Paul Bogdanor is the editor, with Edward Alexander, of The Jewish Divide Over Israel: Accusers and Defenders (Transaction Publishers, 2006), the most comprehensive reply to Jewish anti-Zionists ever published. He is currently writing a study of the Jewish rescue negotiations with the Nazis during the Holocaust in Hungary. Helives in England.
As a defamer of his fellow Jews, Noam Chomsky is in a class of his own. “Hitler’s conceptions,” he once wrote, “have struck a responsive chord in current Zionist commentary.” Israel, he added, is guilty of planning a “final solution” for humanity, an apocalypse from which “few will escape.” The world-famous MIT professor and far-left intellectual guru has described the PLO as “heroic,” while vilifying America’s Jewish community as “deeply totalitarian.” He has collaborated with Holocaust deniers, allowing them to publish and distribute his books, and he gave his endorsement to an antisemitic author (the late Israel Shahak) who alleged that observant Jews pray to the Devil.
But these efforts pale before the cause that has animated Chomsky for the past decade. That cause is solidarity with the blood-drenched perpetrators of Islamist terror.
The fact that Iran’s rulers want to annihilate Israel is not in dispute among informed people. The ayatollahs and their accessories have characterized the Jewish state as a “cancerous tumor” that must be “uprooted from the region,” a “dried, rotten tree that will collapse with a single storm,” a “filthy microbe,” a “stinking corpse,” a “germ of corruption” that “will be wiped off the face of the world.” But as Chomsky sees it, “Israel and the United States are both threatening Iran with destruction.” Iran, declares Chomsky, would be “crazy” not to build nuclear bombs to counter this threat.
In 2006, Chomsky visited Lebanon, where he basked in the warm affections of Hezbollah. These terrorists, he announced, are perfectly justified in keeping their arms (which include tens of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel’s civilian population) as a “deterrent to potential aggression.” Some may recall the uses to which Hezbollah’s weapons have already been put: the slaughter of hundreds of American peacekeepers, the destruction of American and Israeli embassies, the indiscriminate bombardment of Israeli towns and cities, the massacre of Jews as far afield as Argentina. Was it for this, one wonders, that Chomsky allowed himself to be filmed greeting leaders of Hezbollah as long-lost friends?