacifica Board of Directors. Barry was a named defendant, if I recall correctly.
4.6.2008 1:29pm
overlord:
Mark Gaughan,

while that quote is interesting, I'm certain you can find many repulsive quotes from America's founding fathers on the subject of slavery, black people, Indians, and who knows what else. For that matter you can find all sorts of vile comments from past Arab leaders; some striking enough to merit carrying around in your wallet.

What on earth does that do to guide us on modern policy toward these states?
4.6.2008 3:02pm
Hoosier:
Mark Gaughan:
>>>nothing can ever make the Zionists look good.

Well, not Golda Meir anyway. (Rimshot)

"I'm so ugly. That's OK, 'cause so are you." Nirvana (Like Pearl Jam. Only good.)
4.6.2008 3:27pm
Jestak (mail):
Pacifica?(!)

Is Marion Barry, Mayor for Life, still on the Board of directors?


I believe you are confusing Marion Barry with Mary Frances Berry, former chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, who was also the former chair of Pacifica Radio
4.6.2008 3:27pm
one of many:
Marrion was (is?) on the board too. don't know if he is still on though.
4.6.2008 3:51pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Special Meeting of the Interim Pacifica Board of Directors to Vote on Adoption of Bylaws June 26, 2003

Thirteen Directors Present constituting a quorum: Chair Leslie Cagan, ... (Marion Barry joined the conference late and was not present until the final vote)
What kind of an organization would put a person like Berry on its Board? Radio Moscow was a more accurate source of information than any of the Pacifica Stations. I used to listen to radio station WBAI in New York City, and they would quote from the French newspaper L'Humanité without telling the listeners that it was the daily of the French Communist Party, the most Stalinist of all the western European Communist parties.Years ago I heard that Pacifica went through some kind of purge
4.6.2008 4:35pm
eyesay:
"If you're familiar with the program or Pacifica, you can guess how content neutral the editing was."

Pacifica has a point of view. So do all of the media. How well did the media cover the events of the past week? In Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald writes The U.S. establishment media in a nutshell, where he points out, among other things, that the media have given at least ten times more coverage to "Obama and Bowling" than to "Yoo and torture." So much for neutrality.

And you know what? Chomsky is biased too, but he is also an astute critic of corporate media, and I believe that his analysis in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media is largely correct
4.6.2008 5:11pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“ … the media have given at least ten times more coverage to "Obama and Bowling" than to "Yoo and torture." So much for neutrality.”

The news media can introduce two kinds of distortion in their coverage: what to cover, and how to cover it. The first is a necessary editorial judgment, as they can’t cover everything. I don’t think there’s anything particularly sinister about covering BHO’s bowling escapade and not the Yoo memos. It’s an election year and people are more interested in the former, even when trivial. Yoo’s the past, while BHO is the future, and besides Yoo isn’t running for anything. He’s a historical footnote. Now I agree that when the news media systematically excludes a whole class of stories, you can rightly accuse them of having a bias. On the other hand, when a particular piece of coverage deletes something critical, that is sinister. But one expects Pacifica do this kind of thing. Buyer beware.
4.6.2008 5:30pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Glenn Greenwald writing in Salon:

“In the past two weeks, the following events transpired. A Department of Justice memo, authored by John Yoo, was released which authorized torture and presidential lawbreaking.”

Yoo didn’t “authorize” torture; he provided a legal opinion. At worst he’s guilty of legal malpractice. Yoo lacked the power to authorize anything, he was just an attorney.
4.6.2008 5:44pm
eyesay:
A. Zarkov: Yoo isn't running for anything, but his torture memos are a significant component of the story of the illegal, treaty-violating, and unconstitutional torture policies of the Bush administration, so this story is extremely newsworthy. In Glenn Greenwald's piece in Salon.com, he also says that in the past 30 days, coverage of "Clinton and Lewinsky" (1,079) exceeds "Obama and Bowling" (1,043). The final Clinton-Lewinsky encounter was in early 1997. The Clinton impeachment trial ended February 12, 1999. His disbarment by the Supreme Court was October 1, 2001. That was the last day that can reasonably be considered to be part of the Clinton-Lewinsky episode.

By your argument, if "Yoo and Torture" is not newsworthy by the elapse of less than six years since Yoo submitted the Bybee Memo, which even though declared inoperative still reflects the policies of the Bush administration today then a fortiori "Clinton and Lewinsky" is not newsworthy by the elapse of twelve years since the main events, and over six years since the last shoe dropped, in contrast to less than six years since Yoo submitted his memo, and that ongoing noxious episode is expected to continue until January 20, 2009.

