Saturday, 6 April 2013

Noam Chomsky on Violence and Dignity in the Middle East

Noam Chomsky, retired MIT University Professor of Linguistics and lifelong libertarian socialist, needs no introduction as a famous leftwing American public intellectual.  Since the 1960s, when he was active in protests against the invasion and occupation of Vietnam, Chomsky has maintained a relentless critique of American foreign policy, as tending to 'deter democracy' and to promote corporate profit over people.

One of his greatest books is The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, first published in 1984 - an extraordinary catalogue of Israel's violence in its catastrophic invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 1982, and an even more extraordinary expose of the malfeasance of the mainstream American media in covering up or failing to acknowledge that violence.  Chomsky has, in fact, for a very long time been a severe critic of Israel and of American support of the 'Jewish state' - as Christopher Hitchens once noted, 'seldom a prudent course for those who seeking the contemplative life'.

Chomsky continues, in his mid-eighties, to keep up a level of activity and work that would break the strength of people half his age. He was recently in Dublin giving the inaugural Frontline Defenders' Annual Lecture (and was awarded the Ulysses Medal by UCD), and in London, giving the Edward Said Memorial Lecture.  The London Review of Books has put up a podcast of that talk, which is free for anyone to listen to.

The annual Edward W Said London Lecture is part of a series of cultural events and exhibitions programmed in association with The Mosaic Rooms ( and the A M Qattan Foundation ( to improve cultural and intellectual understanding of the Arabic world, and provide a platform for discourse and debate. The lecture is sponsored by The London Review of Books (

Violence and Dignity on the Middle East · 18 March 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment