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Forum Post: chomsky on ariel sharon

Posted 9 months ago on Jan. 14, 2014, 11:36 a.m. EST by flip (7174)
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AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, you wrote The Fateful Triangle in response to what happened in Lebanon. It changed the discourse for many in this country. First, explain your reaction to the death of Ariel Sharon and what we should understand about him.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, you know, there is a convention that you’re not supposed to speak ill of the recently dead, which unfortunately imposes a kind of vow of silence because there’s nothing else to say—there’s nothing good to say. What both Rashid and Avi Shlaim have said is exactly accurate. He was a brutal killer. He had one fixed idea in mind, which drove him all his life: a greater Israel, as powerful as possible, as few Palestinians as possible—they should somehow disappear—and an Israel which could be powerful enough to dominate the region. The Lebanon War then, which was his worst crime, also had a goal of imposing a client state in Lebanon, a Maronite client state. And these were the driving forces of his life.

The idea that the Gaza evacuation was a controversial step for peace is almost farcical. By 2005, Gaza had been devastated, and he played a large role in that. The Israeli hawks could understand easily that it made no sense to keep a few thousand Israeli settlers in Gaza using a very large percentage of its land and scarce water with a huge IDF, Israeli army, contingent to protect them. What made more sense was to take them out and place them in the West Bank or the Golan Heights—illegal. It could have been done very simply. They could have—the Israeli army could have announced that on August 1st they’re leaving Gaza, in which case the settlers would have piled into the trucks that were provided to them, which would take them from their subsidized homes in Gaza to illegal subsidized homes in other territories that Israel intended to keep, and that would have been the end of it. But instead, a—what Israeli sociologists call, Baruch Kimmerling called an "absurd theater" was constructed to try to demonstrate to the world that there cannot be any further evacuations.

The farce was a successful public relations effort. Joseph Biden’s comments illustrate that. It was particularly farcical when you recognize that it was a virtual replay of what happened in 1982 when Israel was compelled to withdraw from the Egyptian Sinai and carried out an operation that the Israeli press ridiculed as Operation National Trauma 1982: We have to show the world how much we’re suffering by carrying out an action that will benefit our power and our security. And that was the peacemaking effort.

But his career is one of unremitting brutality, dedication to the fixed idea of his life. He doubtless showed courage and commitment to pursuing this ideal, which is an ugly and horrific one.

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38 Comments


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[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

Don't speak ill of the dead? Really. When has anyone been prohibited from that? They weren't prohibited from that while he was alive.

He isn't called the Butcher for nothing. He's also been in a coma for the past 8 years. For all intensive purposes-he has been dead to all except for his family. So, where has he been in conversation for those years? He hasn't. After the first year he was largely forgotten. Once in awhile there would be a little article on any perceived progress or not. Somebody would kick out a little analysis of some other analysis that had already been given in a 4-6 paragraphs every once in awhile of his history. As it has been pointed out in the press (in Israel) it's idiotic to pretend this man is some sort of saint. By the same token, it is equally ignorant to ..........cash in on his death. Let's all remember Sharon for the next 15 minutes.

That said, it wasn't a controversial step for peace. It was a complete turn around for Sharon which I have stated elsewhere. It was a controversial step for Sharon. The unilateral withdrawal was extremely significant because nobody thought that he was willing to go even this far. This is the Sasson Report, or rather a summary. Talia was instrumental in any change at all. It was she that went in and said, if none of these outposts are approved then, why are they getting electricity? The summary explains how it was done.

Hindsight is always 20/20. It would have been so easy. Not really. Policy is changed there as it is anyplace else-depending on whom is in power. Contrary to popular belief, Israel has a left wing, moderate, right wing, Arab-Israeli wing, Zionist and a what-rock-did-you-crawl-out-from-under wing. If it would have been so easy then there would have been no need for Sasson's report. Further, the gangbanging has escalated. These are attacks on Palestinians and IDF/Security forces AND then they go home and are hidden and sometimes face no consequences and sometimes they do. The reality of the situation is that this information is not suppressed. So, ya, no I'm sorry it was never about any demonstration that there cannot be any more evacuations.

Why am I mentioning the above? Because the same issues present now that did during the withdrawal. The settlers have a three times as high birthrate. Always have. It was not uncommon prior to the withdrawal to read interviews with settlers that already had several children-and it wasn't a new phenomenon then. But those kids are now young adults. Ya, but that's all theater. Ho hum. Just theater that has the capacity to erupt peace negotiations.

