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  • Nobel peace laureates and celebrities call for military embargo on Israel
    • I respect you all, but would you please give the book-length Chomsky discussions a rest. . . . but he’s just not THAT relevant to current events, and we lost Hostage in a big IAMRITE! fight over Chomsky minutiae.


      I've dropped in to explain why I'm giving MW a rest. I've never liked to see all these articles about Blankfort, Chomsky, Finklestein, Corsanti, Slater, Atzmon, Berlin, et al. I've even suggested articles on other news and issues that I thought might be of more interest. These mini-seminars on political correctness and ankle biting tend to drown-out that other stuff and never resolve anything. The recent policy of quickly closing comments on articles has made it almost impossible to carry-on a thoughtful or intelligent conversation down here in the peanut gallery in any event.

    • It’s not a misrepresentation. In the interview I linked, he tells Frank Barat that the Harvard BDS petition was called “pure antisemitism. Unfortunately that was with justice”. (4:37 )

      Of course it was, and it still is a deliberate misrepresentation on your part. I already brought that fact to your attention. link to

      Unlike you, many of us have to honestly engage real Zionist activists and family members, who are not complete idiots. They are only too happy to point out that terror organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are fully represented in the organizations that style themselves as the BDS National Committee. They invariably sidetrack debates about BDS into ad hominem arguments about the anti-semites and terror organizations that they claim are officially represented in the Palestinian BDS National Committee - who have called for the destruction of Israel by violent means. That was the subject that Chomsky was actually talking about and the one you studiously ignored. The fact that you are still repeating the baseless charges, simply illustrates your bad faith.

      FYI, for those of you, like Jones here, who still need a clue: a) The Palestinian BDS National Committee is portrayed as a wide coalition of the largest Palestinian organisations, trade unions, networks and NGOs, including the major Palestinian political parties and their paramilitary government council and resistance forces, e.g. the "Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine" - the very first organization listed in the endorsements to the 2005 BDS Call to Action. link to

      The Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine claimed they were coordinating their BDS activities with the Palestinian National Authority in a joint declaration made in 2001, which called on civil society organizations to establish and coordinate the BDS movement itself:

      Following is the statement issued by the National and Islamic Forces on February 10, 2001; signatories are: Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fateh); Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas); Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP); Palestinian People’s Party (PPP); Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA); Palestinian Popular Struggle Front; Palestinian Liberation Front; Islamic Jihad Movement; Arab Liberation Front; Palestinian Arab Front; Popular Front—General Command; Islamic National Salvation Party; and Popular Liberation War Pioneers (Sa’iqa):
      The National and Islamic Forces are looking forward to see the reinforcement of the roles of all forces in the Palestinian people in comprehensive confrontation; the forces call on the popular institutions and organizations to activate the activities of the committees of right of return and boycotting Israeli products and against normalization. The forces stress on the need to organize popular conferences in which the national and Islamic forces will join the civil society institutions in activating their role in the Intifada. Coordination of these activities between these forces and the PNA institutions reflects the integration and interaction of the struggle climate that reinforces the escalation, development and sustainability of the blessed Intifada.

      link to

      The fact that Fateh, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, et al were listed among the main instigators of the 2005 call for action; were represented as members of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (via the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine); and were designated as terror organizations in many countries, may have escaped Frank Barat's notice, but it did not go unnoticed by Israeli officials or the Lobby. The Zionists invariably note that those organizations engaged in incitement, anti-semitic propaganda, and holocaust denial programs sponsored by the PNA, e.g. See:
      *The ADL's entry on the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces
      link to
      *The WINEP page on official Hamas positions on the myth of the Holocaust and examples of Palestinian anti-semitism link to
      * The protocols to the Middle East Quartet's Performance based Road Map that required "All official Palestinian institutions to end incitement against Israel." link to

      The Mondoweiss peanut gallery can dodge those issues, but Chomsky doesn't have that luxury. He has to respond to folks, like Deshowitz at Harvard/MIT, and pundits like Israeli Ambassadors Dore Gold, Michael Oren, and Dr. Alan Baker. Mr. Jones still hasn't acknowledged or responded to the latter's comments about the hypocrisy of calling those organizations forces "non-violent Palestinian civil society organizations". They were literally at the top of the list of Unions, Associations, and Campaigns that endorsed the 2005 BDS Call to Action:

      The list of endorsing organizations includes illegal associations, terror organizations, and their affiliates, such as the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which is a coordination forum for all Palestinian terror organizations in their ongoing fight against Israel. This forum includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Liberation Front (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada).

