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Noam Chomsky endorses Berkeley divestment

Letter to the ASUC Senate in support of SB 118A, the divestment bill

I would like to express my support and appreciation for the principled statement of the ASUC Senate calling for divestment from US corporations providing military technology for Israel to use in the occupied territories and in its past and possibly future invasions of Lebanon. Amnesty International has gone further, calling for a full arms embargo during Israel’s murderous attack on Gaza in January 2009, with pretexts that do not withstand a moment’s scrutiny, one of the most egregious of recent US-backed Israeli crimes.

There can be no question about the right, in fact responsibility, of students to express their concerns about official actions of their university, and to call on university authorities to refrain from improper actions — in this case, indirect participation in ongoing crimes. The statement appropriately focuses on our own responsibilities: on our own actions — or inaction — and their consequences. That much is hardly more than moral truism. In the present case, the decision goes beyond moral truism: the US plays a decisive role in implementing illegal Israeli takeover of occupied territories, harsh repression, violence and aggression. It is our responsibility to do what we can to act ourselves, and to mobilize others, to change the US government policies that foster serious crimes and bar the path to peaceful diplomatic settlement. Terminating support for US corporations that participate in US-backed Israeli crimes is a significant step towards this end, both in its policy and educational implications.

Noam Chomsky
Lexington, MA

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23 Responses to “Noam Chomsky endorses Berkeley divestment”

  1. Noam Chomsky? hAHAHA! Yeah that'll really help.

    Posted by Admiral_Akbar | April 14, 2010, 12:52 am
  2. This is kind of odd, considering that Chomsky opposes the BDS movement otherwise. Perhaps the fact he considers it okay to boycott American companies that do business with Israel but not Israeli companies fits in with his questionable belief that Israel's policy towards the Palestinians is made in Washington, rather than the other way around. We should be boycotting both.

    Posted by Sean2009 | April 14, 2010, 1:04 am
    • Yes Sean, you should not be buying anything American. Nothing made by America or for America, funded by America, or from which America profits. Probably should boycott America's allies as well.

      So, what did you eat today? What are you wearing? Use any soap today? Toothpaste, deodorant? Watch any movies? Use a phone today?

      Posted by hypocrite | April 14, 2010, 1:41 am
      • Riiight, thats what he said. Idiot.

        Sean, I was thinking the same thing. I'd be interested in hearing Chomsky explain this one. Quite interesting.

        Posted by MohammadKF | April 14, 2010, 2:01 am
        • Who's an idiot? Sean says that Chomsky opposes BDS against Israel but wants to boycott U.S. companies doing business with Israel. Ok. Apparently Chomsky thinks that Israeli policy dealing with Palestinians is made in Washington, while Sean suggests that Washington policy is made in Israel (Sean loves a good conspiracy). Ok.

          So Sean says we should boycott both, both Israel and America (or just Americans that do business with Israel). After all, Sean believes that a company in business is a monolithic entity that is inherently evil, exploiting people and seeking to cause harm to the environment and anything else it can. He certainly doesn't realize that human beings actually work at companies and support their families, that companies provide goods and services to human beings, that companies have helped to increase that standard of living to the wonderful place it is today. Ok.

          So we should boycott both Israel and American companies, at least the ones doing business with Israel. Despite the fact that this is silly and won't accomplish anything, what has Sean stopped buying, what has he denied himself for the cause of this great hatred he has against anything Israeli?

          Riiight.

          Posted by mo-ham-sandwich | April 15, 2010, 4:17 am
          • You're an idiot mo-ham-sandwich. Sean just doesn't seem to get it.

            Chomsky advocates boycotting companies which profit from war crimes, be they located in Israel, the US, or anywhere else. He opposes blanket boycott of Israeli products, which would be greatly counter-productive.

            And it is idiotic to argue that we should not boycott these criminal companies because "human beings actually work at companies and support their families, that companies provide goods and services to human beings, that companies have helped to increase that standard of living to the wonderful place it is today."

            What these companies are doing is selling Israel equipment which allows it to mass-slaughter, disposes, and oppress Palestinians. But I guess from your perspective these sand-ni****s aren't human. It's funny how you try to mask your racism by claiming Sean has "great hatred against anything Israeli". Such is the language of racists these days.

