The Chomsky File - Part II

At the same time that Chomsky began making public statements on behalf of Robert Faurisson, he assigned publication rights for the French edition of his book... to Guillaume and Thion. This saved them from bankruptcy and gave them the money to publish their Holocaust-denying pal Faurisson's scholarly masterpieces.

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[Part one of this article may be read at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=4680.]

When a major public figure in the Muslim world, Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia, made widely publicized remarks at an international Islamic conference that no one could deny were anti-Jewish, Noam Chomsky took at slightly different tack. Instead of denying outright the offensiveness of Mahathir's remarks, he made excuses for the Malaysian prime minister and sought to minimize his responsibility for them. When asked by an e-mail correspondent, "Noam, what is your analysis of the recent comments by the ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed on world Jewry?" Chomsky gave a characteristically evasive response:

"Depends on what level of response you have in mind. If you are asking whether I agree with the content of the few remarks of his that were reported widely and enthusiastically (e.g., Jews rule the world, etc.), then the answer we already both know: obviously not, and the comments are outrageous. But what has been featured in the media is only a fraction of the story, as has been discussed by more honest commentators in the mainstream, Paul Krugman particularly, sometimes others. Mahathir's comments were marginal to a bitter attack on Islamists who have blocked intellectual, moral, uneconomic progress. That was the main thrust of his comments, as often before, and whatever one thinks of him (a complex matter), he should be applauded for that. The Islamic world badly needs that kind of criticism. And as others have correctly pointed out, Mahathir lacks credibility within these circles (which are very powerful within Malaysia) because of his own tenuous relations with Islam. So it may well be... comments on world Jewry on which Western ideologists fixated with great joy (ignoring the context) were basically "throwing red meat" to the constituency, as when people in public life in the US (since Carter) pretend to be devout Christians or ostentatiously shoot pheasants (greatly impressing the press), whatever they may think in private. The 'great joy' has to do with the enormous effort, which goes back over 30 years, to seek somewhere signs of anti-Semitism. There is quite an industry devoted to that task among intellectuals, something I wrote about almost 35 years ago (some of it recently reprinted), and flourishing today. That's one of the techniques that was devised to undermine activist elements of the left, and the more vulgar and grotesque practitioners of the art (like Irving Howe) are greatly honored for these performances.... That's a very useful picture for ideological fanatics in the US, and it is interesting that this intriguing conception is featured in the more liberal of the foreign policy journals, and probably believed by many of the readers, for whom it is a very welcome message, as similar fabrications have been since the 60s. In the case of Mahathir, it wasn't fabricated, though it is very likely that the standard image was seriously distorted." [4]

In other words, it is of no importance that the Prime Minister of a major Muslim country is an open and avowed anti-Semite, and that his anti-Semitic remarks were applauded by high-ranking politicians and officials from throughout the Islamic world. For Chomsky, all that matters is that calling attention to anti-Semitism "undermine[s] activist elements of the left." Consequently, anyone who calls attention to anti-Semitism is a right-wing conspirator. By implication, all good "progressives" should ignore or deny anti-Semitism - which is exactly what Chomsky does. Note also Chomsky's assumption that anti-Semitism is "red meat" that Islamic leaders throw to their eagerly devouring public - a state of affairs that Chomsky does not criticize in any way, but rather takes for granted as the norm in that part of the world.

Our leftist guru has also assisted anti-Semitic organizations, some of them on the extreme right end of the spectrum, in another, even quieter way, by allowing them to publish or disseminate his books, articles and recordings. Noontide Press, the book-publishing arm of the Holocaust-denying and overtly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi organization the Institute for Historical Review, has brought out an edition of Chomsky's book The Fateful Triangle, one of his more extended attacks on Israel and Zionism. Noontide advertiseson its current online catalogue two audio lecture presentations by Chomsky, "The Middle East Crisis and the Threat of Nuclear War: Parts 1 & 2", which are sustained verbal assaults on Israel. The Journal of Historical Review, a "scholarly" periodical organ of the IHR that specializes in Holocaust-denial, published an article by Chomsky entitled "All Denials of Free Speech Undercut a Democratic Society" in its Spring 1986 issue; it is still available online at the Institute for Historical Review website.

Even more bizarre is the Chomskian presence on the website that commemorates the British Union of Fascists, Britain's pre-World War II fascist organization, and its founder, Oswald Mosley. Among the free books for downloading advertised on this site, along with the collected works and autobiography of Oswald Mosley, is an article by Noam Chomsky, entitled "What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream?" The site also uses a quotation from Chomsky as the masthead for a reprint of a 1947 article about "Atrocities" by Mosley himself, which protests the unfairness of the Nuremberg trials. The quotation from Chairman Noam reads, "If the Nuremberg laws were applied today, then every Post-War American president would have to be hanged."

At one time, this avowedly fascist site also contained an admiring article about Chomsky, entitled "Noam Chomsky's Search For The Truth". It commends Chomsky for his role as a "patron" of the Holocaust Denial ("revisionist") movement, and his endorsement of Israel Shahak's tirades against Judaism. According to Chomsky's unnamed cheerleader, "Chomsky's opposition to organized Jewry, particularly the Zionist variety is on a more erudite level. He can balance Left and Right and appeal to both in his condemnation of both Israel and America and his belief that the Jewish religion is anti-social. His is a rejection of dogma and a moral courage that secures he is taken seriously by everyone."

Radio Islam, perhaps the most virulent of thousands of anti-Semitic web sites on the worldwide web, publishes at least ten articles or chapters from books by Chomsky for free on-site, in addition to direct links to several Chomsky publications at other sites, including an entire book, Necessary Illusions. Chomsky's writings share pride of place in Radio Islam's voluminous online library with such anti-Semitic "classics" as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, Hitler's Mein Kampf, Henry Ford's The International Jew, and the works of Chomsky's proteges Robert Faurisson, Serge Thion and Israel Shahak. And this does not even include the numerous lengthy quotations from Chomsky's writings, highlighted within borders for emphasis.