      link to

      I pointed out in a private email to Phil, that:

      I disagree with Chomsky and Finkelstein on the subject of the applicability and pertinence of international law to the subject of the right of return and minority rights in Israel. But, that is a subject that requires nuanced discussion and education. I decided that, after more than 10,000+ comments on that and related subjects, I really have nothing left to say at MW that is likely to change anyone's attitude on the subject.
      Chomsky and Finkelstein have attracted a lot of undue attention and criticism for saying exactly the same things about "the right of return, in principle" versus “what is attainable” that Rashid Khalidi and other Palestinians were saying almost 20 years ago in essays like “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: Elements of a Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Issue” (in the Ghada Karmi & Eugene Cotran eds. The Palestinian Exodus – 1948-1988, Ithaca Press, 1999). Other than labelling things as "hypocrisy" and "fringe thinking," I can't imagine anything that Chomsky or Finkelstein have said on the subjects of: 1) what is likely to come next; 2) the role of a 2SS as a possible incremental step on the road to a 1SS; 3) doubts about the immediate "effectiveness" of BDS as a form of non-violent resistance; 4) the need to educate the public about BDS; 5) the strengths and weaknesses of the Israel Lobby; and 6) the role of American imperialism and the responsibility of the United States government in facilitating, prolonging, and worsening the conflict that can't be found in "Palestinian" sources, like Khalidi's works or public statements, including: "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: Elements of a Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Issue"; "Sowing Crisis: the Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East"; "Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East"; his video welcoming address to the PennBDS seminar; and "Brokers of Deceit: How the US Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East". Electronic Intifada has taken Khalidi to task in the review of his latest book for the failure to mention the global BDS movement, but it would be mental masturbation to suggest that those works and statements reflect the author's liberal Zionist views or that Khalidi and other Palestinians who express them are "PEP".

      P.S. Like Chomsky, Khalidi downplays the role of the Israel lobby in American policy-making across the Middle East. link to

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • In spite of having provided Chomsky’s quote re S in BDS, you claimed he had not provided it. When he cited it again for the 6th time, you dismissed it and want to argue the merits of whether the S in BDS has meaning.

      Lol! Chomsky's quote? You mean in spite of have cobbled together two or three related ideas snatched from different parts of the article and trying to restate Chomsky's entire proposition. That's not providing a quote.

      Frankly this kind of article has convinced me to pull my subscription here and pick-up my remote.

    • That is true, but that’s not the point you have argued so strenuously. You’ve argued that they haven’t tried.

      The overwhelming majority of organizations that have signed-on to the 2005 call haven't tried anything.

    • That’s Chomsky resorting to the rationale that Israel is irrational and thus cannot be held singularly responsible for it’s actions. So he demands we bundle the US in with Israel accountability and widen the nett so much that it becomes diluted and meaningless.

      No describing a situation as "a joint criminal enterprise" (JCE) is so common that the international criminal tribunals have developed doctrines covering several modes of liability for war crimes and crimes against humanity. I've commented here on many occasions that the illegal settlements are a joint criminal enterprise involving both Israeli and US government officials.

    • W. Jones you are resorting to the same rhetorical device to put words in Chomsky's mouth that he never uttered.

      He was saying that sanctions harm everyone, and you can't impose sanctions on victims, when they aren't on board and already calling for them. He never said a word about obtaining the consent of the perpetrators of the crime of apartheid or persecution in either Israel or South Africa. He was drawing a comparison between the victims in both cases and saying that the majority in Africa supported them and were demanding them, while the majority in Israel were not as of 2004. He never changed the subject or mentioned "Israeli Jews" in the interview as you and others keep trying to suggest. While some subjects of international law require the consent of all the parties concerned, that doesn't apply to international criminal law where individual consent is irrelevant.

    • Just to clarify, the pro-human rights commentors here generally don’t reject the idea of asking politicians for sanctions, but Chomsky did in his interview with Safundi:

      Just to clarify, there is no doubt that Chomsky supported BDS to end the occupation in 2004.

      Palestinian citizens of Israel object to the idea of being included in a Palestinian state. In 2004, when Chomsky gave the interview they were not calling for a boycott of Israel proper, only BDS aimed at ending the occupation. Chomsky did not say that permission was needed from the Israeli perpetrators as you and other have falsely alleged. He said that BDS harms the victims along with everyone else in the targeted country and that it should not be imposed, unless the victims are on board and calling for it, like the earlier example in South Africa. He talked about the need to educate them on the subject. In any event, we've crossed that threshold a long time ago. There are Israeli groups, academics, and individuals who have called for BDS until Israel complies with international law regarding equal rights for Israelis.

