Information Clearing House
Tue, 21 Sep 2010 16:06 CDT
Noam Chomsky explains the reality of Israel’s actions to Canadian interviewer Evan Solomon.
The show is Hot Type on CBC
Hot Type edited down some of what Chomsky said, below is a transcript with more of what Chomsky said:
Chomsky: Let’s take a look at the Middle East, let’s take a look at facts. The facts are, for 35 years, there has been a harsh, brutal, military operation. There has not been a political settlement. The reason that there has not been a political settlement is because the United States, unilaterally, has blocked it for 25 years. Just recently, Saudi Arabia produced a highly praised plan for political settlement. The majority of the American population supports it. The majority of the population also thinks the United States ought to be more active in the Middle East. They don’t know that that’s a contradiction in terms. The reason that’s a contradiction in terms is the following: In the Saudi Arabia plan is a repetition of a series of proposals, which go back to 1976 when the UN Security Council debated a resolution calling for a settlement, in accord with the Saudi plan, to state settlement on the internationally recognized borders. With arrangements to guarantee the rights of every state in the nation to exist in peace and security within secure and recognized borders.
That was January 1976. OK, that was actually in accord with official U.S. policy. Except for one thing. It called for a Palestinian State in the territories; Israel wouldn’t leave the occupied territories. That was vetoed by the US. It was supported by the Arab states, it was supported by the PLO, supported by Europe.
Solomon: Before they even recognized Israel as a state, though.
Chomsky: This was to exist as a state within secure and recognized borders. Nobody talked about recognizing the new Palestinian state, nobody talked about recognizing Israel. Look, is there a possible political settlement today? Has there been one for the last 25 years? Is it supported by the entire world, including the majority of the American people? The answer to that question is yes. There is a political settlement that has been supported by virtually the entire world, including the Arab states, the PLO, Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada…
Solomon: Didn’t Barak put that on the table?
Chomsky: No, he did not!
Solomon: He did not?
Chomsky: What was also supported by the majority of the American people, has just been reiterated by Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has unilaterally blocked it for 25 years. What Barak put on the table, the population doesn’t know this, because people like the Western media in Canada in the United States don’t tell them. Like, you can check and see how often, you for example, and others, have reported what I just said. Don’t bother checking. The answer is zero.
The Barak proposal in Camp David, the Barak-Clinton proposal, in the United States, I didn’t check the Canadian media, in the United States you cannot find a map, which is the most important thing of course, check in Canada, see if you can find a map. You go to Israel, you can find a map, you go to scholarly sources, you can find a map. Here’s what you find when you look at a map: You find that this generous, magnanimous proposal provided Israel with a salient east of Jerusalem, which was established primarily by the Labor government, in order to bisect the West Bank. That salient goes almost to Jericho, breaks the West Bank into two cantons, then there’s a second salient to the North, going to the Israeli settlement of Ariel, which bisects the Northern part into two cantons.
So, we’ve got three cantons in the West Bank, virtually separated. All three of them are separated from a small area of East Jerusalem which is the center of Palestinian commercial and cultural life and of communications. So you have four cantons, all separated from the West, from Gaza, so that’s five cantons, all surrounded by Israeli settlements, infrastructure, development and so on, which also incidentally guarantee Israel control of the water resources.
This does not rise to the level of South Africa 40 years ago when South Africa established the Bantustans. That’s the generous, magnanimous offer. And there’s a good reason why maps weren’t shown. Because as soon as you look at a map, you see it.
Solomon: All right, but let me just say, Arafat didn’t even bother putting a counter-proposal on the table.
Chomsky: Oh, that’s not true.
Solomon: They negotiated that afterwards.
Chomsky: That’s not true.
Solomon: I guess my question is, if they don’t continue to negotiate –
Chomsky: They did. That’s false.
Solomon: That’s false?
Chomsky: Not only is it false, but not a single participant in the meetings says it. That’s a media fabrication . . .
Solomon: That Arafat didn’t put a counter-proposal . . .
Chomsky: Yeah, they had a proposal. They proposed the international consensus, which has been accepted by the entire world, the Arab states, the PLO. They proposed a settlement which is in accordance with an overwhelming international consensus, and is blocked by the United States.
Solomon: If you don’t talk –
Chomsky: Yeah, they did talk. They talked. They proposed that.
