Professor Noam Chomsky’s 2013 Edward Said Memorial Lecture: Violence and Dignity – Reflections on the Middle East at Friends House in London on 18 March 2013 (text).
Professor Noam Chomsky, delivering the 2013 Edward Said Memorial Lecture: Violence and Dignity – Reflections on the Middle East at Friends House in London on 18 March 2013 (video).
The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the Western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab Spring is limited, but it’s not insignificant. The Western-controlled dictatorial system is eroding. In fact, it’s been eroding for some time.
An old man in Gaza held a placard that reads: “You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.”
I have always admired the work of Gisha, and therefore read its response to my “Impressions of Gaza” with much interest — and comparable disappointment. The response refers to exactly one statement of mine: ‘heavy equipment in Gaza is not “lying idle”, as Chomsky describes.’ My statement is quite accurate.
Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment
The eight signatories of this letter are members of the group that traveled with Noam Chomsky to Gaza. We have spent three and a half days here in Gaza with Chomsky, who departed yesterday. We would like to clarify the circumstances surrounding Chomsky’s visit.
Jewish-American scholar and activist Noam Chomsky reportedly called for an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza, on his first ever visit to the Hamas-ruled enclave on Thursday. Chomsky, who was in the Gaza Strip for a conference at the Islamic University, called “to end the Israeli siege on Gaza.”
Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will. It persists in illegal settlement in occupied territory, some annexed, all in brazen defiance of international law and the U.N. Security Council. It has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext.
Mouin Rabbani: Many of those who favor a one-state solution see it as the antithesis of the two-state solution, yet you seem to be suggesting a continuum.
Noam Chomsky: I don’t know of any other sensible way that has been proposed to move towards a binational, or one-state, solution other than accepting the world as it is and then taking the next step, which has been pretty clear for thirty years. There’s an overwhelming international consensus behind the two-state settlement essentially along the internationally recognized borders. I think it’s a rotten solution but I think it’s a stage towards a better solution, and I don’t know of any other approach.
Noam Chomsky remembers Howard Zinn, the great American activist and historian, and his close friend of 45 years. A moving political and personal history of the leading activists of a generation — people who are nearly gone but will always remain for generations to follow.
A presentation at SUNY New Paltz entitled “Honoring Howard Zinn: An Historian Who Made History,” given on 4 December 2011.
Noam Chomsky has been awarded this year’s Sydney Peace Prize, Australia’s only international peace prize. In his City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture, “Revolutionary Pacifism: Choices and Prospects,” Chomsky covers activist A.J. Muste’s concept of “revolutionary pacifism,” the principle of universality, and the long history of violent US behavior around the world, including the Middle East.
Noam Chomsky delivers a rare lecture on the US and Israel-Palestine (video).
Noam Chomsky: “If the Palestinians do bring the issue to the Security Council and the US vetoes it, it will be just another indication of the real unwillingness to permit a settlement of this issue in terms of what has been for a long time an overwhelming international consensus.”
Ten years after 9/11, Noam Chomsky has just released an updated version of his book titled, “9-11: Was There An Alternative?,” which refers to the US assassination of Osama bin Laden and the continuity Chomsky sees between the Bush administration’s foreign policy and President Obama’s. “The policies change, but they are hostile. We should understand where atrocities come from. They do not come from nowhere. If we’re serious, we should try to do something about what is the basis for them.”
We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the horrendous atrocities of September 11, 2001, which, it is commonly held, changed the world. On May 1st, the presumed mastermind of the crime, Osama bin Laden, was assassinated in Pakistan by a team of elite US commandos, Navy SEALs, after he was captured, unarmed and undefended, in Operation Geronimo…
The 19th century … 2001 … today. Noam Chomsky sees hegemonic powers showing extreme contempt for democracy – and acting in ways they know will increase terrorism.
The [Washington] spectacle is even coming to frighten the sponsors of the charade. Corporate power is now concerned that the extremists they helped put in office may in fact bring down the edifice on which their own wealth and privilege relies, the powerful nanny state that caters to their interests.
In May, in a closed meeting of many of Israel’s business leaders, Idan Ofer, a holding-company magnate, warned, “We are quickly turning into South Africa. The economic blow of sanctions will be felt by every family in Israel.”
Both Bush and Obama are terrified of the Arab spring. And there is a very sensible reason for that. They don’t want democracies in the Arab world. If Arab public opinion had any influence on policy, the US and Britain had been tossed out of the Middle East. That’s why they are terrified of democracies in the region.
RELATED Repression in Bahrain
On May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in his virtually unprotected compound by a raiding mission of 79 Navy Seals, who entered Pakistan by helicopter. After many lurid stories were provided by the government and withdrawn, official reports made it increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law, beginning with the invasion itself.