    • just because Jeff Blankfort takes apart your view of the US-Israel relationship doesn’t make him intellectually dishonest.

      In the past, I've pointed-out that Blankfort's accusation that Chomsky is determined to keep Israel and Israeli Jews from being punished by sanctions is not consistent with Chomsky's published views on the subject. For example, the Chomsky Reader (1987) criticized the US government for blocking sanctions against Israel, despite the fact the Carter Administration had repeatedly declared the settlements to be illegal.

      I agree with much of what Blankfort has to say on a variety of subjects, but his article on Chomsky is tendentious ankle biting.

    • Even if they were being discussed, mere discussion is not Chomsky’s criterion. Chomsky’s criterion is whether they are “on the horizon”, AKA realistic. He wants BDS to call itself BD “since sanctions are not on the horizon”.

      You don't seem to be able to tell the difference between criticism of the movement and the desirability of sanctions, like those that were imposed on South Africa and ineffective tactics. Chomsky is not saying that sanctions should be abandoned, because they are ineffective, he is sarcastically suggesting that they should be pursued with much more vigor or the letter should be dropped from the name.

    • “It’s a hundred times worse any place else” is not a sacred cow.

      I notice that you continue to misquote what he actually said. Worse still, the only evidence you produce comes from a video interview of him speaking extemporaneously. He and Barat spend 40 minutes talking about the situation and Chomsky points out that there are two different languages and cultures and that the solution is going to be a bi-national state, unless you impose a solution and want to reproduce the bloody history of Europe.

      So lets cut through some of the obfuscation. What he actually said about "the three steps" was a reply made to Frank Barat. "Yes I mean all of these things are the right thing to do. It's a 100 times worse in the United States, or England, or in any other country you [i.e. Frank Barat] talk about."

      Frank Barat is a human rights activist that doesn't talk about "the Scandinavian countries" as you suggested. He talks about the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, but mostly talks about Israel-Palestine and the Israeli occupations of parts of Lebanon, and Syria. Chomsky was commenting about Barat's "perspective", not the audience's perspective.

      I own a copy of the book Barat co-authored with Chomsky and Pappe and I'm familiar with his other English-language work. You obviously can't dismiss the hundreds of thousands of dead that the US and UK have inflicted in their decade long wars, or the numbers of dead in the wars in Lebanon and Syria. So you misquote Chomsky and employ a shift of the rhetorical device in question from "the perspective of the subjects that Barat talks about", to "any place else" at all. If you can find support for your thesis in Chomsky's published works, then it might be more convincing than misquoting what he said a dozen times.

    • No, you still haven’t quoted Chomsky ~Hostage Here you go:

      Once again you still haven't shown me what government sanctions the movement has called for with respect to Israel proper in recent years, that haven't been completely watered down. You haven't mentioned what effective actions the movement has taken that obtained government sanctions against Israel proper. What does putting an "S" in the acronym and arguing about it do for you, if its this devoid of meaning and content? I couldn't agree more with Chomsky's criticism, but he is not condemning the use of sanctions as you suggest. He's saying the Emperor has no clothes and the name should really be BD based upon its actions.

    • Chomsky is OK with boycotting settlements, but he is not OK with boycotting the Israeli State proper.

      Chomsky's books support an arms embargo, termination of foreign assistance to Israel, and termination of the special relationship. He says that BDS is the right thing to do. He simply adds that it invites the glass house argument and is the height of hypocrisy if you don't also call for BDS against others too. Whether you care to admit it or not, Israel relies on the special relationship and it won't abandon the status quo, so long as we are willingly covering its ass. The US has committed genocides in its own right, more than once, just ask a Native American or a Filipino. Its numerous wars in Asia, have resulted in millions of deaths and millions of refugees. It can't find the decency to release the innocent prisoners from Guantanamo that have long-since been cleared of any charges by our own Combatant Status Review Tribunal. We can't get our own Nobel peace prize winning President to stop using his fleet of CIA drones to murder civilians, including innocent bystanders in countries around the globe.

    • Then tell who is the *consensus* he speaks of?, and see if you can do it with being nasty.

      Surely, on an official level the majority of the world's population lives in countries that recognize the State of Palestine. The numerical majority of countries recognize Palestine. A simple majority of countries recognize both Israel and Palestine.