Solomon: Once they walked out of Camp David,
Chomsky: They didn’t walk out of Camp David . . .
Solomon: Both camps . . .
Chomsky: No, no, both sides walked out of Camp David.
Solomon: All right, once Camp David disbands, the radicals take over the process, my question is, how do . . .
Chomsky: No, no, the radicals didn’t take over the process.
Solomon: You don’t think that the Sharon, the right-wing Israeli . . .
Chomsky: No, Barak stayed in power for months. Barak cancelled it. That’s how it ended.
Solomon: OK. The problem that people look at now in the Middle East is they say it’s spun out of control because the radicals are on both sides now.
Chomsky: No, there’s three sides. You’re forgetting the United States. The radicals in the United States who have blocked this proposal for 25 years, continue to block it.
Solomon: How do we get back, now, there’s so much distrust?
Chomsky: The first way we get back is by trying the experiment of minimal honesty. If we try that experiment of minimal honesty, we look at our own position and we discover what I just described. That for 25 years, the United States has blocked the political settlement, which is supported by the majority of the American population and by the entire world, except for Israel.
The first thing we do is accept the honesty and look at it. We take a look at Camp David and we see how it’s the same. The United States was still demanding a Bantustans style settlement and rejecting the overwhelming international consensus and the position of the American people.
We then discovered the United States immediately moved to enhance terror in the region. So, let’s continue. On September 29th, Ehud Barak put a massive military presence outside the Al Aqsa Mosque, very provocative, when people came out of the Mosque, young people started throwing stones, the Israeli army started shooting, half a dozen people were killed, and it escalated.
The next couple of days — there was no Palestinian fire at this time — Israel used U.S. helicopters (Israel produces no helicopters) to attack civilian complexes, killing about a dozen people and wounding several dozen.
Clinton reacted to that on October 3, 2000 by making the biggest deal in a decade — to send Israel new military helicopters which had just been used for the purpose I described and of course would continue to be.
The U.S. press co-operated with that by refusing to publish the story. To this day, they have not published the fact.
It continued when Bush came in. One of his first acts was to send Israel a new shipment of one of the most advanced military helicopters in the arsenal. That continues right up to a couple of weeks ago with new shipments. You take a look at the reports, from say Jenin, by British correspondents like Peter Beaumont for the London Observer. He says the worst atrocity was the Apache helicopters buzzing around, destroying and demolishing everything.
Now, this is enhancing terror, and we may easily continue. On December 14th, the Security Council tried to pass a resolution calling for what everyone recognized to be the obvious means for reducing terror, namely sending international monitors. That’s a way of reducing terror.
This happened to be in the middle of a quiet period, which lasted for about three weeks. The U.S. vetoed it. 10 days before that, there was a meeting at Geneva of the high-contracting parties of the 4th-Geneva convention, which has unanimously held for 35 years that it applies to Israel. The meeting condemned the Israeli settlements as illegal, condemned the list of atrocities — willful destruction of property, murder, trials, torture.
What happened in that meeting? I’ll tell you what happened in that meeting. The U.S. boycotted it. Therefore, the media refused to publish it.
Therefore, no one here knows that the United States once again enhanced terror by refusing to recognize the applicability of conventions which make virtually everything the United States and Israel are doing there a grave breech of the Geneva convention, which is a war crime.
These conventions were established in 1949 in order to criminalize the atrocities of the Nazis in occupied territory. They are customary international law. The United States is obligated, as a high-contracting party, to prosecute violations of those conventions. That means to prosecute its own leadership for the last 25 years. They won’t do it unless the population forces them to. And the population won’t force them to as long as they don’t know it’s a fact. And they won’t know it’s a fact as long as the media and loyal intellectuals keep it secret.
Sott.net Comment: Widely considered one of the foremost intellectuals of the 21st Century, Noam Chomsky is a textbook example of why it is never a good idea to get your information from only one source.
His view of U.S. and Israeli imperialism, historically and presently, is definitely a view that we at sott endorse. But Chomsky’s belief in the official story of the 911 attack on America shows a major blind spot on his part.
Given his ability to gather information and accurately asses it, it is a very strange stance for him to take, and one which affects the people who trust his assessments in an ultimately negative way.
As always, the best disinformation is often 80% truth.