Kind of like Hamas or the loosely connected groups in the West Bank.

[-] 0 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

from - The End of Palestine? An Interview with Norman G. Finkelstein

By Norman Finkelstein and Jamie Stern-Weiner

The whole thing is diabolical. The Israelis—with, of course, active and critical US connivance—have managed to completely shift the debate and shape the agenda. The only issues now being discussed are the Jewish state and the Jordan Valley, which, in terms of the international consensus for resolving the conflict, never figured at all. (Even in prior bilateral negotiations presided over by the US, such as at Annapolis, these were at most peripheral issues.) The key issue (apart from the refugees), in terms of the international consensus and in prior bilateral negotiations, has been the extent of the land swap along the border: Will Israel be allowed to annex the major settlement blocs and consequently abort a Palestinian state? But the debate has completely shifted, because annexing the settlement blocs is a done deal.

The framework agreement will probably just speak of land swaps in terms of percentages, and merely insinuate—as the Clinton Parameters did—Israel’s annexation of the major settlement blocs without divulging the precise details. But it is striking that in all of the discussion over the last several weeks, Ma'ale Adumim—i.e., the largest settlement bloc that effectively bisects the West Bank—has never even come up. Because it’s already been resolved, in Israel’s favour.

And a final deal will follow?

A lot of politicking still has to be done, a lot of marketing, a lot of hysteria in Israel—its usual, Oscar-winning performance. It will take the full three years that remain of Obama’s presidency, climaxing in a Camp David-like summit (Obama also loves drama, speechifying is his forte and he’s probably already contemplating which hip black leather jacket to wear), before the final deal is sealed.

One of the principal obstacles at this point to reaching an agreement, in my opinion, is not the details, because those are basically known: the annexation of the settlement blocs by Israel and the annulment of the right of return. One of the big stumbling blocks, oddly enough, is inertia.

If you date the political origin of the conflict back to the 1917 Balfour Declaration (before then Zionism was basically a self-help operation), you’re talking about a century-long conflict. When a conflict endures for such a protracted period of time, huge numbers of individuals and institutions develop a vested interest not in its resolution but instead in its perpetuation; what’s now called, only half-facetiously, the Peace Industry. Many are now consumed by the dreadful prospect that after a full century, it might actually end. It does send shivers down the spine: the Israel-Palestine conflict might be over. All those UN special sessions and special committees; all those Ramallah-based NGOs, Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, and conflict-resolution getaways; all those IMF, World Bank, Crisis Group reports; all those academic programs—Israel Studies, Holocaust Studies—which sprung up to justify Israeli policy (none can lay a claim to intellectual content, and most have been subsidized by wealthy right-wing Jews); all those film festivals, scholarly studies, memoirs and “poetry”; all those Washington-based Israel “think”-tanks; all those Palestine solidarity activists, groups, websites, researchers, and analysts (present company included).... A huge, sprawling superstructure has been built on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and consequently a major obstacle to an agreement is now the fear and trembling across the political divide that it might actually be coming to a denouement. It’s not quite conceivable, is it?

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

Thanks, flip. But, I don't need another emotionally charged analysis of an analysis. I am not dependent on them.

I don't think that Netanyahu has the will for a peace deal. But, you should probably be aware that you have some very loud voices in Israel that are telling him that he is a fool if he doesn't reach an agreement. They are also rich and powerful and in the Knesset.

I don't think Abbas has the political will either. Abbas is completely ineffective and I doubt that he is going to be able to reign in Hamas. He should have stepped in much sooner for Yarmouk. He chose not to. Hamas should have stepped in much sooner. Obviously, they didn't. In fact, their inaction pretty much was.......ah, those are throw away people.

And that right there is the problem.

[-] 0 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

it is easy to point a finger at many participants. it is very possible that if the plo etc played their cards better there would be too much pressure on the rejectionist parties. that said, the blame for conflict and failure to come to a fair peace treaty rests on the u.s. and it's client state Israel. and once again I am ashamed of my country and it's government - 40 years and more of "stalemate" - I am sure you recognize kissenger's term in this context.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

A couple of days ago I was checking up on the situation in Yarmouk and, lo and behold, it made it to the US papers. Only they had butchered it. They went with the NGO that was biased and is actually run out of England. This is intentional. Now, they whip around false numbers like some type of snuff porn. Articles abound. Most of them incorrect.

It is easy to point a finger. It is far more difficult to identify issues and respond.

