Noam Chomsky is Jewish

Open wound Middle East. Israel, the Palestinians and US politics

For the American linguist Noam Chomsky, the Six Day War of 1967 represented the decisive break. With the de facto annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel irrevocably gave up its liberal self-image and developed the repressive and ultimately imperial policy that first emerged in 1982 with the occupation of Lebanon culminated. At that time, 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians lost their lives in the bombing of the Israeli air force, and the Menem Begins government made the massacre carried out by Christian militias in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra & Shatila possible.

Indeed, as Chomsky's broad analysis convincingly demonstrates, since the Fall of 1967 all Israeli governments - regardless of which of the two leading parties they belonged to - have pursued an aggressive and expansive settlement policy, the stated aim of which was to create facts that are natural Bringing resources in the occupied territories under Israeli control, shifting demographic conditions to the detriment of the Palestinians.

Unsurprisingly, the Israeli occupation has resulted in humiliation and humiliation. Israel's plans for the Palestinians are based on the guiding principles formulated by Moshe Dajan, which he expressed 30 years ago (..): Israel should make it clear to the refugees that "we have no solution and you will continue to live like dogs, and whoever." want to go, can go ". He responded to criticism with one sentence from Ben-Gurion: "Anyone who approaches the Zionist problem from a moral point of view is not a Zionist. He could also have quoted the first President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, who described the fate of" a few hundred thousand negroes " believed that the homeland of the Jews was β€œan insignificant matter.” The Palestinians have long endured torture, terror, property destruction, abduction, colonization of their territory, and the assumption of basic resources, the most important of which is water.

Inexorably, Noam Chomsky exposes the fundamental contradiction in the founding of the Israeli state, which from the beginning had to make the democratic hopes of the liberal Zionists an illusion: that - to put it in the words of the Israeli journalist Amira Hass - "democracy for the one expropriation for the other "had to mean. Chomsky's immediate familiarity with Hebrew sources is particularly relevant to this startling analysis. The Hebrewist Chomsky laconically states how much the inner-Israeli debate in the national language differs from the discourse of the Israeli public written in English. Above all, this serves to avoid damaging Israel's liberal image in the USA. There he transports with great efficiency the image of a western-oriented workers' party, which is opposed to the obscurantism and revisionist Zionism of Likud.

Chomsky vehemently and with a multitude of quotations refutes the Western idea that the Labor Party was much more than the Likud in favor of a compromise with the Palestinians.

Traditionally, the Zionists of the Labor Party saw the Jordanian king, but not the native population of Palestine, as their negotiating partner. In addition, the view that it is ultimately the Arabs who have to find their home elsewhere is deeply rooted in Zionist thought and can even be found in Berl Katznelson, a hero of socialist Zionism who, for most of the early pioneers, gradually assumed the status of a secular " Rabbi "attained. However, Katznelson thought more of Syria and Iraq as a haven for the Palestinian population. Similar ideas have been put forward by Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and many others. For Ben-Gurion, who expressed a widespread belief, there was "nothing morally wrong" about this, even if the transfer had to be enforced, meaning expulsion, as he believed that the local population - of which he apparently knew little and held - had no "emotional ties" to the land.

Chomsky's book reinforces the impression that this ignorance of the Jewish settlers towards the Palestinians is no accident. It appears as an occasionally even deliberate fading out of the inevitability of a conflict that can only be understood as a reflex to the National Socialist crimes.

It was not until 1942, under the impression of the mass murder of the Jews organized by the Germans with industrial perfection, that the Zionist movement decided to found a Jewish state. Never again to have to live in a state in which one has the precarious role of a persecuted minority, never again to be powerless and without the possibility of self-defense, to ensure a territorial refuge for all Jews: that became the mainspring of Zionism after the experience of the Shoah. Germany's historical responsibility for the existence of Israel thus also extends to this fundamental contradiction of the Jewish state, born of the trauma of the Shoah. For the German reader, Chomsky's book is a deeply depressing experience.

Israel is a Jewish state with a minority of non-Jewish citizens. It is not the state of its citizens, but of the Jewish people, be it in Israel or in the Diaspora. There is no Israeli nationality. While it is commonly said that Israel is Jewish only in the sense that Britain is British, so that those who - in vain - insist on the facts deny Jewish nationalism its rights, that is simply wrong. A citizen of Great Britain is British, but a citizen of Israel does not have to be Jewish; this is anything but a trivial fact that cannot be covered up even by rhetoric. (..) The fundamental contradiction in the idea of ​​a democratic and Jewish state becomes more and more evident with the increasing integration of the occupied territories.