            The KKK claims that it is not racist, it's people who oppose it who are racist (against whites). You claim that your support for the dispossession and murder of people based entirely on their race isn't racist. It's people who oppose it who are racist (against Israelis).

            What a transparent lie!

            And hypocrite should note that most of the items he listed are actually made in China.

            Posted by Paul | April 15, 2010, 5:29 pm
          • dispossession and murder of people based entirely on their race

            The Palestinians were displaced, but not for racial reasons. See what happened in 1948 HERE.

            See what happened in 1967 HERE.

            You actually have a lot in common with the KKK, hating Jews and all.

            Posted by Admiral_Akbar | April 17, 2010, 4:28 am
    • I think this may represent a development or shift in his views. It was certainly a surprise to the people involved.

      Posted by yaman | April 14, 2010, 5:41 am
    • You're spot on. Israel bears full responsibility for their actions, they've never made any indication that they are being pressured or acting against their will and they are the sole beneficiary of their actions. Simultaneously, for many decades, each sitting president has attempted and failed to even slow down their march toward their manifest destiny-delusion. Zionist Chomsky is playing a shell game, trading his credibility to protect the dream.

      Posted by braille | April 14, 2010, 9:35 pm
  3. It doesn't matter which way the vote goes tonight. A political force has been unleashed, and it is unstoppable at this point. UC Berkeley students have proved once and for all that you can significantly dis Israel and still have people support you. Not only will people support you, you most likely have the majority if people know the facts, and only anti-democratic political cronyism has a chance of stopping it. What we have to do now is go after political cronyism. A negative vote tonight will only be a road bump in the overall journey.

    Posted by Jamal | April 14, 2010, 3:38 pm
  4. Noam should stick to linguistics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOIM1_xOSro

    Posted by joe | April 14, 2010, 10:59 pm
  5. Noam Chomsky surpports this because he is not against BDS. His position is that such a strategy only has a real chance of success if it's aimed towards specific Israeli illegalities (weapons used to carry out war crimes, establishing illegal settlements etc), rather than general cultural boycotts which he thinks are useless.

    Posted by Daniel | April 15, 2010, 7:57 am
  6. any act which might really affect his beloved israel is useless, pointless, misdirected.

    Posted by hang 'em high | April 15, 2010, 3:45 pm
  7. I do beleive that killing people base on their race is deplorable. I also beleive that seeing is beleiving. I have spoken to Palestinians who lived in Palestine, Orthodox Rabbis and Israeli soldiers. Berkely students need an education. You are a bunch of youngsters that in all actuality are more concerned with getting laid than in doing proper research and lets face it, liberal politics putting a baby seal on the face of hamas might get you laid, but is poor research and terrible integrity. Israel has nothing to gain from slaughtering Palestinians and they do not hate Muslims. They are fighting terrorists using ambulances as launching pads. At least UCIrvine and UC SD realized they could not properly represent the student body appropriately as even the smartes intellectuals couldnt figure out proper solutions for the Middle East and what was true and false. Yet the Berkeley Student Union knows better. One good thing will come out of this though. Those liberal Jews that used to go to Berkely might get a real education and begin to denounce the Berkeley Socialist education that is very detrimental to the future of this country and highly antisemitic. You have just cost Berkely alot of Jewish money. I hope Achmanutjob can replace it for you.

    Posted by kensonthespot | April 28, 2010, 9:29 pm
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    Posted by najib | August 15, 2014, 11:38 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Source: http://www.kabobfest.com [...]

  2. [...] April 14, 2010 Noam Chomsky endorses Berkeley divestment Posted by marcy/مارسي newman/نيومان under Boycott Campaigns, Divestment, Student Organizing, U.S. Academica Leave a Comment  Letter to the ASUC Senate in support of SB 118A, the divestment bill [...]

  3. [...] Noam Chomsky [...]

  4. [...] Noam Chomsky [...]

  5. [...] of a presidential veto of AUSC’s pro-disvestment vote [previously]. The vote is today. HT to Kabobfest.com. Letter to the ASUC Senate in support of SB 118A, the divestment [...]

  6. [...] divestment.  The letters of support from Jewish Voice for Peace, Judith Butler, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and others make this abundantly [...]

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