Monica and Bill, news; Yoo and torture, not news. Yes, the media are biased, and democracy suffers much, much more for the failure of the media to cover "Yoo and turture" than it does because Pacifica has its axe to grind.
4.6.2008 6:18pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
So Dayan said "let them live like dogs", that's a reason to exterminate the Jewish people? Some of you people make me sick.
4.6.2008 6:28pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Here's to cvt:

So what if Dayan said that? Arabs have done FAR worse things to Israel then just saying insulting things. That your Palestinian apologist side chooses to focus on trivialities speaks volumes. CVT, where were when bombs were blowing up in Israel every 2 weeks? What did you have to say about the pizza parlor bombing?
4.6.2008 6:35pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Don't you get it David? For the Israel haters, there is only one truth - Israel is evil.
4.6.2008 6:41pm
Jestak (mail):
Marrion was (is?) on the board too. don't know if he is still on though.

A further check shows that Marion Barry was, indeed, on the Pacifica National Board at one point, but as far as I can tell from the Pacifica web site, which is a bit of a mess, he isn't on it any more.
4.6.2008 7:10pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Eyesay:

Hillary Clinton seeks the presidency. That makes her newsworthy because she is running for something. That makes pretty much everything about Bill and Hillary and past events about them newsworthy. Hillary has discussed her feelings about Bill’s infidelity during the campaign. Bill has involved himself in the campaign to such an extent that he and his past deeds and misdeeds become newsworthy. Suppose Bill and Hillary just went away quietly like most past presidents, do you think any stories about the Clinton-Lewinsky would appear? Ongoing torture would be news. But how do you know that continues? If so, does it depend on the Yoo memos? Of course news junkies and policy wonks eat up stuff like the Yoo memos, but the general public doesn’t. That’s why it gets little coverage.

Of course there’s a lot of important news that doesn’t get covered. For example on Friday the FASB changed regulation FAS 140, which means off-balance sheet securitization now must be brought back. In other words, no more SIVs. SIVs played an important part in the current credit crisis because investment banks were able to hide all that toxic stuff. A lot of stocks are going to fall in price because earnings will need to be restated. This is a big deal for everybody. How much press has it gotten? This is far more important than the Yoo memos.
4.6.2008 7:37pm
Stu (mail):

Dayan didn't make this remark in the "early 1970s," he made it in September 1967, just three months after the Six Day War.


Assuming the statement was made to someone, I find it interesting that the statement was most likely made after the Khartoum Arab summit. After the June '67 war, representatives of eight Arab states met in Khartoum, Sudan and announced a resolution on September 1, 1967 calling for a continued struggle against Israel and reportedly adopting the position of infamous "Three NOs" with respect to Israel: 1. NO peace with Israel; 2. NO recognition of Israel; 3. NO negotiations with Israel. If Israel had no Arab state with which to negotiate, presumably including Jordan, which had previously occupied the West Bank until the '67 war, Israel had only a newly occupied population with which to deal. I don't recall ever reading that that population had any kind of any kind of representative government with which to negotiate or to whom to turn over possession of that territory.

I think that it gives some context to Dayan's alleged remark. Jordan won't negotiate peace and now Israel's stuck as an occupying power. If anything, it was probably said out of exasperation over the situation.

Hold Israel to any standard you want, but I think it was a no-win situation for everyone, and am reminded of the Arab state's strategy to refusing to both negotiate a settlement with Israel or admit West Bank occupants as citizens. Though I have nothing but contempt for Chomsky's positions on just about anything, I appreciate being reminded of that context.
4.6.2008 8:24pm
Hoosier:
EIDE_Interface--Isn't there now a Palestinian museum celebrating the pizza parlor bombing?

I have only been to Israel once. But I don't recall any *Israeli* museums celebrating the slaughter of innocent people by Israelis. But maybe I need to get out more?
4.7.2008 7:47am
LM (mail):

I don't recall ever reading that that population had any kind of any kind of representative government with which to negotiate or to whom to turn over possession of that territory.

Not that you'd call it a government, but there was the PLO, which had shown the prescience to start attacking Israel well before the occupation it would identify as the source of all the problems between Israel and its neighbors.
4.7.2008 3:19pm
LM (mail):
... oh, you said "with which to negotiate." No, of course the PLO wouldn't have done that.
4.7.2008 3:26pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Because this has come up several times on this thread, the current National Board of the Pacifica Foundation can be found here.

Pacifica's current Executive Director is ex-KPFAer Nicole Sawaya.
4.7.2008 4:05pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Hoosier - Tel Aviv has LOADS of such museums! They're all lined up on the beach! $20 admission though.
4.7.2008 9:23pm
cubanbob (mail):
neurodoc,
" cubanbob ...why the sanctimony of demanding that Israel treat her enemies better than any other nation treats their enemies especially while in a state of war.

Excellent question, but one we cannot hope to answer definitively today, if indeed we ever can. Clues to the answer, or rather the answers since it is "multifactorial," lie in:

Chomsky's personal make-up and that of like-minded Jewish Leftists (see The Jewish Divide Over Israel by Alexander and Bogdanor for a partial listing); the hard Left itself (not "Liberal" Left, and who knows what "Progressive" encompasses), Jewish and non-Jewish); global geopolitics (especially petrodollars, oil, and other strategic considerations); religion (1B+ Muslims, most observant; maybe 13M Jews, all over the place in terms of their identities as Jews; other religious groups that may be more predisposed to one side or another for reasons not directly related to the merits of their respective cases); the media's treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict; ignorance of history and other relevant matters; etc. A huge amount to take into account when after a comprehensive answer to "why the sanctimony of demanding that Israel treat her enemies better than any other nation treats their enemies especially while in a state of war."
4.5.2008 3:22pm"

The short summary: 1bn Muslims vs 13mm Jews; oil &petrodollars. At least when that is openly expressed, it eliminates the cant,sanctimony and hypocrisy. Nevertheless as Ariel Sharon once said "They (the Arabs) have the oil, we have the matches." A more crude way of putting it is that while oil is indispensable, Arabs are not. A few well placed fusion bombs and the (Arab/Muslim) oil is gone for a long time for all practical matter. In short do not conflate the need for oil with the need for Arabs.

"Mark Gaughan (mail):
You all can say what you want about Noam Chomsky but
nothing can ever make the Zionists look good.

I don't remember where I found this at but I've been carrying it in my wallet ever since:

In 1956 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion told Nahum Goldman, President of the World Zionist Organization who was urging him to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Arabs:

"I don't understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural. We have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to me, but what does it matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it is true, but two thousand years ago, and what is it to them? There have been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, and Aushwitz but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country."

"If you hate something, don't you do it too." Pearl Jam"

Pretty selective. Do you also hold Arabs to your exalted standards? If so, then surely you would insist that they too quit the lands they have violently occupied. Nasser, Like Saddam, gassed the Yemenites. The Saudis and Kuwaiti's expelled 300 thousand Palestinians in 1991/92. Assad slaughtered 10 thousand of his own in 1981.There is far more to add. So far the Arabist cause doesn't look too good either. Fortunately for the Arabs, Israeli's don't treat them as harshly as they treat their own let alone others. Darfur ring a bell? Still if they just expelled the Arabs and hold the land for 1400 (like the Arabs) years the Zionist claim will every bit as valid as the Arabist claim by your logic. Your problem is not land taking but rather who does the taking and if the right sort take after some undefined period of time it belongs to the taker (if they meet your standards). Sort of like possession is nine tenths of the law (if done by one of your approved peoples, can't have the wrong sort do it can we?).

" annon6:
"why the sanctimony of demanding that Israel treat her enemies better than any other nation treats their enemies especially while in a state of war"

The Bible describes the Jewish people as a nation of priests. The Jews, Christians and Muslims view the Bible as more or less true. As a result there is a deep assumption that Jews should be held to a higher standard. This view has steeped deeply into our culture, even among those who are now secular.
4.5.2008 7:42pm
(link)"
Wow! Your saying that the Muslims who regard the Jews as the sons and daughters of pigs and monkeys actually in their own special way hold the Jews in such esteem that they believe Jews are a people of priests and therefore morally and spiritually their superiors and therefore are held to a higher standard than they hold themselves who are after all (using your logic)are morally and spiritually inferior to the Jews? And therefore as Gandhi would have had it, the Jews should (in accordance to the Arabs and Muslims ethos) neither fight or defend themselves but rather sacrifice themselves (to the Nazi's as Gandhi opined)for the greater good to set an example of a higher moral and spiritual ethic to their moral and spiritual inferiors. Is that what you are trying to state? Dead Jews good, Live Jews bad? Is this your deep assumption? Fortunately they apparently do have a higher standard. Given all the provocation, existential threats and unremitting hatred and hostility towards them, the Zionist Israeli Jews have not acted like some Christians and used weapons of mass destructions against their enemies. Nor like some Muslims, have they openly threatened to annihilate another nation and people simply because they exist. Or used poison gas like the Arabs against other peoples. annon6, your right, all things considered they are a morally, ethically and spiritually superior people than their enemies and in what truly counts, a more valuable people than their enemies.
4.8.2008 2:21am
yankev (mail):
Cubanbob, as to your well-taken refutation of

The Bible describes the Jewish people as a nation of priests. The Jews, Christians and Muslims view the Bible as more or less true. As a result there is a deep assumption that Jews should be held to a higher standard.
You might also point out that the same Bible that describes the Jews in those terms also commands them to defend themselves against those who want to kill them. The Jewish Bible sees nothing holy or praiseworthy in letting your families be slaughtered or enslaved. The US, the UN and the UCC may demand that Israel suffer thousands of rocket attacks without responding, or that Israel dfer any response that may injure civilians even when those civilians support the attack and are deliberately placed in harm's way by the attackers. (Or who voluntarily place themselves there.) The Jewish Bible demands no such thing.
4.8.2008 10:46am