Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Whats that you say Noam?

As I was browsing old Noam Chomsky articles I came across an excerpt from Chronicles of Dissent, which was published in 1992 and has been subsequently been uploaded onto the Internet. The article is a prime example as to how Chomsky's perpetrates a lie in an attempt to blacken the reputation of Israel and America.

The topic of the article is a solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Chomsky starts out by explaining that, "one possibility is a democratic secular society." But then Chomsky disregards that idea by stating that,"Virtually nobody is in favor of that. Some people[*] say they are, but if you look closely they're not really." Wait a second here wasn't Chomsky one of the original proponents of a 'bi-national' state in all of Palestine? Maybe he is trying to drop hints to the reader and tell them that he actually was never really "in favor" of the bi-national state idea only proposing in hopes of that it would lead to Israel's destruction? Whatever the case maybe, Chomsky now believes that, "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." He goes on to state that for the solution to work, "Israel [will have to be] 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."

The article starts to get interesting when Chomsky begins to argue who are proponents of the two-state solution and who are adversaries of the idea.

"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."[Emphasis are mine]


Whats that you say Noam the 'mainstream of the PLO' and 'major Arab states' have 'for a long time' supported a two state solution? And who do you think are the real enemies of peace in the Middle East? According to Chomsky, it's opposed, by the "rejection front in the Arab World" and "minority elements in the PLO." However, Chomsky concludes that, "crucially it's opposed by the leaders of the rejection front, namely the United States and Israel." He goes on to rave that, "The United States and Israel adamantly oppose it. The United States will not consider it. Both political groupings in Israel reject it totally." So it's really the Israelis, both political parties, and the Americas who are an impediment to peace in the Middle East. And the majority of the PLO and the Arab world are really the only one in the Middle East who support a two state solution.

It's time to examine the record and see who in the Middle East is actually opposed to what, and if Chomsky's world of make believe actually holds true. First the claim that, "all the major Arab states", have been proponents of a two state solution and have "been for a long time." If this is the case why when 'Palestine' (the West Bank and Gaza) were under Jordanian and Egyptian rule was their no sovereignty granted to the Palestinians? According to Chomsky "major Arab states", they don't get much more major that Egypt and Jordan, are in favor of a two state solution. But leaving that aside for the moment, why doesn't Chomsky let Arab leaders speak for themselves? If a majority of Arabs want a two state solution why doesn't he present the evidence? A look at comment made by officials in Arab world should suffice:

On June 24, 1951, the Iraq newspaper Filastin quoted Dr. Fadhil Jamali, the oil-rich Arab kingdom's Ambassador-at-Large and delegate to the UN: "Whoever thinks of making peace with the enemy signs the death warrant of all the Arab nations."

In mid-August, 1952, Cairo's Al Ahram quoted Brig. Gen. Adib Shishekly, then president of Syria:"The Middle East is not large. enough for both Jews and Arabs."

When Mohammed Naguib was Gamal Nasser's hand-picked president of Egypt, back in June, 1953, a story in Cairo's Al Yakzah quoted him as follows on the situation in the Middle East: "The only solution is Israel's disappearance."

On Nov. 15, 1953, The New York Times quoted Fawzi Mulki, then prime minister of Jordan: "Jordan's policy will continue to be 'no peace with Israel.'"

On Jan. 10, 1954, The Times quoted King Saud of Arabia: "Israel is like a cancer to the human body, and the only way of remedy is to uproot it . . . We Arabs total about 150,000,000. Why don't we sacrifice 10 million of our number and live in pride and self-respect?"

On April 12, 1954, Cairo's Al-Misri quoted Mohammed Salah-ad-Din:"We shall only have completed satisfaction when Israel is finally blotted out from the map of the Middle East. The Arabs will find no rest until this cancer has been removed from their heart."

On Oct. 15, 1954, Nasser's official mouthpiece, El-Gomhou1ia, said this:"Egypt and the Arabs must turn in the name of humanity and culture to all nations of the world who will aid in wiping Israel off the face of the map...."


Which part of the Arab world did Chomsky say has had a long history of supporting a two state solution?

The next mind boggling assertion made by Chomsky is that major elements in the PLO support a two state solution while only minor elements are against it. A simple glance at the PLO charter should suffice:

Article 2. Palestine with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate is a regional indivisible unit. [Dhimmi: Just in case you where wondering what part of Palestine the PLO charter was referencing when it uses the term Palestine: all of it.]

Article 17. The Partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are illegal and false regardless of the loss of time, because they were contrary to the wish of the Palestine people and its natural right to its homeland, and in violation of the basic principles embodied in the charter of the United Nations, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

Article 28. The Fundamental Law for the Palestine Liberation Organization is attached to this Covenant. This Law defines the manner of establishing the Organization, its organs, institutions, the specialities of each one of them, and all the needed duties thrust upon it in accordance with this Covenant. [Dhimmi: Just in case you were wondering to which elements are this covenant binding, I don't see a division between major and minor elements, do you Chomsky?]


Well, if the PLO, according to Chomsky, was going for a two state solution in Palestine you think they might have updated their charter. The last allegation that the, 'United States and Israel are adamantly oppose' to a two state solution,is so ridiculous that it doesn't even merit a response.



*I wonder if Noam is talking about Edward here? Hey, Noam if you ever stubble across my web page drop me a line and tell me who you were talking about here, I would love to know.


Update: While I was reading Arafat's War by Efraim Karsh, a wonderful book by the way, I came across this quote from Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser: "We will always see to it that they [Palestinians] do not become too powerful. Can you imagine yet another nation on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean!" This is very odd, Chomsky is claiming that the major Arab states have been in favor of a two state solution for a long time; Nasser wasn't even in favor of creating a Palestinian state. Chomsky is just plain wrong.


Update 2: Some more recent speeches by Arafat calling for the destruction of Israel:

As early as August 1968, Arafat defined the PLO's strategic objective as "the transfer of all resistance bases" into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel during the June 1967 war, "so that the resistance may be gradually transformed into a popular armed revolution." This, he reasoned, would allow the PLO to undermine Israel's way of life by "preventing immigration and encouraging emigration destroying tourism weakening the Israeli economy and diverting the greater part of it to security requirements [and] creating and maintaining an atmosphere of strain and anxiety that will force the Zionists to realize that it is impossible for them to live in Israel."

On May 10, 1994, Yasir Arafat gave what he thought was an off-the-record talk at a mosque while visiting Johannesburg, South Africa. But a South African journalist, Bruce Whitfield of 702 Talk Radio, found a way secretly to record his (English-language) remarks ... Arafat's bellicose talk in Johannesburg about a "jihad to liberate Jerusalem," had a major impact on Israelis, beginning a process of disillusionment that has hardly abated in the intervening years. No less damaging than his comments about Jerusalem was Arafat's cryptic allusion about his agreement with Israel. Criticized by Arabs and Muslims for having made concessions to Israel, he defended his actions by comparing them to those of the Prophet Muhammad in a similar circumstance:I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca.Arafat further drew out the comparison, noting that although Muhammad had been criticized for this diplomacy by one of his leading companions (and a future caliph), 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, the prophet had been right to insist on the agreement, for it helped him defeat the Quraysh and take over their city of Mecca. In a similar spirit,we now accept the peace agreement, but [only in order] to continue on the road to JerusalemIn the five years since he first alluded to Muhammad and the Quraysh, Arafat has frequently mentioned this as a model for his own diplomacy.

"We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem....All the rich Jews who will get compensation will travel to America....We of the PLO will now concentrate all our efforts on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps. Within five years we will have six to seven million Arabs living in the West Bank and in Jerusalem....You understand that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian State....I have no use for Jews; they are and remain Jews."
Yasser Arafat, Private speech entitled "The Impending Total Collapse of Israel", Stockholm, Sweden, January 30, 1996

The Oslo accords are comparable to "when the Prophet Mohammed made the Hudaibiya (Khudaibiya) agreement...we must learn from his steps...We respect agreements the way that the Prophet Mohammed respected the agreements which he signed." Mohammed in fact breached the agreement, pillaging Mecca and killing many of its citizens with whom he had come to the "peace" agreement.
Yasser Arafat, Egyptian Orbit TV, April 18, 1998

11 Comments:

At July 9, 2004 at 9:01 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"First the claim that, "all the major Arab states", have been proponents of a two state solution and have "been for a long time.""

Your whole argument and reasoning is based on the phrase "for a long time." isn't it?

You seem to define it by at least 50 years, other people might have other standards.

Chomsky, for example, has made his views know in numerous works as you would know if you read more than an article here and there as seems to be the case judging by what you wrote here.

You would know, that Chomsky advocated (and still does in principle) a binational state up to the 6 day war.

After that, the bi-national state was no longer realistic (assuming it was before), so he's been supporting a two state solution since then.

As have all the Arab states and all other states besides from Israel and the US (and ocasionally El Salvador, or the Marshall Islands).
You can see this if you check out votes on this question in the General Assembly of the UN.

So your qoutes from 1954, 52, etc. don't correlate to what Chomsky said or was referring to. His 'long time' refers to the time since 1967.

