The Left

Let’s Hear it From Noam!

The Middle East Monitor, a pro-Hamas campaign group that invited the hate preacher, Raed Salah to the United Kingdom continues to add dubious and disreputable supporters to its list. You’ll be unsurprised by the news that the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Mick Napier has signed up. Napier is the chap who regarded the terrorist murder of yeshiva boys in Jerusalem as effectively an act of self defence.

However, the name I’ve really been looking forward to is … Noam Chomsky.

Tantalisingly, an article by the great man went up on Middle East Monitor, but has since disappeared. This is as much as we know:

4 Jul 2011 – I was greatly surprised, and deeply disturbed, to learn that Sheikh Raed Salah is under threat of deportation on grounds that this action

Chomsky was similarly deeply disturbed by the conviction of the neo Nazi, Robert Faurisson, in France. Despite the attempts of fellow progressives to inform Noam that Faurisson was a fanatical antisemite, Chomsky defended him, not on pure freedom of expression grounds, but on the basis that this racist was “a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort”. Which he isn’t.

Of course, Raed Salah’s freedom of expression hasn’t been infringed: only his right to enter the country. He is at liberty to address meetings by video link, if he wants. More to the point: one does not have a right to enter a country from which you are banned merely because you have something to say when you get there.

Who knows what Chomsky will have to say. We must wait and see.


David Lindberg in the comments below provides the full Chomsky statement:

4 Jul 2011 – I was greatly surprised, and deeply disturbed, to learn that Sheikh Raed Salah is under threat of deportation on grounds that this action would be conducive to the public good.

On the contrary, it would be very harmful to the public good, at least if the public good is construed as encouraging free and open discussion of issues of very great significance. Sheikh Salah, former Mayor of the most important Arab town in Israel (Umm al Fahm), has played a very important role as a representative of the Arab community, both domestically and internationally. He has been a respected voice advocating rights and justice, a voice that most definitely should be heard in the West. I hope and trust that this decision of the government will be rescinded, that Sheikh Salah will be released from detention without delay, and that he will be able to continue with his talks and discussions in Britain.

So it really does look as if Chomsky has “done a Faurisson” again.

Silly man.


It is in the Guardian letters. Of course!

Strangely, no letters from the Guardian supporting Salah’s exclusion. It is almost as if they regard themselves as a partisan of Salah’s case, rather than a newspaper.