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Chomsky and BDS : Philosophy Again

Published on 08 July 2014, by M. Tomazy.
Noam Chomsky, the famous American philosopher and linguistic elicited argument again on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel.
Chomsky has a doubt by comparing South African apartheid era with Israeli occupation in Palestine. He said:   "While there is … a growing domestic opposition in the US to Israeli crimes, it does not remotely compare with the South African case," he writes. "The necessary educational work has not been done. Spokespeople for the BDS movement may believe they have attained their 'South African moment', but that is far from accurate. And if tactics are to be effective, they must be based on a realistic assessment of actual circumstances.". Ian Black of the Guardian writes in the same article: "Against a background of bitter arguments over BDS activity on US university campuses, Chomsky invokes the “glass house” principle, writing that if Tel Aviv University is boycotted because Israel violates human rights at home, “then why not boycott Harvard because of far greater violations by the US?”

The Zionist occupation is totally different in comparison with the South African former racist regime; The racist 'white' South African regime applied a comprehensive segregation between whites and blacks. They superiorly separated according to racial classification in transportation, neighborhoods, educational institutions and jails. However, The former South African racist regime did not substitute black citizens with white citizens as in case of Israeli substitutive colonialism (i.e., replacing native citizens with foreign migrants), although Zionists exerted hard efforts to classify Judaism as a race, other than a religion. Now a days, Israel classify Jews as a race. Notably, Judaism as a race greatly serves Zionists, since Jewish migration to Palestine will not be on behalf of religious consideration.

Nevertheless, BDS movement succeeded to isolate Israeli occupation in Palestine, particularly in Europe. The European Union applied economic sanctions against Israeli settlement's products in West Bank and forced Israel to label its products. Moreover, Academic sanctions are applied on the Israeli universities, including bilateral researches and academic exchange.
For all that, Israel declared 'war' against BDS movement. "Johansson is a spokesperson for SodaStream, a seltzer-making company whose major factory is located in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. SodaStream generates the highest volume of settlement exports to Europe. Until recently, Johansson was also an ambassador for Oxfam, which, like many other international organizations, opposes all trade from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank because companies are operating there illegally.

Shortly before Johansson’s commercial for SodaStream aired during the Super Bowl last month, Oxfam forced Johansson to choose between SodaStream and Oxfam. She chose SodaStream, stepping down from her post with Oxfam."
Steve Amsel, Jerusalem-based American blogger criticized Chomsky's views; he wrote: "However, when Weir said she had heard him say that he opposed boycott during a lecture at the University of California Berkeley several years ago, Chomsky admitted that he had opposed boycotting Israel then and said that he still did so now. He said that he felt that activists should instead only divest from American companies.

Chomsky claimed that the boycott movement “hurts Palestinians,” because he felt it was “hypocritical to boycott Israel and not the US, which funds Israeli actions.” Weir pointed out that many authors – among them Donald Neff, George Ball, Stephen Green, Kathleen Christison, Edward Tivnan, Walt and Mearsheimer, and, most recently, Grant Smith – have provided massive evidence that the primary reason the U.S. supports Israel is the Israel Lobby (the most powerful lobby for a foreign country in the US).

Chomsky, who has consistently denied the power of the Israel Lobby, said that AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) would use the charge that the Palestinian support movement is allegedly “hypocritical” to undermine its effectiveness, and that therefore this boycott would be harmful to Palestinians. While this statement appeared to indicate that Chomsky now acknowledges the power and significance of the Israel lobby, later in the interview he continued to deny the importance of this lobby."