Petitions, Chomsky and Hypocrisy
One of the staples of the Chomskyan lifestyle is to sign petitions. Chomsky has signed and lent intellectual support for petitions that proclaim, "Robert Faurisson [Dhimmi: a know holocaust denier] has served as a respected professor ... [who] has been conducting extensive independent historical research into the 'Holocaust' question" to one which condemned Israel in advance for an expulsion that never occurred. It almost seems as if doesn't matter how controversial or how bizarre Chomsky just needs just to sign them.
One of the more interesting petitions that Chomsky has supported in recent years is one that calls for the divestment of Israeli companies by Universities. At first he called divestment "a big mistake", sighting fodder for US-Israel atrocities, how he has yet to explain, but it seems he gave into his anti-Israel temptation and signed the petition anyway. Furthermore, Chomsky was instrumental in getting people to sign the petition, as Steven Pinker noted, "There is no question that Chomsky influenced the petition-signers". He also was a keynote speaker at a teach in sponsored by HarvardMITdivest.org.
The petition is by all accounts an anti-Israel screed. It attacks Israel on all fronts and claims that Harvard and MIT should cease all contact with Israeli companies until they and they alone acquiesce, "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from occupied territories... Israel's use of legal torture be ended... Israel ceases building new settlements, and vacates existing settlements" The article makes no mention of Arab crimes against Israel, Arab torture, or Syria occupied Lebanon, only Israel and Israel alone is condemned.
Leaving those points aside, the petition ends with condemnation of what the signers perceive as Israel's non-acceptance of UN Resolution 194:
Israel acknowledges in principle the applicability of United Nations Resolution 194 with respect to the rights of refugees, and accepts that refugees should either be allowed to return to their former lands or else be compensated for their losses, as agreed by the Palestinians and Israelis in bilateral negotiations.
If until now the duplicity of the divestment petition doesn't become apparent it should. To claim that one will sanction Israel until it recognizes the rights of the Palestinians to "return to their former lands or else be compensated for their losses"
, while ignoring the millions of Jewish refugees that where expelled from Arab lands
is above and beyond hypocrisy. In fact the resolution specifically left out claims as to which refugees because of the fact that Jews where made refugees as well. When Chomsky was once asked about the double standard he sneered, "Even if the petition had singled out Israel ... it would be an absurdity reminiscent of the worst days of Stalinism to call that anti-Semitic."
Chomsky once said:
There's a famous definition in the Gospels of the hypocrite, and the hypocrite is the person who refuses to apply to himself the standards he applies to others. By that standard, the entire commentary and discussion of the so-called War on Terror is pure hypocrisy, virtually without exception. Can anybody understand that? No, they can't understand it.
I think there is a need for a rewrite here and it should go something like this:
There's a famous definition in the Gospels of the hypocrite, and the hypocrite is the person who refuses to apply to himself the standards he applies to others. By that standard, the entire commentary and discussion of the so-called divestment from Israel is pure hypocrisy, virtually without exception. Can Chomsky understand that? No, he can't understand it.