May 28, 2006
Islamic Resistance Movement
Hamas, the ruling party in Palestine, is under increasing pressure from much of
the international community to acknowledge the scofflaw state of Israel’s "right
to exist." The
"right to exist" specifically refers to the question of whether or not the
Jewish people, have a right to erect a homeland for themselves on the land of
According to acclaimed intellectual Noam Chomsky, the "right to exist" for any
geographical entity is "a
concept unknown in international affairs."
notes the hypocrisy in the Zionists’s rejectionism: "Hamas’s refusal to accept
Israel’s 'right to exist’ mirrors the refusal of Washington and Jerusalem to
accept Palestine’s 'right to exist.’"
follows up with a criticism of Hamas: "Hamas’s formal commitment to 'destroy
Israel’ places it on a par with the US and Israel, which vowed formally that
there could be no 'additional Palestinian state.’" Chomsky equates Hamas with
the US and Israel because it rejects the continuation of a state that came into
existence through a pogrom against the Palestinian people.
call for the obliteration of Israel, but Hamas has since dropped this call. 
However, if Hamas were to agree to Israel’s "right to exist" on the Palestinian
homeland, it would undermine part of its raison d’être as laid out in its
has not said so, it would come as no great surprise if Hamas were to agree to
allow Jews to remain in scattered cantons in the present Israel, while Palestine
constructs huge settlement and infrastructure projects to take over the valuable
land and resources, effectively breaking Israel up into unviable cantons,
virtually separated from one another and from some small part of Jerusalem where
Jews would also be allowed to remain. And they might agree to call the fragments
"a state." If such proposals were made, we would -- rightly -- regard them as a
reversion to Nazism, a fact that might elicit some thoughts. If such proposals
are made, Hamas’s position would be essentially like that of the US and Israel
for the past five years. 
thoughts are elicited. If Hamas were to agree to the continuation of a Jewish
state in scattered cantons, would "we" then consider Hamas’s position to be one
of Nazism? Chomsky equates such a speculative Hamas position to the current
position of the US and Israel. But wait! Israel is guilty of Nazism, and the US
through complicity, because they steal the territory of the indigenous
Palestinians and squeeze them into non-viable cantons. If the Palestinians
attempt to recover the territory stolen from them -- but not all -- and leave
scattered cantons for the ethnic cleansers, then they are guilty of Nazism? What
kind of logic is this?
classic case of demonizing the victim, Chomsky writes, "It is entirely
fair to describe Hamas as radical, extremist, and violent, and as a
serious threat to peace and a just political settlement. But the
organization hardly is alone in this stance." [italics
comment is actually quite outlandish coming from a progressive. One wonders:
what is even remotely fair about drawing an equivalency between an aggressor
which has violently invaded and occupied the territory of an indigenous people
and the victims who are only defending and attempting to recover their
territory? If a gang were to break and enter into the abode of Chomsky and
fiercely attempt to evict him and his family, would an act of a violent defense
render Chomsky and his family the terroristic equivalent of the gang? Would such
a conclusion be fair?
Hamas to pose a "serious threat to peace and a just political settlement," there
must be such "a just political settlement" on offer. But Chomsky’s own
scholarship over the years clearly points out the rejectionism of the US-Israel
duo of myriad proposals for a "political settlement," -- just or not -- with the
Palestinians.  Why, then, does he characterize Hamas as a "serious threat" to
something that does not exist and never has existed?
It should also be
noted that Hamas -- "a serious threat to peace" -- has scrupulously maintained a
ceasefire for the last 16 months. Meanwhile, on 20 May, Israeli forces
assassinated another Palestinian leader, Mohammed Dadouh, in Gaza, killing also
a woman, her five-year-old son, and the grandmother. Who is the "serious threat
to peace": the side upholding the ceasefire or the side that engages in what is,
by definition, terrorism?
Palestinians have the inalienable right of self-defense and the right to resist
Hamas to acknowledge the state of Israel’s "right to exist" is tantamount to
acknowledging Israel’s "right to deny the right to exist" of themselves on their
own land. It is to acknowledge the right of people from another continent to
invade and ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland that they have
inhabited for 4,000 years. It is the right to kill for territorial
Hamas is being demanded to do is to acknowledge and accede to their own history
of being ethnically cleansed. It is a demand to agree to their dispossession.
Rewarding Zionism at the United
absurdity continues with United Nations Secretary General Kofi
desires Israel’s "unqualified" membership in the UN. At a function celebrating
the centennial of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, Annan said, "I
hope that within my lifetime, just as in this country, where Jews are accepted
without question as full citizens by all their fellow citizens, so Israel will
be accepted without question as a member by the whole family of nations."
1947 UN Partition Plan imposed a Jewish area upon 55 percent of the territory of
Palestinians; no referendum was permitted. The UN had, in effect, rewarded the
use of ethnic cleansing by a racist aggressor.
in 1950, the UN General Assembly granted conditional membership to Israel. UN
General Assembly Resolution 273 ordered Israel to implement UN General Assembly
Resolution 181 that defines the borders of Israel and Palestine and Resolution
194 that recognizes the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Israel has
never complied with either demand. What does this imply about the validity of
Israel’s status as a current member of the UN? The fact that UN General Assembly
Resolutions are non-binding under international law does not absolve Israel of
its moral duty to honor agreements that it has signed. Morality and Zionism,
however, are mutually exclusive. There is no morality in the territorial theft
of another people’s land. 
state of Israel is a serial violator of international law. By Israeli reckoning,
from 1967 to 1988, the UN Security Council passed 88 resolutions against it.