Most troubling, perhaps, of Chomsky's involvements with anti-Semitic publishers is his long-time involvement with the Holocaust deniers Pierre Guillaume and Serge Thion, whom we have already mentioned. At the same time that Chomsky began making public statements on behalf of Robert Faurisson, he assigned publication rights for the French edition of his book The Political Economy of Human Rights to Guillaume and Thion. This saved them from bankruptcy and gave them the money to publish their Holocaust-denying pal Faurisson's scholarly masterpieces. In addition, according to a memoir written by Guillaume about his friendship with Chomsky, the fact that the Guillaume-Thion duo were the publisher and editor, respectively, of Chomsky's book helped to rehabilitate their reputations, which had been damaged by their Holocaust-denial activities. [5]

Saving the business of these Holocaust-denying publishers, and enabling them to bring out Holocaust-denying "scholarship", must surely have helped in a very tangible way to re-legitimate anti-Semitism in France. We are seeing the results of this legitimization in the growing violence against French Jews today.

[Part 2 of 3]

Notes:

John Landau contributed research and reporting to this article.

[4] Online at "Chomsky on Mahathir" ("ChomskyChat"; Michael Albert).

[5] See http://vho.org/aaargh/fran/chomsky/PGmisaupoint.html for Guillaume's first-hand account in French; also summaries are available from Werner Cohn at www.wernercohn.com/Chomsky.html-101k, http://www.mega.nu/ampp/cohn_on_chomsky_intro.html, and http://www.wernercohn.com/Chomskydocs.html.

Sources cited in "The Chomsky File: Self-Portrait of an Anti-Semite":

a) "Chomsky and the Jews" by Werner Cohn

b) "Partners in Hate" on Werner Cohn's personal website.

c) Another website with"Partners in Hate".

d) "Partners in Hate: Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers," 2001 FronPage Edition.

e) Still another website publishing "Partners in Hate".

f) Article by Werner Cohn, "Chomsky and the French neo-Nazis: Some documents". A quote from this article: "Another incident, very important in the Guillaume essay, has to do with Chomsky's insistence that Guillaume and his Holocaust-denying organization 'La Vieille Taupe' publish the French version of Chomsky's book Political Economy of Human Rights (written with E. Herman). Here Chomsky plays dumb. He insists that it was a mainline French publisher, Hallier-Albin, not La Vieille Taupe, that was to publish the book. But Guillaume explains in detail (p. 154, Document A) that he, Guillaume, was the director of the collection in H-T that published the book, and that Chomsky insisted on giving this plumb to him out of a sense of solidarity with Guillaume's politics, that is to say with La Vieille Taupe."

g) "Une Mise Au Point" de Pierre Guillaume en 1986.

h) "Some Elementary Comments on The Rights of Freedom of Expression", by Noam Chomsky. Appeared as a preface to Robert Faurisson's M?moire en d?fense, October 11, 1980.

i) Pierre Vidal-Naquet: "On Faurisson and Chomsky" in Assassins of Memory , quoting Chomsky's letter in the Village Voice of March 18,1986, p. 7.

j) "The Jews are Bad!": A review of Jewish History, Jewish Religion. The Weight of Three Thousand Years by Israel Shahak (Foreword by Gore Vidal. Pluto Press, London and Boulder, Colorado. 1994), by Werner Cohn, in Israel Horizons, vol. 42, no. 3 of 4 (sic), Autumn 1994, pp. 28-9. copyright 1994 by Werner Cohn.

k) Review of RFM Recording of Noam Chomsky and Israel Shahak speaking on Jewish Fundamentalism. Recorded on 11/3/1994, at MIT, Cambridge MA

l) http://www.synaptic.bc.ca/Contact/viewtopic.php?t=146 and http://forum.zmag.org:80/~ZNetCmt: The eJournal website "Chomsky on Mahathir" and "Anti-Semitism in Media Reporting"; eJournal Message Forums - Noam Chomsky. Same text available at http://forum.zmag.org/~ZNetCmt/guests; topic: "Chomsky on Mahathir", from Michael Albert, dated Thursday, November 06, 2003 06:11am

m) Advertisement on Amazon.com for the Noontide Press edition of Noam Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle, published in 1986.

n) The Noontide Press: Audio Cassettes A044 - "The Middle East Crisis and the Threat of Nuclear War: Part 1" by Noam Chomsky, Audio; 90 mins; $9.95. The Noontide Press: Audio Cassettes A045 - "The Middle East Crisis and the Threat of Nuclear War: Part 2" by Noam Chomsky, Audio; 90 mins; $9.95.

o) The Journal of Historical Review, a "scholarly" periodical organ of the IHR that specializes in Holocaust-denial, published an article by Chomsky entitled "All Denials of Free Speech Undercut a Democratic Society" in its Spring 1986 issue; it is still available online at the Institute for Historical Review website, and can also be ordered in hard copy through Noontide Press' online catalogue.

p) "What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream?" on the Oswald Mosley website: "Short article by left-wing U.S. intellectual Professor Noam Chomsky on the way vested political and economic interests maintain political consent through the media etc. We may not fully agree with Noam Chomsky, but he does make some valid points about the media and how mainstream political opinion is manufactured and maintained. FREE Download - 'What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream? (121Kb)'"

q) Oswald Mosley, "Atrocities"

r) "Noam Chomsky's Search For The Truth". Once on the Oswald Mosley website in the "People" section. Later removed.





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