      Most international intergovernmental organizations have formally endorsed the two state solution. The relevant General Assembly resolutions 181(II), 194(III), 67/19 (2012) and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1515 (2003), and 1860 (2009) have long since been incorporated in the framework of conventional international agreements like the Camp David and Oslo accords and the Quartet Road Map.
      In the West, a plethora NGOs, churches, and PACS with the largest number of members favor a 2ss.

      At the grassroots level, opinion polls show most people support a two state solution, whether they think it will ever happen or not. Many people who prefer a single state solution think a two state solution could be a precursor to a single state, e.g. link to

    • But it is not South African–style apartheid.~Chomsky))
      By the way, you can’t really go on what Chomsky is saying here about Apartheid. Has contradicted himself in his interview with Safundi and in his lecture at IAW at Harvard about whether there is Apartheid inside or outside the Green Line. In his interview with Safundi he said that there was Apartheid in the Green Line

      I don't have any trouble parsing that at all. Israeli Apartheid isn't like South African-style Apartheid and we'd all waste a lot less time by simply calling it "the crime of persecution" ala the Nuremberg Charter and the Goldstone report. I've said as much myself right here at MW.

    • This by far is Chomsky’s worst misunderstanding/malinterpreting. The way he speaks of Palestinians rights in Israel shows he has no clue as to what their status really is like.

      I seriously doubt that. Chomsky is citing the glass house reaction of others, not himself and saying that they need more education on the subject before the tactics will be effective. If you look at the public reactions to the ASA boycott, it's hard to take issue with him at this point in time.

      When people ask me questions about the state of the law, they often get angry at the answers I provide and jump to the conclusion that I approve of the work done by lawmaking bodies or the courts. That's the sort of thing that happens with Chomsky all of time.

    • I don’t think AIPAC played much of a role in [the first Gulf War]~Chomsky

      I don't think so either. There were already 500,000 US personnel alone in the Gulf before the Congress adopted the "Authorization of the Use of U.S. Armed Forces Pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 with Respect to Iraq (P.L. 102-1, 105 Stat. 3, January 14, 1991 [H.J.Res. 77])", on January 14, 1991. They had been there for six months. link to

      The text of the statute noted that the previous, 101st Congress had adopted resolutions that condemned Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and declared their support for international action to reverse Iraq’s aggression" (H.J.Res. 658 and S.Con.Res. 147). Most experts agreed that the Commander-in-Chief already had the necessary authorizations on that basis and the strength of the UN resolutions and the new AUMF was just icing on the cake.

      There were about 900,000 personnel in all who thought it was pretty much an after thought. The UN Security Council and a coalition of 30 other countries had already authorized the use of force and had long since issued their ultimatums.

      Chomsky was talking about AIPAC, but your sources are talking about "The Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf". That Committee was non-existent and irrelevant when the first elements of the US Armed Forces deployed to the Gulf on 8 August 1990. AIPAC and the Congress were not even in the picture at that point.

    • Not in his major work on the subject, “Fateful Triangle”.

      That was about the United States, Israel, and Palestine. His article on the specific subject said it and it explained why the Lobby isn't omnipotent. See The Israel Lobby? link to

    • So Chomsky puts the kabbosh on the myth of the SA apartheid slander. Of course he says whats happening in the west bank is :”worse’ but not because of the human rights abuses by Israel.

      You wish, but it's only in your feeble imagination at play.

    • Chomsky’s criticism of calling the movement BD”S” was that sanctions are not on the horizon, not that activists lack effort in asking officials for sanctions.

      Chomsky didn't say that you did. Whatever tactics activists are using to pressure US officials to adopt sanctions, they have certainly been ineffective so far.

    • If all one needs to see is that another country has applied sanctions, then one can point out that Arab countries applied sanctions on the Israeli State in the 1940′s-1970′s too.

      Citizens and businesses in the US were never prohibited from supporting Indian and UN sanctions by anything like the US antiboycott laws under the Export Administration Act or the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). I think Chomsky addressed that issue by pointing out that Congress blocked attempts by the Reagan administration to do the same sort of thing to the South African boycott in the 80s.

    • but did not actually have US agencies supplying arms to them?

      Of course the War Department was disposing of surplus military equipment at the end of World War II when the federal government was reducing a massive inventory of surplus military equipment by selling it to civilians. In those days serving in the armed forces of another country could result in loss of US citizenship, so the War Department's blessing was necessary for individuals like Col. Mickey Marcus to serve in the Israeli military. link to

      The US government looked the other way when Machal volunteers involved in war crimes or crimes against humanity returned to this country after the war of independence. link to

    • You might try reading his Influences article again, because you are not actually doing a good job of describing or summarizing his views, which he explains are considered to be anti-Zionist nowadays. link to

      Take stock, Hostage, of the fact that intolerance has actually increased in Israeli attitudes since the state was founded.

