By Monkey Smashes Heaven
Noam Chomsky has been described as one of the most influential living intellectuals. His work revolutionized the field of linguistics in the 1960s. Even today, his contributions in linguistics still play an important role. However, Chomsky is more popularly known for his politics. Chomsky, a Jewish-Amerikan, has been a consistent critic of Zionism, Israel, and U.S. foreign policy in general.
Chomsky was scheduled to deliver a lecture earlier this week at Bir Zeit University, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, in Palestine. When Chomsky attempted to cross the border, he was stopped and questioned for hours. “Denied Entry,” was stamped on his passport. The 81-year old professor was told by the border agents, “Israel does not like what you say.” Chomsky compared Israel’s actions to apartheid South Africa’s in the 1960s.
Even though the Zionist state claimed Chomsky was not blacklisted and that the incident was a misunderstanding, they refused to guarantee Chomsky’s entry if he attempted again. For this reason, Chomsky chose to deliver his lecture from Jordan to Israel via video link.
Chomsky is not the first author to be blacklisted by Israel. Norman Finkelstein was also denied entry iin 2008. The 53-year old professor, holocaust scholar, and critic of Israel’s apartheid system was deemed a “security risk.” This usually means that a person is barred for a decade. The racist settler state has a long history of barring its critics from entry into either Palestine or lands held by Israel. In 2009, United States Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney and several other activists were stopped by the Israel armed forces when they tried to bring medical supplies, children’s toys, and food to Gaza. Israel illegally seized their property, including their ship, then imprisoned and deported them. These are just a few examples among many. Israel’s systematic apartheid and genocide against the Palestinians is so indefensible that Israel fears the scrutiny of a few First World activists. Israel seeks to defend the indefensible, even if it means clumsily censoring its critics.
Chomsky’s works contain useful information. However, Chomsky’s criticism does not cut deep enough. Chomsky acknowledges that Israel has waged a genocidal war against Palestinians since its founding. It is a genocide that has been bankrolled by the United States and other Western countries for about half a century. Chomsky exposes the barbarism of imperialism and Zionism. However, Chomsky fails to recognize that the people of Israel, just like the people of the First World generally, have a material interest in supporting imperialism. And it is no accident that Amerikans find common cause with Israel. Israel’s very existence as a settler society is bound-up with the genocide and exploitation of Palestinians. Amerika too is a settler society that is based on the ethnic cleansing of North America and the exploitation of peoples all over the Third World. Genocide and exploitation are at the very core of both Amerikan and Israeli society. In countries like these, where the vast majority of the population is made up of exploiters, there is a degree of responsibility that is shared by society as a whole. These populations as a whole bear collective responsibility for their exploitation and oppression of others. Because Chomsky fails to understand the problem fully, he fails to understand the solution. First World peoples, including the Israel people, will not voluntarily toss imperialism into the dustbin of history. Rather, they will defend imperialism tooth-and-nail. Imperialism will be smashed by those it oppresses, not by those who benefit from it. It will be smashed through a global people’s war waged by the Third World against the First World. The armies of the Palestinians and the Third World will not be held up by a “denied entry” stamp.