Chomsky: Palestine and the region in the Obama era

Tariq Ali and Noam Chomsky speak in London on the Israel-Palestine question. I think Tariq’s suggestions are eminently sensible, whereas once again Chomsky’s analysis leaves me underwhelmed. I don’t think he has anything of value to contribute to this debate any more. Worse, he is telling Palestinians that UNGAR 194 is no longer useful and that they should forgo the right of return. Curiously, he still continues to insist that Israel is merely a pawn in the belligerent US designs against Iran. I also found it disingenuous that while he has remained consistent in his opposition to BDS, his argument hasn’t. While in the past he would insist that everything Israel does was at the behest of the US, hence its the imperial patron that needs to be boycotted, now he says public opinion is not ready for it.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

2 thoughts on “Chomsky: Palestine and the region in the Obama era”

  1. This is just a quibble, but the reason we can move so freely and see so much more clearly is, at least in part, because Chomsky blazed the path, writing on these topics and the way they’re filtered through the American press decades before his criticisms were incorporated into the radical dialog. In some ways I feel that way about so much of Chomsky’s work: it’s no longer so amazingly insightful to radicals (but sometimes is still quite useful) because it’s the air we breathe.

    1. I wouldn’t dispute that. My real education began the day I discovered Chomsky, and on almost everything else I still defer to his authority. But I guess it must be some residue of his Zionist past that prevents him from seeing clearly on this issue. When I had met him I had asked about these issues, and instead of responding to my specific questions, he gave his well-rehearsed generalized answer. It was a bit disappointing, because I got the impression that he has staked a position and is not willing to engage.

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