      Because Deir Yassin, the forced evictions of Ramle and Lyyda, the punishment imposed on Kafr Qasim for violating the curfew, and the imposition of martial law and the Defense Emergency Regulations from 1949 to 1966 were so progressive and liberal by the standards of civilization that applied at the time?

    • Hostage, As for your claim ” you are not even trying to quote what he said in good faith”, just compare:
      Chomsky: ((the abbreviation should be “BD,” since sanctions, or state actions, are not on the horizon))

      The fact is that organizations, like JVP and the Campaign to End the Occupation, can raise money to send representatives to TIAA-CREF shareholder meetings; Methodist and Presbyterian conventions; Occupy AIPAC, & etc. Nobody is inviting us to testify before Congressional hearings on foreign assistance, the arms trade treaty, & etc. If you've seen the reception that Medea Benjamin has received on Capitol Hill, I'd go out on a limb and guess that an arms embargo against Israel isn't in the cards right at the moment. That doesn't mean that I oppose sanctions, as you suggest in the case of Chomsky, just that there is no realistic prospect or effective grassroots action to produce such an outcome.

    • First, I think that you just showed that he called the BDS petition anti-semitic.

      Second of all, the BDS demand for refugees’ return is not “anti-semitic”, because it is not about racism, but about refugees’ rights. And if borders are redrawn, it could occur without removing the Israeli State.

      No, you act as if you've never heard anyone comment about giving the western or European Jewish colonists their comeuppance once the Palestinians become the majority and the refugees return. Opponents, like Dr. Alan Baker, point to the Palestinian civil society organization at the top of the list of Unions, Associations, and Campaigns that endorsed the 2005 BDS Call to Action:

      The list of endorsing organizations includes illegal associations, terror organizations, and their affiliates, such as the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which is a coordination forum for all Palestinian terror organizations in their ongoing fight against Israel. This forum includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Liberation Front (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (acknowledged as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada).

      -- link to

      It may come as a great surprise to you, but some of those groups call for the destruction of Israel in words that can, and have been, labeled as anti-semitic, with some justification.

      So Chomsky listened patiently to the so-called BDS petition and pointed out that fact - and nonetheless stated "Yes, all of those are the right thing to do." He noted that it wasn't a very effective tactic to discuss the right of return in that context, because serious BDS discussions at Harvard and MIT had been sidetracked by some, not Chomsky, who claimed it was anti-semitic.

      Whether Hamas or Likud are racists is not my top concern. If your aim is to guarantee equal fundamental rights for everyone in a single state, then you need to understand they apply to the little rock throwing kids on either side of the conflict, whether they grow-up to be Likudniks or members of Hamas. Their "human rights are universal and inalienable; indivisible; interdependent and interrelated." Once you are born in a country, you become a legal fact on the ground. You have a right to be there, and to leave and return to your country of origin, even if your ancestors were colonists.

      Read in that light, comments about discarding the international consensus 2ss can, and have been, decried as anti-semtic because they supposedly deny Jews the right to self-determination and Israel's right to exist. Mankind will never get back all of the time wasted answering that canard in courtrooms, on campuses, or Internet forums. The only logical way to end the mental masturbation is to either impose GA 181 and 194 and SC 242, 338, 1515, and 1860 or demand that the UN repeal the 2ss.

    • The commenters here don’t reject lobbying the government for sanctions.

      Well I know that the members of JVP and the Campaign to End The Occupation have mission statements, petitions, and advertisements calling for an end to US foreign aid and arms sales to Israel. Some of the credit for that goes to Chomsky, who has been calling for that as both an activist and advisor longer than some of the commenters here, "who don't reject" the idea, have alive.

    • Hello, again, Hostage.
      Why are you so offended by criticisms of Chomsky’s attacks on BDS?

