Nader Talks About Israel Lobby Implicitly, Chomsky Doesn’t

on 10 Comments

Ralph Nader is emerging as a leading critic of the Israel lobby. Here in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, calling for the reinstatement of Jimmy Carter in the Democratic pantheon in the face of pro-Israel pressure:

A sign that [Obama] is determined to set the peace process on course is
whether he expresses his regrets about the suppression of a former
president whose views on the Palestinian question reflect those of many

Meanwhile, Noam Chomsky was on Democracy Now and, Idrees Ahmad tells me:

He spoke about Emanuel's appointment, but there was no
mention of Israel, the lobby or even Emanuel's hawkish stance on I-P.
Chomsky instead passed him off — as he does all of the Israel lobby
– as part of an undifferentiated, monolithic 'Elite', which
constitutes everything form 'corporations' to the New York Times to
Brzezinski (he for some reason ranks very high in Left demonology;
he's ubiquitous, even if he hasn't held any office or done anything
significant in nearly 30 years. Indeed, compared to Obama's foreign
policy team he comes across as a Pinko. Some of it may have to do with
simple misrepresentation, in which, unfortunately, Chomsky himself
sometimes indulges. e.g., see this article: (from it you'd get the
impression that ZB was actually a backer of the war).

Also, a couple of weeks back I went to Edinburgh to attend a
booklaunch by the Independent Jewish Voices. The wonderful Brian Klug
was there, who gave a moving talk about the impulse behind the launch
of the organization and the book. However, I was a little disappointed
to see that of the more than two dozen contributions in the book, not
one dealt with the lobby

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10 Responses

  1. Jack Ross
    November 25, 2008, 9:28 pm

    All true about Chomsky, but Nader has his own baggage. He has the oddest way of not being able to talk about anything but "the Israeli peace movement" whenever he talks about the issue. I'm as much for an/the Israeli peace movement as the next guy, but it is neurotic.

    Also, the bit about Carter has gotten wildly exaggerated. Carter was cheered on stage and greeted warmly by Nancy Pelosi at the Democratic convention – at the Republican convention, the elder Bush never left his skybox and Dick Cheney was nowhere in sight. And for God's sake, Alan Dershowitz's screams of "I did it!!!" need to be seen for the unhinged megalomania they are.

  2. liberal white boy
    November 26, 2008, 6:57 am

    Chomsky, A Man And His Linguistics…The Interview Noam Chomsky Didn't Want To Do

    link to

  3. observer
    November 26, 2008, 10:21 am

    Anyone really believe that if given an actual offer, Carter would have refused making a live speech at the DNC?

    The issue is obvious, even though Carter has stated it was his own
    decision not to do so.

    On the other foot, Why would Carter give such cover?

  4. jonathan ekman
    November 26, 2008, 12:50 pm

    That millions of Americans take Chomsky's worthless political ramblings seriously is
    a sad commentary on their ignorance of the world. His work in linguistics aside, Chomsky is an intellectual fraud who has made a great deal of money as an oracle of the left to
    the foolish and gullible.

  5. JamieSW
    November 26, 2008, 1:20 pm

    In his essay discussing the election, which makes many of the same points he made in the speech broadcast on Democracy Now, Chomsky does address Obama's likely position on Israel/Palestine.

    That he failed to mention Emanuel's position on Israel is far more likely to be an oversight connected to lack of time or space than a deliberate or 'telling' omission. Chomsky has never been afraid to talk about the lobby: he's addressed it directly and repeatedly. His estimation of its role in influencing U.S. policy just differs from yours.

  6. Rowan Berkeley
    November 26, 2008, 1:26 pm

    I see it the other way round. In my opinion, Chomsky's work on linguistics is worthless, but his political views, while somewhat woolly and anarchistic, represent an acceptable, accessible, anecdotal first approach to the formal analysis of imperialism by, e.g., Immanuel Wallerstein.

  7. Steve Sailer
    November 26, 2008, 6:45 pm

    Zbig is part of the powerful global Polish elite, so that's why Chomsky obsesses over him.

  8. Eva Smagacz
    November 26, 2008, 9:24 pm

    Powerful global Polish elite?

    Libel! libel!
    Typical example of shameful Anti-Polism polluting these pages!

    (Joke alert – couldn't help it ;-))

  9. chubby
    November 27, 2008, 7:55 am

    @Liberal White Boy–Outstanding!

    @Steve Sailer–"Powerful global Polish elite" :-)!!!!!!!

  10. ifnotnowwhen
    November 27, 2008, 12:03 pm

    Yeah, the Polish elite is really powerfull.

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