During that time period, the UN General Assembly passed 429 resolutions against
words amount to a repudiation of the institution that he nominally heads, an
institution sinking deeper into political irrelevancy.
doesn’t Annan call for "unqualified" Palestinian member state status in the UN?
Why does the UN not recognize one half of the partition it imposed on
then, what kind of comments would one expect from an individual who
categorically states that the invasion of UN member state Iraq was illegal, and
makes no public moves to oppose the aggression?
stood dismally by when three of his humanitarian heads in Iraq (UN humanitarian
aid chiefs Dennis
Halliday, Hans von
Sponeck, and World Food Program chief Jutta Burghardt) resigned in disgust at
the genocide being wreaked on Iraqis by UN sanctions. Annan’s public silence is,
at worst, complicity with genocide.
is a state erected on the destruction, still ongoing, of another state and its
indigenous people. Israel has been in existence since 1948: a 58-year
fact-on-the-ground. Chomsky holds that the passage of time does give legitimacy
to the state of Israel. As a solution to the current violence, Chomsky concedes
this violent fact-on-the-ground by referring to the "reality" of options
available to the Palestinians. Chomsky argues that it is in the best interests
of the dispossessed and brutalized Palestinians and the brutalizing Zionist
dispossessors to agree to a confederation, but the "reality" is that the outcome
will probably be a two-state solution. 
other words, to end the present suffering of Palestinians, the Palestinians
should agree to their dispossession and in return they will be rewarded,
supposedly, by a cessation of the violence against them for the audacity of
wanting to live on their land. What does elementary morality posit about such
since the Zionists have consistently violated international law and
international agreements that they have undertaken, and since they have refused
to delimit their Zionist state, why would any thinker suggest that Palestinians
should reach an agreement on territorial sharing with the Zionists? Zionist
leader David Ben-Gurion stated, "The acceptance of partition does not commit us
to renounce Transjordan. One does not demand from anybody to give up his vision.
We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today -- but the boundaries of
the Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external
factor will be able to limit them."
morality is apparently quite different than conventional elementary morality. In
1937, Ben-Gurion wrote, "I support compulsory transfer [i.e., ethnic cleansing].
I don’t see anything immoral in it." Following the logic of Ben-Gurion, the
Nazis were operating within the bounds of morality when they were transferring
statements provide cover for several decades of Zionist expansion. Is Chomsky
correct? Does the passage of time obviate morality and legitimate evil
conclusions would Martian observers of humanity reach when one of Earth’s most
celebrated living scholars intellectually concedes not the tactic of
ethnic cleansing but the result on the grounds of "reality"?
same "reality"-based logic, shouldn’t Chomsky also call for gifting Iraq’s oil
to the invader-occupiers in exchange for partial restoring of Iraq’s sovereignty
and ceasing the lethal violence against Iraqis? After all, the "reality" is that
as long as the Iraqis resist occupation, Iraqis will die in large
the Afghan resistance relent and allow the traversing of its territory by
pipelines in exchange for an end to occupation and
same reasoning would permeate the historical chain of imperialism. The
Vietnamese should have acquiesced to the Americans, and to the French before
them, to spare violent misery being heaped upon the people. But the Vietnamese
succeeded at pushing the aggressors out of Vietnam. The Iraqi resistance is so
far having stunning success against overwhelming odds. Why, in the particular
case of Zionist atrocities, should Palestinians concede their dignity and accept
decades of ethnic cleansing, killing, and humiliation based on Chomsky’s view of
"reality" that he does not seem to apply elsewhere?
What is the
lesson here? Elementary morality dictates that it is wrong to kill and thieve.
However, according to the rationale proffered by Chomsky, "reality"-driven
considerations trump elementary morality; if an entity thieves and kills, it
should be placated with possession of some of its ill-gotten booty in exchange
for a cessation of its violence. There is no call for sanctions against the
thieving killer; instead it is rewarded for agreeing to end its
does such logic ordain for subsequent acts of theft and
does it look to Martian observers when the effete figurehead of the UN and a
foremost intellectual and progressive advocate what amounts to a bankrupting of
Kim Petersen, Co-Editor of Dissident
Voice, lives in the traditional Mi'kmaq homeland colonially designated Nova
Scotia, Canada. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Noam Chomsky, "Afterword:
Failed States," ZNet, 26 April 2006.
Chris McGreal, "Hamas drops
call for destruction of Israel from manifesto," The
Chomsky, op. cit.
 Noam Chomsky,
and Accommodation" in Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel & The
Palestinians (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1983, 1999),
Breaking News, "Annan wants full
U.N. membership for Israel," JTA, 4 May 2004
The UN correctly recognized the immorality of Zionism in 1975, when UN
General Assembly Resolution 3379 was adopted. US pressure had this resolution
overturned in 1991.
 Reference Desk,
U.N.’s Record Vis a Vis Israel," Arutz Sheva.
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky (New York:
New Press, 2002) Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel (Eds.),