      Because you are such an arrogant and artless prevaricator. Chomsky has written entire volumes that amount to criminal indictments regarding the Israeli and US partnership in war crimes against Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria and has called for sanctions to address those crimes. He has endorsed calls for termination of foreign assistance to Israel and Egypt and an arms embargo in addition to writing entire volumes about that subject too. See "Fateful Triangle" or "Power and Terror" :

      US foreign aid is the most miserly by far of any of the major industrial countries. And if we take away the component that goes to one rich country and another middle-range country [because of its associations with the rich country], namely Israel and Egypt, there's almost nothing left. However, if you count everything, it's still grotesquely marginal, and it is declining. But there is, nevertheless, some aid, and quite a lot of military aid, in fact. -- Power and Terror by Noam Chomsky, p. 46 , May 25, 2002

    • That is a perfectly valid interpretation of events – however it has nothing to do with Chomsky’s statement which was:

      “sanctions, or state actions, are not on the horizon”

      That statement is patently untrue as sanctions have been discussed at an inter-governmental level

      They aren't getting discussed at a grassroots level among the US BDS movement. There was a 2011 international call for an immediate and comprehensive embargo on military assistance to Israel. link to

      I've seen lots of local and national actions on TIAA-CREF, Methodists, and Presbyterians. There were calls for coordinated action on the Visa waiver program and the Prawer Plan, but I can't remember the last time any demonstrations or petitions were organized in support of a US arms embargo. The same thing applies to criminal sanctions.

      Hell the last time I signed a petition that demanded the Attorney General investigate racketeering or corrupt charitable organizations that funnel tax deductible contributions to illegal Israeli settlements was back when J-Street (J-Street!) asked everyone to take action. That was so long ago that the original web page disappeared down the rabbit hole. See “J Street Calls for Treasury Investigation Into Settlement Charities” link to

      I've commented constantly here and elsewhere about the US treaty obligation to deal with Palestine as another state in accordance with the Vienna, Geneva, and Hague Conventions. That would automatically entitle it to pursue claims in US Courts. About ten percent of the illegal settlers are US Citizens. Chomsky has cited international lawyer John Whitbeck's efforts to gain recognition of Palestine.

    • Shingo says:
      “.. and BDS is gaining momentum”.
      No, not really. That is why this article is making you and the other denizens here upset.

      Well, no. The article enrages individual BDSers because it offers a critique of some sacred cows. But the move to impose government-backed sanctions moves on at an increasing pace, despite the lack of grassroots action.

    • Chomsky’s criticism in his article is that sanctions are “unrealistic”. His main point is that the BDS movement needs to recognize its illusions and drop the S off of its name.

      No, you still haven't quoted Chomsky and are clueless about the fact that Chomsky has called attention to Israel's efforts to stop what it "perceives as "delegitimation" -- that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them -- and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine."

      He highlights efforts to end US foreign assistance and military arms sales to Israel, until it complies with international law and recognition of the State of Palestine as methods for breaking the deadlock:

      The "delegitimation," which is progressing rapidly, was carried forward in December by a Human Rights Watch call on the U.S."to suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel's spending in support of settlements," and to monitor contributions to Israel from tax-exempt U.S. organizations that violate international law, "including prohibitions against discrimination" -- which would cast a wide net. Amnesty International had already called for an arms embargo on Israel. The legitimation process also took a long step forward in December, when Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil recognized the State of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank), bringing the number of supporting nations to more than 100.

      International lawyer John Whitbeck estimates that 80-90 percent of the world's population live in states that recognize Palestine, while 10-20 percent recognize the Republic of Kosovo. The U.S. recognizes Kosovo but not Palestine. Accordingly, as Whitbeck writes in Counterpunch, media "act as though Kosovo's independence were an accomplished fact while Palestine's independence is only an aspiration which can never be realized without Israeli-American consent," reflecting the normal workings of power in the international arena.

      I've lost count of the number of times that I've pointed out that Israel cannot acquire territory from UN member states by force and that the international boundary treaties, that Israel is obliged to respect, preserved the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian/Transjordanian fishing and navigation rights on Lakes Huleh and Tiberias, and the Jordan river - plus all of the existing grazing rights on both sides of the new mandate era boundaries. I've noted that the UN plan of partition created states that were independent in name only, because it required the acceptance of existing treaties; imposed terms of internal government under a minority protection plan; and established regional government through a plan for economic union and right of transit. The UN explicitly acknowledged that the common use of currency, road, rail, communications, resources, and transit to holy sites and extended family members was necessary to the viability of the new states. Chomsky calls that erosion of boundaries through commerce and culture the "No State Solution", which he describes as his real preference. But he notes that will not happen if the US is allowed to continue to block international consensus and support Israel's continued expansion of an exclusive "Greater Israel". He explains that much work needs to be done to educate the public about this subject.

      Get back to me if you ever finish obfuscating things and want to be serious, otherwise there's no need to keep beating this dead horse.

    • This sums up his approach to the Israel/Palestine question.