After reading a critique like this one, one is left with two options:

1. option:
You've read at least some of Chomsky's work [which one would expect since you run Chomskywatch], and you already know what I wrote above.
That means that are intentionally distorting facts.

2. option:
You haven't read much Chomsky apart from an internet essay here and there. That makes you unqualified to criticize Chomsky as you don't really know his views.

Which is true?

As for the PLO...
It's one thing what the PLO charter says and a comepletely different thing what the PLO can achieve and is working for.

"The last allegation that the, 'United States and Israel are adamantly oppose' to a two state solution,is so ridiculous that it doesn't even merit a response"

Oh, please do respond, and when you do, explain why the US and Israel have been the practically only ones voting _against_ the establishment of a Palestinian state in the UN General Assembly for a very long time now.

 
At July 9, 2004 at 11:12 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At July 9, 2004 at 11:19 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At July 9, 2004 at 11:22 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

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At July 9, 2004 at 11:32 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

For some reason Blogger is acting retarded and not allowing me to use certain tags to make some parts of this comment easy to read so I have posted it as a second update on the original article.

Luka,

First lets examine your claim that different people have different interpretation as to what 'for a long time' is and some elementary math. 1) The time difference between 1992, when the Chomsky article was published, and the 1952, is 40 years, not 50. 2) Determining whether 50, 40 years is a long time does not have to do with anyone's standards, it's a fact. 3) Chomsky purposely has left it vague so that he can as usual a) promote the lie that he wants to and b) deny that he ever said it.

Second Chomsky supported a binational state longer than you think:

"I[Alan M. Dershowitz] first debated Chomsky in 1973, several weeks after the Yom Kippur War. Chomsky's proposal at that time was consistent with the PLO party line. He wanted to abolish the state of Israel, and to substitute a "secular, binational state," based on the model of binational "brotherhood" that then prevailed in Lebanon. Chomsky repeatedly pointed to Lebanon, where Christians and Muslims "lived side by side," sharing power in peace and harmony. This was just a few years before Lebanon imploded in fratricidal disaster."
See: http://www-tech.mit.edu/V122/N25/col25dersh.25c.html

Third your claims that the quotes are too early how about these ones:

See main article update 2.And there are many many many more, but I won't waste my time on stuff everyone already knows.

As for your claim that the PLO Charter has nothing to do with what it is working for and what it is trying to achieve, the word laughable comes to mind.

In regards to America and Israel backing peace plans they have done so when it does not require a) Israel agreeing to Arab demands before negations begin and b) never agreed to a plan that tries to undermine Israel demographically i.e. full right of return. And that is something, destroy Israel through demographics, the Arabs have been trying to do for a longtime, and when I say a long time I mean it ;).

 
At July 10, 2004 at 2:51 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

The 50 years I war referring to was counting from now (2004). You are correct to point out that Chomsky made those remarks in 1992.

Will have to get back to you on Chomsky's views on this as I lent the book where I read his comments on this. Should have it back soon and I'll repost then.
I was posting from memory and could have been wrong on the timing.

Just to define 'long time'... Does 20 or 25 years also define 'a long time'?


As for the Arab states and the PLO...
I have no doubt that the elites in both the Arab states and the PLO would not lose much sleep if they drove all the Jews in to the Mediteranian and destroyed Israel. [or would lose much sleep because of celebrations]

But there is a difference between what one _wants_ to do and what one _can_ do.

My point was that since the 1967 war it's been pretty clear that the Arab states cannot do much.
That is part of why Sadat offered and the US and Israel refused peace in 1971.
They only agreed to it [on less favurable terms for US-Israel than were offered in '71, I might add] after Sadat showed some teeth in 1973.
And since then, Israel's military strength has only increased relative to its Arab neighbours.

So what is the reason, in your opinion, that US-Israel refused or voted against the General Assembly resolutions?

 
At July 10, 2004 at 11:58 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

As for the Sadat deal, as stated above Sadat was a) asking that Israel enter into negotiations already acquiescing to their demands b) he never announced it to his own people c) demanded the right of return, to destroy Israel d) in actuality the plan was first purposed by Moshe Dayan not Sadat e) the US ambassador was actually tougher on Israel to give in rather than Egypt rather than Israel which was unreasonable since Israel was not the ones putting preconditions before entering into negotiations f) the window for Sadat's 'peace' in 1971 was less than 6 months, this hardly shows that Sadat 'wanted' a real peace and g) at the time of the supposed peace Sadat was tiring to acquire weapons form the Soviets that were capable of attacking Israel. (For more information read Benny Morris, Righteous Victims (relevant sections), and Chaim Herzog The Yom Kippur War)

There you have it the Sadat 'peace' plan of 1971 on a silver platter, the conclusion is clear as to who was at fault for it's failure. As for the fact the peace only came after Sadat showed some teeth the word, there is more to it than that.