The majority of the other nation states recognize that there is a difference between a government and it's people. Shame accomplishes nothing, unless, you're a masochist

Mahmoud Abbas has three children. One died...of a heart attack. Kissinger's children didn't join the military. Obama's daughters will not join the military.

The majority of your suicide bombers are between the ages of 18 and 24. You can make more money sitting in an Israeli prison than you can in Gaza. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/01/gaza-youth-low-priority-government.html

Never ending supply.

And you know, with everything that is going on and being ignored it is essential to identify and target some of those quality of life issues that can be solved. The international community is going to become fed up.

[-] 1 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

ok, good point - I am disgusted by the actions of my government and that of Israel. beyond that I am not sure what you are telling me.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

I think you do. We're done.

[-] 0 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

think is the wrong word for what you are doing here.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

Blow it out of your ass. Go after your little right wing friends. Can't manage to go after your right wing fanatics? What you have to say has no value.

[-] 1 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

you are making my point but you do not realize that - too bad. and I thought we were done?? I am wondering what the answer is to radicals question below but I am sure you can't answer it - and I am the one with right wing friends - I don't think so.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21611) 9 months ago

Unfortunately, they conflate socialists and libertarians here. Poor understanding of basic political terms.

[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

as is often the case I have no idea what this back and forth is about anymore - do you think it is intentional? I don't follow up too much but I would be surprised if anything I said would be removed - and who does the removing? I am such a rookie here even though I started long ago. anyway I always read your comments when I have time - keep it up!

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

I'm pretty sure that you just said that the views expressed by the PR firm are valid because corporations are people too.

[-] -2 points by WSmith (1846) from Cornelius, OR 9 months ago

Only in the world of the abject hair-brained are (Ayn Rand, Kochs, Rand Paul) Liebertarians and (Albert Einstein, George Orwell, Bernie Sanders) Socialists "conflated."

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

This is a little game that you like to play because you know that it will probably be removed from the forum. You think that this will give credence to the poor, poor banned drama. There is, however, an alternative viewpoint which will, in the end, be demonstrated. The longer that you engage in this type of behavior then the more obvious your ties will become. This is not a regular forum.

You or your friend? http://occupywallst.org/users/reallRadical/

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago
[-] 1 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

the usual bizarre conversation. and to what end? are you simply trying to stir the pot - oh well - I think we should be done don't you? you can have the last snide or obscene remark about me or those you think I might be friendly with - or maybe are my multiple ids. go ahead - and why not threaten physical violence - that is always a good way to end a discussion.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

The usual watch you implode conversation? Threats of physical violence comes from your libertopian corporations are people too crew.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

you have me confused with someone else - should I go searching for your threats to prove you wrong again - no I don't think it is worth the time and I have to go to work. know what that is -- come on now - we were done long ago

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

You mean like the one where I told you not to go fucking with people over 50 or with disabilities? Or how bout the one where one of you clowns thought it would be funny if you walked up in my house.

Any time your ready.

[-] 0 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

you are not worth the time

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

I believe you said, "Corporations are people too. Yay for PR firms."

[-] -1 points by reallRadical (6) from New York, NY 9 months ago

Twinkle team censorship loving dork troll.

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[-] -1 points by reallRadical (6) from New York, NY 9 months ago

She's a twinkle team democrap dork troll. Ignore her.

[-] 6 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

I have no idea if she is a democratic party fan or a member of the "twinkle team" or even what that is but she often deserves to be ignored. that was not always the case - when I was on the site regularly a year or two ago she was very informative and cooperative. with me anyway - not sure where it went off the rails - seems Israel is the sticking point but hard to get a straight answer out of her.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

That's it, babydoll. Your shilling is showing.

That's a good boy. Keep it up!

[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

once again I did not write this to you -do you have so little in your life that you have time to read all of the stuff sent to others - wow - I knew long ago that your life was fucked but seems worse now. sorry

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[-] -2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

Don't you feel better now that you got all of that out?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 months ago

"So, if you had a bad week, why should I suffer?"

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 9 months ago

I had a great week. Don't be a dirt bag,.

[-] 0 points by RadicalsUnite (94) 9 months ago

do you support the Israeli government today?

[-] 4 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

I watched her show yesterday - the world would be different if that was on mainstream media outlets.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 months ago

http://www.democracynow.org/ & damn straight !!!

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 months ago

first link is down

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 months ago

Yep. ''It's back up'' & 'Qibya' is a 'good' a place to start researching 'AS' if you wish to ..

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 0 points by IronEddie (1) from Endicott, NY 9 months ago

It's back up.