      No it doesn't, that sums up your short attention span. He actually said:

      Much the same is true of the invocation of apartheid. Within Israel, discrimination against non-Jews is severe; the land laws are just the most extreme example. But it is not South African–style apartheid. In the occupied territories, the situation is far worse than it was in South Africa, where the white nationalists needed the black population: it was the country’s workforce, and as grotesque as the bantustans were, the nationalist government devoted resources to sustaining and seeking international recognition for them. In sharp contrast, Israel wants to rid itself of the Palestinian burden. The road ahead is not toward South Africa, as commonly alleged, but toward something much worse.

      Likewise he says the crucial question is whether the US will continue to undermine international consensus in order to support Israel's crimes? He has written a plethora of articles on the subject. Chomsky and the JVP mission statement call for an end to foreign assistance and arms sales to Israel until it complies with international law. He has written about efforts to delegitimize Israel's actions and says that similar actions are needed to delegitimize the US role as an arms supplier/honest broker in order to break the deadlock. See Breaking the Israel-Palestine Deadlock, link to

      He has also underlined US refusal to recognize Palestine, like the majority of other countries, and the disadvantages that entails. Arms embargoes, abstaining from the use of its veto on Security Council resolutions about illegal situations created by Israel, and recognizing Palestine inside the armistices lines - pending a final settlement, are all examples of things that we can pressure the US to do That's especially true when international law and simple equity requires the US to do all of those things in the first place.

    • When he speaks of consensus, isn’t he speaking about Governments?? Isnt BDS the answer to those governments? I think that he believes we are all powerless, no power to the people here. Noted, is that he offers no way forward, i cant think of anyone that wants to go back to the time of hand wringing and writing sad notes to our elected officials only to be insulted by a hasbara ridden reply.

      No. So stop asking rhetorical questions and constructing straw men and just stick to what he actually said in the article.

    • They will lose their sovereignty and be exposed to a hostile population.

      No, the concept of sovereignty or the exercise of jurisdiction over other people has been graveyard dead in international law for decades.

      That's why "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples" is indivisible and there is a legal obligation under the UN Charter for all states to promote it without regard to race, sex, language, or religion. Attempts to circumvent that obligation, like apartheid, have been prohibited and made the subject of international penal sanctions.

    • The UN General Assembly Resolution recognizing the Partition of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel also was a recommendation without the legal force of a Security Council Resolution. Apparently when it comes to Israel even its founding legal status is rather dubious.

      I think Chomsky has written things that most here haven't even read which say that the whole Zionist project, including the partition, was dubious and artificial:

      “In 1936-9, the Palestinian Arabs attempted a nationalist revolt... David Ben-Gurion, eminently a realist, recognized its nature. In internal discussion, he noted that ‘in our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us,’ but he urged, ‘let us not ignore the truth among ourselves.’ The truth was that ‘politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside’... The revolt was crushed by the British, with considerable brutality.” Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle.”

      If Palestine ever does gain independence in something like the terms of the overwhelming international consensus, it is likely that its borders with Israel will erode through normal processes of commercial and cultural interchange, as had begun to happen in the past during periods of relative calm. Anyone familiar with Mandatory Palestine knows well how artificial and disruptive any partition must be. -- Noam Chomsky: American University of Beirut commencement 2013 speech

      The UN Charter itself doesn't mention the word "resolution", much less say that they are non-binding. It only mentions the power of organs to adopt certain types of decisions, to make recommendations, or adopt measures. The entire practice is governed by customary rules and depending upon the content, resolutions can come in several varieties and mixtures. For example, no matter how many recommendations resolution 181 might contain, Articles 10, 18, 73, 80, 81. and 85 of the UN Charter give the General Assembly the requisite authority to say "The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations."

      Article 81 says: The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the administration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, may be one or more states or the Organization itself.

      Article 85 says :The functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the General Assembly.

      Article 18 says: Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two- thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include: . . . questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system.

      Resolution 194(III) wasn't merely a recommendation either. It reaffirmed many of the things contained in resolution 181(II), including the decision to establish a Corpus Separatum. But the operative paragraph on refugees used qualified language (should) that only amounted to a recommendation. That's not really all that important, since the situation was governed by the customary and conventional law in force at the time, not just UN resolutions. One of the conventional agreements in force, was the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II) and the Constitution of the International Refugee Organization, December 15, 1946.

    • “Chomsky and Finkelstein have betrayed the Palestinian people with their petty bullshit.”

      Exactly – total BS – not BD – Chomsky is only trying to slow up the process in order to expand greater Israel.