Lastly I already told you the reason why because they all were subversive ways to destroy Israel demographically. And as you pointed out since the Arabs wanted to do that and they couldn't do it physically that was the next best option.

This conversation is just going around and around is circles and missing the main point of my article. Chomsky said Arabs and the PLO have for a long time wanted peace with Israel. That is clearly not the 'case', that is the point I was trying to make. I think that is enough said on my part and I wont engage in anymore of this, you made your point clear.

 
At July 10, 2004 at 2:54 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

Dhimmi,

I have to first thank you for your replys.
My first contact with anti-Chomsky blogs was over at Benjamins a while ago and I've become used to let's say a lower standard of debate that you engage in.
It's refreshing as this is what I came here for -- to get a second (and third, fourth, etc.) opinion on Chomsky's and other people's writing.[I don't live in the States and don't have access to a library where I could check out books like the ones you recommended so this is one of the few options I have of those different opinions.]

I realize you have better things to do but I would appreciate if you could help me with references or specific factual questions I might have. Seems we're interested in the same topic but from different foci.

Now to my reply.

Let me first state how I understand the situation in 1971 with regard to Israel and the Arab states and Egypt in particular.
Israel [for whatever reasons] attacked [in self defence if you wish, doesn't have a bearing on what I have to say] the UAR in 1967 defeating them convincingly and in the process occupied the Sinai&Gaza (Egypt), the West Bank (Transjordan) and Syria (Golan hights).

Now, you say:
"As for the Sadat deal, as stated above Sadat was a) asking that Israel enter into negotiations already acquiescing to their demands"

Sadat was not demanding anything. He made a proposition -- peace and recognition of Israel in return for the Sinai which was part of Egypt but occupied by Israel.
There were no negotiations to be had -- this was a take it or leave it deal, as I understand it. Israel could have had peace with Egypt had it agreed to return the Sinai.
There was a big debate within the US administration which had up to then supported the view that Israel should withdraw from _all_ of the occupied territories. Within the administration, the Kissinger option won and the message was in the spirit of 'no deal'.
That forced Sadat to go to the Soviets for arms. He would not have needed to if Israel accepted basically the same deal in 1971 than it did in 1978, with the '78 deal being a bit worse for Israel&US.

"b) he never announced it to his own people"

Are you implying that this means he wasn't serious about it? It would hardly be prudent for a political leader to annouce he's ready to break up the 'Arab alliance' to [selfishly] make peace with a state he had been denouncing for a long time.

" c) demanded the right of return, to destroy Israel"

Could you please cite a reference to this claim, it's the first time I've seen it.

" d) in actuality the plan was first purposed by Moshe Dayan not Sadat "

Interesting. Why did he not accept it then?

"e) the US ambassador was actually tougher on Israel to give in rather than Egypt rather than Israel which was unreasonable since Israel was not the ones putting preconditions before entering into negotiations"

Well, Israel was the one occupying another country so it is understandable the US ambassador would be tougher on Israel.
Please post a reference too as this seems to be a direct contradiction of what Chomsky is saying.

"f) the window for Sadat's 'peace' in 1971 was less than 6 months, this hardly shows that Sadat 'wanted' a real peace"

Well, offering peace is usually a sign of 'wanting' peace, no?

"and g) at the time of the supposed peace Sadat was tiring to acquire weapons form the Soviets that were capable of attacking Israel."

And Israel was not acquireing weapons from the US that were not only capable but also did attack Egypt?
This hardly means that the peace offer was not genuine. I don't expect Israel do stop arming itself to prove it wants peace, you shouldn't expect the same from Egypt.

"There you have it the Sadat 'peace' plan of 1971 on a silver platter, the conclusion is clear as to who was at fault for it's failure."

It is, yes. It's interesting how we can both look at the same peace offer and come to diametrically oppsed conclusions.
I will for now stick with 'If A offers B peace and B rejects it, it is Bs fault that peace was not established.'
But I will look into the matter further (hopefully with your help).

"As for the fact the peace only came after Sadat showed some teeth the word, there is more to it than that."

Of course there is. I already ramble and didn't want to ramble too much. But it does seem to be the essence of what happened as the only difference between the '71 offer of peace and the one accepted in Camp David in '78 was that the Yom Kippur war influenced the thinking of Israeli and US planners.


