A Rather Grim Outlook

Tromsø University and in particular its Center of Advanced Studies in Linguistics (CASTL), which celebrates its excellence and tenth anniversary, hosts this autumn semester Noam Chomsky who gave a political talk to the public yesterday to an overcrowded auditorium. Chomsky, who has a reputation of giving rather boring speeches, surprised with his sometimes mild and often grim humor when looking back 65 years of the crisis in the Middle East, which is due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The title of his talk on “Middle East Dilemmas. Simple Solutions, Difficult Obstacles” reminded everybody that the solutions are there, on the table, and supported by the vast majority of the people. Not surprisingly, he makes US American foreign policies of numerous of its post-WWII Presidents and Administrations and, of course, Israel responsible for any impasse. Several times Chomsky compared Israel with the former apartheid regime of South Africa when describing the fate of Palestinians being humiliated and deprived of human rights for decades of Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank, the occupation of the Golan Heights, the sieges of and war in Gaza, Lebanon etc. The apparent solutions for the conflict are of little interest for either Israel or the US, so are the popular overthrow of dictators in the Middle East and the development of Democracy.

His pretty apologetic description of the Iranian case (albeit at least twice mentioning the malicious  regime in Tehran which even might be a threat for its own population; there are other rogue regimes, some even worse, he was quick to add) sparked criticism of at least one Iranian during the discussion who mentioned Iran’s support of Hisbollah and Hamas, even their acts of terror; and its support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Tehran’s strive for nuclear weapon capability, which is denied by the US and Israel, is seen by Chomsky as a deterrent only. The threat for both Israel and the US is, according to Chomsky, that Iran might make a decision to manufacture nuclear war heads and quickly gets into a position where threats by the former countries to attack would be of no avail any longer.

September 14, 2012 @ 11:24.

Last modified September 14, 2012.

This entry was posted in Academics, Iran, Israel, Middle East, USA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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