      You obviously didn't read the article, because he said exactly the opposite. He explained that he supports the no state solution; that the status quo of territorial erosion through expanding settlement is much more likely than either the 1ss or 2ss; and that ineffective BD tactics won't change that situation.

    • You missed the part about a statement he made calling BDS anti semitic.

      I didn’t know he was that stupid.

      The idea that he said the whole BDS movement is anti-semitic is just an urban legend. He noted that he was involved in BDS against Israel before there was even a movement. He said some tactics are a gift to hardliners. i.e. the notion that the descendants of the refugees are going to return to Israel and drive out the illegal Jewish colonists is a common meme. He explained that those words could be, and actually were labeled anti-semitic, with some justification, by his adversaries at Harvard and MIT and derailed any intelligent discussion of the issues there for several months on one occasion.

    • I remember reading all the wonderful stuff he would write on the I/P issue, yet every now and then he would throw a line that was totally unexpected – something straight out of the hasbara manual. I used to not read too much into it until I read his opinion on the Walt/Mearsheimer book in which he practically denied the influence (or even the existence) of the israel lobby and instead came up with some bullshit US imperial interests thesis, as if fighting every arab nation in the ME is to the US imperial interests.

      Chomsky actually said the Lobby was one of the two prime factors that interact to determine US policy in the ME. I take it from your comment that you are one of those unfortunate souls who still can't figure out why AIPAC couldn't get Syria or Iran bombed after it dispatched 300 Lobbyists to the Hill in support of Obama's request for an AUMF? Maybe you should stop reading things "into" what Chomsky says, and reexamine your definition of bullshit and hasbara.

    • He puts forward that we should educate people about the issue only, instead of using BD against the State or calling for “S” – “unrealistic” sanctions.

      No he explained that in the case of the South Africa BDS movement, their tactics were effective because government sanctions were imposed before anything else and that the US Congress overrode Reagan's attempts to block the adoption of sanctions later on. He was criticizing the lack of effort on the part of Palestinian solidarity activists to pressure governments for sanctions by saying the movement should only be called BD and you are too f*cking stupid or biased to read and comprehend or admit what he actually said. I've pointed out your bad faith comments on the subject repeatedly.

    • Nor are they listening to the public today. Polls show that the US public is increasingly on the fence with respect to Israel and it’s belligerence, but even if there was a large public uprising, Congress still wouldn’t change because they know where the campaign donations are coming from.

      You said the same thing here when I pointed out that my Congress critter was listening to the public and rejecting Obama's and AIPACs call for strikes against Syria. I replied to you then that AIPAC can’t get you re-elected if you piss-off your own power base.
      link to

      Ask Eric Cantor what good it did him to know where his donations were coming from?

    • What government? The South African BDS movement began in 1959. According to Wikipedia, the boycott attracted widespread support from students, trade unions and the Labour, Liberal and Communist parties .

      Then the South African BDSers were 13 years late in joining the struggle. The government of India applied diplomatic sanctions and filed a formal application for action by the UN with the General Assembly's 1st (International Security) and 6th (Legal) Committees in 1946 during the very first UN session. It complained about the treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa. It pointed out that the policy of apartheid violated treaties between the two countries and South Africa's obligations under the UN Charter to promote equal rights without distinctions based upon race, sex, language, or religion. The General Assembly adopted resolution 44(1) "Treatment of Indians in South Africa" stating that because of the treatment which was not in conformity with treaties between the countries and the UN Charter, relations between the two countries had been impaired, and would be further impaired, unless the situation was corrected. It ordered the two countries to report back during the next sessions on the measures they had adopted to correct the situation. That started the stepwise application of state and UN sanctions against the intransigent and racist South African apartheid regime. link to

    • So by his own admission, he’s insisting they stuck to a futile strategy and spin their wheels indefinitely

      He admitted no such thing and was explaining how the South African BDS model was different, overcame such problems, or why its tactics were more effective at building international consensus.

    • That’s a load of bull and you know it Hostage. Again, you’re buying into Chomsky’s fantasy that we should abandon one strategy is favor of a futile one.

      Thank you for taking the time to reply in such a specific and intellegent manner to the things Chomsky and I actually said (not!)

      It’s becoming clear that most of the people commenting here are conducting a witch hunt.

      No. The guy is doing what he has always done and pulling his usual contrarian crap.

      You are actually one of the people I had in mind. The criticism here is content free ad hominem, arguments about things he didn't say, and people pretending they read the article and complaining that he "never says" things that he actually did address.
      No. The guy is doing what he has always done and pulling his usual contrarian crap.

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