As for the UN resolutions...
Guess I will have to read them again, don't remember them mentioning the right of return, though even if they did, this is a non-negotiable demand -- any person displaced from their home should either have the right of return or the right of compensation [the second being more likely in the case of Israel] after the war is over.



"This conversation is just going around and around is circles and missing the main point of my article."

True. Wanted to find out more since you obviousely know much. Will try to stick to topic more closely in the future.

"Chomsky said Arabs and the PLO have for a long time wanted peace with Israel. That is clearly not the 'case', that is the point I was trying to make."

I beg to differ.
It is the 'case', it just seems that you gave a different concept of 'a long time.'
And that you don't take peace offers from Arabs as credible.

Another factual question... Were there any Israeli peace offers in that time period?

" I think that is enough said on my part and I wont engage in anymore of this, you made your point clear."

OK. Would appreciate answers to factual questions if you find the time. Thanks

 
At July 12, 2004 at 1:57 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Luka,

I am going to make this as brief as possible.

1) For Sadat to assume that he will make demands and Israel will not even make a counter proposal is just poor statesmen ship. Everyone knows peace is a two way street and Sadat could not just dictate the terms and demand that Israel follow; that’s called dictatorship.

2) As for the right of return. Please see the following:

The political side of Sadat's two-pronged approach included his "peace initiative" launched in February 1971. In this Egyptian diplomatic offensive, Sadat proposed that if Israel withdrew her forces east of the Mitla and Gidi passes (about forty miles east of the Suez Canal in the Sinai Peninsula), Egypt would reopen the Suez Canal; officially declare a cease-fire; restore diplomatic relations with the United States; and sign a peace agreement with Israel, contingent upon the latter's fulfillment of the provisions of UN Resolution 242, which committed Israel to withdrawal from all occupied territories and resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1997/Jordan.htm (good article by the way)

Also from Sadat’s address to the Knesset in 1977:

Here I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that it is no use to refrain from recognizing the Palestinian people and their right to statehood and their right of return. http://www.mfa.gov.eg/getdoc.asp?id=47&cat=030103

I don’t think his views would change from 71 to 77.

3) Moshe Dayan actually proposed a similar idea of pulling out of the Sinai, but on a limited scale before Sadat did. However, since Sadat wanted an all for nothing deal it did not make much headway.

4) References on the net, well that’s going to be tough there isn’t much, I will look if anything pops up I will post if for you.

5) Israel was always propared to negociate with the Arabs and make peace with them:

will invite Israel’s neighbors, jointly and severally, either directly or through a friendly state, to conduct direct negotiations towards the signing of a peace treaty, without prior conditions on the part of anyone and without formulation of a solution drawn up from outside. (Israel’s Foreign Relations, Selected Documents, V4, p4)

From an ABC interview:

ABC Interviewer: Mr. Begin, the new Prime Minister, has asked the three Arab leaders – Assad, Sadat, Hussein, to meet to discuss a real peace in the Mideast, as [have] all Prime Ministers before Mr. Begin. The Arabs have refused to meet under these circumstances in the past. If they do not meet now with you, how will you then try to find a peace, if they won’t meet with you?
Dayan: Well, Mr. Begin did say that in case they don’t want to talk to us directly, then we shall do it through a mediator ... that is your people, the administration of the United States of America. (ABC, June 22, 1977 as reprinted in Israel’s Foreign Relations, V4, p6) http://world.std.com/~camera/docs/alert/npratone.html

However the Arab’s always wanted to force into a position where they could destroy here through other means, such as the right of return, and put preconditions before even starting to negotiate.

 
At July 14, 2004 at 3:17 PM, Blogger Joe Licentia said...

All of the claims in this post are refuted by Chomsky in "The Fateful Triangle." In that book he claims that the major Arab states moved to support of a two party solution, away from their previous rejectionist stand, in the years following the '67 war. Prior to that he regards them as rejectionist (as was Israel) but after the '67 war it changed to the Arab states (and eventually PLO) supporting a two-state solution but the US & Israel rejecting it. This book was written before the article you are replying to, so he is not intentionally being vague. If you really want to attack his views you need to read this book as well as his "Middle East Illusions" and refute them. The post I'm responding to is really, quite weak in light of those two books.

 
At July 14, 2004 at 5:16 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

That's a great opinion you have there Joe, why don't you try to explain why if it is the case that the PLO wanted peace with Israel for such a long time that a) the PLO charter is in direct contradiction to that claim and b) the numerous statements made by Arafat all his life including those after signing the DOP proclaim that he wants to destroy Israel?

 

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