With great academic discipline and fearless impartiality, Chomsky exposes the underground and ghostly continued effects of National Socialism in half a century of history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its ominous effect is reflected in the racist currents of the Jewish state as well as in the anti-Semitic racism of the Arabs that responded to it; as if there could be no end point for the fate that once became a historical reality, as if racism, genocide and displacement had to continue indefinitely.

Putting registration numbers on prisoners' arms appears to be a widespread practice. Peace movement officers report that Israeli soldiers regularly mark the wrists of Arab prisoners with ID numbers. In addition, Arab prisoners who had to clean the Israeli soldiers' quarters were "locked in a small cell at night and beaten in such a way that many of them could no longer get up - young people, most of whom had not yet been convicted and those for want of evidence to be released ". In Davar magazine, Aharon Geva complains: "Some of us Israelis behave like the worst kind of anti-Semite whose name cannot be mentioned here, like the people who portrayed the Jews as a subhuman creature.

Noam Chomsky's analysis was originally written for an American public. For the staunch anti-colonialist, the endless killing in Palestine is inconceivable without the power-political interests of American foreign policy. As a protecting power and, above all, as paymaster of Israel, the USA bears responsibility in a completely different way than Germany. With the de facto extension of the Monroe Doctrine to the Gulf region, the geostrategists in the White House made the Jewish state a kind of bridgehead in an area that is home to two thirds of the world's oil reserves. This explains the massive armament of Israel by the USA, which goes far beyond arming itself for self-defense. Chomsky's portrayal of America's role as mediator in the Middle East conflict is devastating: the countless peace initiatives from Reagan to Clinton have never really seriously considered the rights of the Palestinians; the US peace rhetoric has always only masked massive financial support for Israeli settlement policy; it has always been American Veto that toppled resolutions on the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. With the support of the dominant media, substantial criticism of Israeli occupation policy has become a powerful taboo in Washington or New York, and there is an ominous alliance between the most reactionary forces in both countries.

But in Germany, too, Chomsky's book stands at right angles to all camps. His radical dismantling of the Labor Party's alleged readiness for peace and its most prominent figureheads Shimon Peres and Jitzhak Rabin must disturb everyone who blames Ariel Sharon's open radicalism in particular for the failure of the Oslo Process. The verdict on the agreement, which was accompanied by great expectations in this country, is also shocking. For Chomsky it shows very clearly how much the coordinates have shifted, how much Israel and its American lobby have succeeded in influencing public opinion in the West. One look at the map would suffice to show that it amounts to adopting the "homeland model" as it was once practiced by racist South Africa. Even then, archaic racism passed seamlessly into modern capitalist exploitation.

It is as if New York State is delegating responsibility for the South Bronx and Buffalo slums to local authorities while retaining the financial, industrial, and commercial sectors, the neighborhoods of the rich, and virtually all of the usable land and resources, with the exception some scattered regions that he prefers to leave to someone else (..). Aside from privileged strata who are adapting to neo-colonial conditions, the rest of the population in the occupied territories can expect a future that has long been present elsewhere, such as in Haiti, where workers work for a few cents an hour in US factories , or in China, how people toil for foreign producers under slave-like conditions.

Chomsky is as determined an advocate for the right to resist as he is an opponent of violence. He says that anyone who uses violence always bears the burden of proof that its use was inevitable. In his view, the Islamists' suicide bombings cannot provide this evidence any more than the bloody military repression of the Israeli army. However, part of the historical truth to which Chomsky points out in this context is that terrorist violence has always been part of national liberation movements. This also applies to the Zionist movement, whose terrorist activity before and after the establishment of the State of Israel Chomsky traces in frightening details.

Michael Haupt translated the book with convincing craftsmanship, but the German edition is still suffering from the massive cuts that have fallen victim to not only many of the important American references but also the foreword by Edward W. Said. However, the omission of the chapter on Israel's armaments is completely incomprehensible. At a time when there is talk of the danger of a "Second Holocaust" from the suicide bombings in the USA and also in this country, it is important to recall the real balance of power. In any case, the extent of Israel's nuclear and chemical arsenal reduces such an idea to absurdity.