By Alex Constantine

I have to say at the outset that I've never considered Noam Chomsky to be a "leading intellectual" on language, politics, or anything else. Linguists have known for some time that his work on language acquisition is seriously flawed. His writing on the "Media Propaganda Model" is completely indefensible, an attempt to distance himself from "conspiracy theorists" -- who know for a fact that the intelligence community maintains a verifiable presence in many mass media outlets, and that corporations do, in fact, exert considerable influence on the information we receive through commercial channels. He has publicly stated that the murder of John Kennedy is "not inportant," because JFK is "just another dead president." But in an unguarded moment, before another audience, he once popped up with, "Of course, it was a conspiracy." Chomsky was even condescending about it, as if this has been his position for years. When he realized what he had said, he immediately tried to walk the statement back, but was stricken inarticulate by his own contradictions. See: "On Fascism and the Dissociative Academic Rhetoric of Noam Chomsky" He once wrote a diatribe defending the right of a French fascist to be heard. Fascists are heard every day, of course, because many of them enjoy positions of power and prestige in the United States and elsewhere. Finding outlets of expression has never been a problem for the far-right, even "Bell Curve" racists and Holocaust deniers. I wrote him once and asked for his assistance in addressing the issue of organized child abuse, a topic he never discusses. I felt that he should range a little more widely, because Chomsky usually wants to bash Israel, and little else. But he flatly refused. I replied: "French fascists, yes -- abused children, no." "I knew you were going to be trouble," he told me. I think Chomsky is a droll comedian, and a gifted one, but also a snob advanced by an establishment left that has no idea what he thinks about most issues because he narrows the discussion to the crimes of Israel, and sometimes American invasions when there is one on the front page of the New York Times, and that's about it. (For the record, anyone who has followed my postings over the years knows that I am not pro-Israel. But I am also aware of the postwar Nazi collaborations of the Arab League, and realize that, historically, Jews have had a hard time of it in the Middle East. Yes, Israel stole land and continues to do so, but some sort of reconciliation has to be struck or the shelling of civilians by both sides will continue ad infinitum. War crimes must be brought to an end, even when territorial enmities are complex and one side is in the wrong.) Here is one more lapse in Chomsky's sense of judgment. Again we find him courting bad company:

From: "Friends and enemies colour BDS ideology" (excerpt)

In his quest to make a point against Israel, academic Jake Lynch has exposed his own hypocrisy, argues Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz. The head of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney, Associate Professor Jake Lynch, has received a number of high-profile condemnations over his recent decision to refuse to work with Hebrew University of Jerusalem academic Dan Avnon. This decision, made in accordance with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel - of which Lynch is a strong supporter - was in spite of Avnon's work, which involves creating a civics program for Jewish and Arab students in Israel in order to work towards reconciliation between the two groups. On the face of it, Avnon's work is exactly what Lynch purports to encourage, with the Centre's mission being to "focus on the resolution of conflict with a view to attaining just societies" and to "facilitate dialogue between individuals, groups or communities who are concerned with conditions of positive peace". For Lynch, however, the institutional ties to an Israeli university were so unthinkable that he could not make an exception for an academic who is working to accomplish the centre's supposed aims. Lynch and his supporters (including Anthony Loewenstein on this website) have been adamant that there is nothing anti-Semitic about refusing to deal with anyone connected to the Jewish state. With this in mind, looking at some of the people that Lynch actually advocates dealing with raises disturbing questions. As I wrote in The Australian in May this year, Lynch has written a book with Norwegian Professor Johan Galtung who was recently accused of having connections to numerous white supremacist groups and renowned neo-Nazis.  In 2004, Galtung ran a workshop with CPACS in which he tasked them with re-enacting the Passion of the Christ, only this time finding a way to negotiate Jesus' release – which is not only manifestly theologically offensive to Christians, but revisits the age-old anti-Semitic trope of Jewish deicide. At the same event, he ran another workshop on how to negotiate with Al Qaeda. In March 2010, Lynch hosted Sameh Habeeb, who runs a website called The Palestine Telegraph and has worked for an organisation called The Palestinian Return Centre, which is proudly pro-Hamas and in favour of violence as a means of 'resistance'. Habeeb had - and continues to - repeatedly publish anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denial material from the likes of neo-Nazi icon David Duke and Australia's own Holocaust denier Frederick Toben. Just a few months before his CPACS appearance, Habeeb had seen fit to mark Holocaust remembrance day by publishing a piece by notorious anti-Semite Gil Atzmon, saying that "Israelis are the Nazis of our time", that the "Israeli institutional involvement in organ harvesting" is a "well-documented and an accepted fact", and that the day had come about because world leaders had "bowed to Jewish pressure and made the Holocaust into an international memorial day". Lynch was aware of this material, however he was adamant that Habeeb had repudiated it and determined to host him regardless. ... In essence, people that Lynch promotes dialogue with include an assorted group of violent Islamist extremists, Holocaust-deniers, and neo-Nazis. People that Lynch forbids dialogue with include Israelis. Although, as he argues, he is not a racist, because he has hosted Jews at his centre - like American linguist Noam Chomsky, and Israeli ex-pat and historian Ilan Pappe. That would be the Noam Chomsky who once said that "I see no anti-Semitic implications in the denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust"; and the same Ilan Pappe who supports the anti-Semitic allegation from medieval Europe that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood in ritual bread. For someone who is not a racist, Lynch certainly seems to spend a lot of time and energy promoting racists and helping them propagate their viewpoints, and his 'I'm not anti-Semitic, some of my friends are Jews' excuse hardly exonerates him. His other standard response is along the lines of 'any critic of Israel is always called an anti-Semite' - which is a very convenient excuse for not addressing the issue. ... Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz is a policy analyst and social media coordinator at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.