Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Chomsky on Walt-Mearsheimer

I am very disappointed with Noam Chomsky's (NC) comments on the Walt-Mearsheimer paper on the Israel Lobby.

NC concludes, as he has many times in the past, that "the strategic-economic interests of concentrations of domestic power in the tight state-corporate linkage" is the primary factor in our support for Israel, not the Lobby.

While it may be true that from time to time other interests align with The Lobby's, it is absurd to argue that these other interests are the primary driver on US policy in the Mid East.

HR 4681 is a case in point. The bill does the following:

* Threatens U.S. assistance to NGOs in the Palestinian territories by putting it in the same category as aid to the PA, which is essentially prohibited. There is waiver for certain humanitarian aid categories.

* Designates Palestinian territory as a "terrorist sanctuary." This designation would trigger restrictions on U.S. exports to Palestinian territories.

* Restricts Palestinian diplomacy in the US.

* Targets the UN for supporting Palestinian human rights by defunding certain organizations.

* Denys Palestinians the ability to receive assistance through international financial institutions.

Can someone find a US business interest or State Department advocate for these policies? You can't becuase there are none. This is an AIPAC promoted bill.

And this is just one example. Even if this bill does not pass, there are many similar examples that demonstrate the same thing.

This bill provides substantial support to the premise behind the W-M paper - that The Lobby is a dominant influence on US Mid East policy. NC should ackowledge examples such as these, rather than dismiss the W-M paper with his tired old statements that have not held up over time.

More discussion on this point can be found here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chomsky has been critical of Israel but is still a Jewish Zionist at the end of the day.. He has always downplayed the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby...

The US will be bombing Iran next for Israel in accordance with the 'A Clean Break' agenda just like the US/UK did with Iraq.

U.S. Middle East policy CONTROLLED by pro-Israel lobby:


Judge hints that he would dismiss AIPAC case


Judge hints that he would dismiss AIPAC case

3/31/2006 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Jez said...

A long time since this post but I have to comment anyway.
Of course I don't expect much to change anyone's mind, but I'll have a go anyway!

The idea, that Chomsky is a 'jewish zionist' (in the modern sense) is at best laughable. In fact, it is my opinion, that Walt&Mearsheimer have done more (consciously or unconsciously) for US-Israeli relations than many other people.
I have just listened to an interview of them on the BBC. What I found 'funny' was that they themselves said they had recieved a great deal of interest after their article. Indeed, isn't it amazing, given the censorship practised by the israeli lobby, which they themselves say exists. In fact, I am sure they recieved much more global interest than anything Chomsky or Norman Finkelstein write. Perhaps (and this is just a guess), it's because, W&M don't really do that much harm (indeed perhaps quite the opposite) to US-ISraeli relations, and the israeli lobby (or at least AIPAC and other powerful members) is quite happy to go along for the ride and provide symbolic criticism, rather that actual censorship as is the case with Chomsky and FInkelstein.
Of course, all this sounds very conspirationist. I don't necessarily think, that the israeli lobby (or even AIPAC) and the US government sit round a table along with israeli leaders. Maybe they do, but I don't think there is enough evidence to say that.
I just think all these people's interests come together. I don't think it's that coincidental really. It could very well be, that there are those within the neo-cons for whom Israel is morally/emotionally important as well as being a key regional ally for the US. It should be noted, however, that pre-1967, France was Israel's biggest ally. Prior to that, was the US israeli lobby too weak? Or was it perhaps, that the US role in the middle east was less important than the french (and british) and less than after that? I believe the latter, although I agree the lobby has had a role, and I don't think Chomsky denies that either.

The idea, that the US want to support palestinians but is prevented from doing so by AIPAC is, again pretty laughable to me.The US is supposed to be a democracy, as is Israel. Of course it's gonna act like the well-being of palestinians is important to them (just as 'dovish' israelis do).
All the best

11/24/2007 03:16:00 AM  
Blogger Jez said...

I would like to add, that I am a supporter of a binational state, ie. an end to the zionist state of Israel. I believe that is still what Chomsky believes in (he was a binational zionist in his youth), though he is pragmatic and says, that such a state cannot exist right now. I think no-one can truthfully disagree with that analysis, even if an honest and fair two-state solution doesn't really seem to be on the cards either. To be entirely honest, I don't know what the way forward is!

11/24/2007 03:29:00 AM  

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