Raed Salah Week continues at the Guardian, offering the sage analysis of Noam Chomsky

Chomsky in a tete-a-tete with Hezbollah's Nasrallah

The Guardian, not content with six pieces (news items and commentaries) already published defending the anti-Semitic radical preacher, Raed Salah, and demonizing his opponents, decided to publish two additional apologias (Letters: Double standards over Salah arrest, July 4) from ferocious critics of Israel – Ghada Karmi and Noam Chomsky.

Evidently, the Guardian felt that Karmi, an outspoken proponent for the end of the Jewish state, and Chomsky, who believes the U.S. is “the world’s greatest terrorist state“, has defended the Khmer Rouge, expressed support for Hezbollah, and has likened Zionism to Nazism, could provide unique, and thoughtful, insights into the UK’s detention of Salah.

While Chomsky’s letter characterized Salah – who’s advanced anti-Semitic conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 – as an important voice for “rights” and “justice”, Karni chastised the UK for failing to arrest Israeli leaders, who she characterizes as “war criminals”, and advances the blatantly false claim that “Raed has committed no crime in Britain or elsewhere.”

Karmi, evidently writing without the services of an internet search engine, neglected to inform her readers that Salah was imprisoned in Israel after acknowledging funding Hamas, served time for assaulting a police officer, and has been banned from Jerusalem for repeatedly engaging in incitement to violence.

More broadly, in eight pieces and over 3000 words in the course of a week, the Guardian has displayed a disgraceful, if characteristic, obsession with the “cause” of an extremist preacher with a proven record of anti-Semitism, support for designated terrorist organizations, and incitement to violence. 

Of course, the ubiquity of such profound moral inversions at the Guardian – regarding radical Islam, Israel and anti-Semitism – doesn’t render such ideological pathos any less outrageous or shameful.     

8 replies »

  1. A Letter from Noam Chomsky

    I was deeply disturbed to learn Sheikh Raed Salah is under threat of deportation on grounds that this action would be ‘conducive to the public good’. The double standard is self-evident. I have been promulgating Jewish world-domination theories for more years than I care to remember; I have exposed the tentacled conspiracies of the sham democracies of the neo-imperialist western world; I have set the enormity of the crimes of Israel against all the other evils in human history; I have been an apologist for intolerant, totalitarian ideologies of every hue, political and religious, increasingly the more religious the better (as long as the religion isn’t Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, etc.); I have, indefatigably, continued to defend the benefits brought to Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge and have proclaimed the revolutionary integrity of its spiritual successors in organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. I have done all this while residing in the belly of the Beast itself, America, the world’s greatest terrorist state. Yet no one has banned me from entry into the UK. I once demonstrated what many intellectual pygmies considered self-evident, that a grammatically ‘correct’ sentence could be semantically nonsense. You will recall my proof: ‘Colorless green ideas sleep furiously’. I have devoted the rest of my life to demonstrating that grammatical sentences can be semantically nonsense. Even this letter is a contribution to that work. In ‘Language and Mind’ I made this observation: ‘I can conceive of thought without language’. Now I have moved on to something far more radical (radical is my thing): language without thought! I hope the British government will change its mind about such an admirable and important man as Sheik Raed Salah (I do know him personally). And what’s wrong with anti-Semitism anyway? Some of my best friends are anti-Semites… in fact, thinking about it, most of my friends now are anti-Semites… but I do have lots of them…

    Noam Chomsky

    • Letztentage

      I’ve copy-pasted and saved your comment. Best thing I’ve read in decades. Please write more often.

    • @Letztentage

      Simply brilliant! If there was a contest for best CW comment of the year, yours would win hands down! Kol Hakavod!

  2. for a man whose career was built on the bedrock of linguistics, one has to question chomsky’s open letter.

    the removal of salah was not deemed to be ‘conducive to the public good.’

    as far as i recall it, the immigration rules state that the home secretary can deem someone’s presence to be ‘not conducive to the public good’ and that they can then be removed.

    the former implies a knee jerk decision rather than the matter having been fully considered by the authorities, as the latter suggests. using semantic sleight of hand and selective quotes? surely not.

    and much as mr.chomsky may object, there are some salient points:

    each country has the right to deem who it does and does not allow entry to. it’s only the odd individual not allowed into the uk. a whole religion is not allowed into saudi, but not an effin dickie bird from old noam.

    as a briton i also feel compelled to point out about his criticism is that ‘it’s not not your fucking country to criticise.’

    sorry, i tried to avoid swearing. but it is big and it is clever. at least in my house.

  3. The Guardian’s obsession with the anti-semitic sheik has nothing to do with their concern for human rights or their disagreement with Home Office policy.

    Their pretended concern for this racist is just a smokescreen for yet another attempt to discredit Israel. If the sheik were a white supremacist instead of a Muslim one, the Guardian would be screaming for him to be deported.