Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The State of Israel, Chomsky & his critics

ON Sunday, a row broke out in Israel over the nation's refusal to let Noam Chomsky, a linguist and darling of the US left, to enter the West Bank from Jordan. Today an International Herald Tribune editorial stated: 'One does not have to be an ardent supporter of Chomsky in order to agree with his view that Israel is behaving like South Africa in the 1960s...' It seems Professor Chomsky was informed at a border crossing that 'Israel doesn't like what you say.' The International Herald Tribunal asks: 'Is this a reasonable pretext for a democratic state to detain someone for questioning or hold him up at the border?' But then the editorial asks: 'Who is this "Israel" that doesn't like what Chomsky says?' - 'The general public?' - 'The government?'

Ironically, in the year 2000 some of the people who later went on to found Northern Voices, had a bit of a run in with Professor Chomsky over things he didn't seem to like to hear regarding criticisms of his linguistics in a publication that was called 'The Alternative Raven: Chomsky & his Critics'. At that time Professor Chomsky seemed anxious that this publication was not published. More recently there has been a revival of interest in this publication and a suggestion that it be republished in an edited form.

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