Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Allowing Chomsky into Israel is much more than a free-speech issue

The recent fracas over Israel’s refusal to grant entry to Noam Chomsky, an MIT professor, leftist cult figure, and fervent opponent of the Jewish state, has revealed something far beyond the debate over free speech in Israel and who should and should not be a persona non grata. It reveals that an enormous amount of people, inside and outside Israel, have no real idea of who Chomsky is and what he stands for.

In a sense, this should not be surprising. Chomsky’s admirers regard him as something of a semi-divine figure, and they promote him as a relatively apolitical sort of liberal, a fervent partisan of peace and human rights, who has no interests or beliefs other than simple human justice. For the most part, this image has been accepted by those whose acquaintance with his career is, at best, casual.

The truth, however, is far uglier. Chomsky has been, throughout his long career, a consistent and dedicated supporter and/or apologist for tyranny, terrorism, political violence of all kinds, and sometimes horrifying acts of mass murder.

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