Glenn Greenwald airbrushes the bigotry and extremism of Noam Chomsky

Glenn Greenwald’s latest post includes a spirited defense of Noam Chomsky, one of his intellectual inspirations, titled ‘How Noam Chomsky is discussed‘,  March 23.

Greenwald has previously cited the wit and wisdom of the extremist MIT professor, and now is evidently devoting significant space in his new book to explaining how Chomsky’s “exclusion” from mainstream political debate represents a good example of how “media systems” restrict “alternative” views.

Greenwald argues, thusly: 

Nobody has been subjected to…vapid discrediting techniques more than Noam Chomsky. The book on which I’m currently working explores how establishment media systems restrict the range of acceptable debate in US political discourse, and I’m using Chomsky’s treatment by (and ultimate exclusion from) establishment US media outlets as a window for understanding how that works. As a result, I’ve read a huge quantity of media discussions about Chomsky over the past year. And what is so striking is that virtually every mainstream discussion of him at some point inevitably recites the same set of personality and stylistic attacks designed to malign his advocacy without having to do the work of engaging the substance of his claims.

Greenwald further complains that Chomsky has been smeared with horrible slurs, such as the claim that he is an antisemitic (self-hating) Jew, “due to defending some 35 years ago the right to free speech of a French professor who was later convicted  [in a French court] of Holocaust denial”.

However, the French “professor” Chomsky defended, Robert Faurissonwasn’t merely a Holocaust denier, but also “a proponent of Nazi-style bigotry and apologist for Hitler’s regime who had also written for neo-Nazi publications and spoken at neo-Nazi meetings”.

Additionally, as Paul Bogdanor observed:

The petition [which Chomsky signed] dignified Faurisson’s writings by (a) affirming his scholarly credentials (“a respected professor” of “document criticism”); (b) describing his lies as “extensive historical research”; (c) placing the term “Holocaust” in derisory quotation marks; and (d) portraying his lies as “findings.”

Chomsky not only defended Faurisson but offered the following views about those who engage in Holocaust denial:

I see no antisemitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the holocaust.

As Bogdanor argued, denying the existence of gas chambers and the Holocaust “was the brainchild of antisemites and neo-Nazi activists” and “a propaganda tactic of antisemitic and neo-Nazi individuals and movements all over the world.”

Additionally, arguing that the Holocaust is a myth is necessarily antisemitic, as it suggests an elaborate global Jewish conspiracy which, over the course of nearly seven decades since the end of WWII, popularized a grand historic “fiction”: that Nazis systematically murdered six million Jews. 

Further, this wasn’t a one-off for Chomsky. Here are other quotes from the esteemed radical professor on Jews, Zionism and Israel. 

On American Jews:

“Jews in the US are the most privileged and influential part of the population… privileged people want to make sure they have total control, not just 98% control. That’s why antisemitism is becoming an issue.”

On Zionism:

“Hitler’s conceptions have struck a responsive chord in current Zionist commentary.”

On Judaism:

“In the Jewish community, the Orthodox rabbinate imposes its interpretation of religious law… Were similar principles to apply to Jews elsewhere, we would not hesitate to condemn this revival of the Nuremberg laws.”

In addition to his hostility towards Jews, Chomsky has argued that the U.S. is “the world’s greatest terrorist state, has praised the Vietcongdefended the Khmer Rouge, and expressed support for Hezbollah – all of which Greenwald would no doubt characterize as “personality and stylistic” quirks which in no way detract from the righteousness of his “progressive” advocacy.

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