Noam Chomsky, the leading American philosopher and political activist, has said efforts to force a change in Israeli policies towards the Palestinians through boycotts risk backfiring because of insufficient support.


In reality the BDS Movement has shown growing support daily both Internationally and in Israel itself.

The Spreading BDS Movement

The BDS movement is spreading throughout the world. European pension funds are divesting from banks and companies that operate in settlements, and European markets are labeling Israeli goods made in the West Bank. [FROM]


The above is from a report called ‘Israel’s War Against ‘BDS’ Movement‘. Chomsky once again apparently takes Israel’s side.

My personal views on Chomsky’s confusion can be seen in the following posts from the archives ….



and HERE


And now his latest blunder FROM


Israel boycott campaign risks backfiring, says Noam Chomsky

US philosopher argues that parallels between BDS campaign and action against apartheid-era South Africa are misleading
Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky. Photograph: Jean-Yves Ahern/Demotix/Corbis


Ian Black, Middle East editor


Noam Chomsky, the leading American philosopher and political activist, has said efforts to force a change in Israeli policies towards the Palestinians through boycotts risk backfiring because of insufficient support.

In an article for the Nation, Chomsky courts controversy by arguing that parallels drawn between campaigns against Israel and apartheid-era South Africa are misleading and that a misguided strategy could damage rather than help Israel’s victims.

Chomsky’s target is the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, which has made significant strides in recent years. It calls for an end to Israel’s occupation of Arab lands conquered in 1967 and the dismantling of its West Bank wall; recognising the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and respecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Chomsky says that while there is wide international support for the first two goals, there is only negligible backing beyond the BDS movement itself for the return of the 1948 refugees – a key Palestinian demand. Insistence on that, he says, “is a virtual guarantee of failure”.

Against a background of bitter arguments over BDS activity on US university campuses, Chomsky invokes the “glass house” principle, writing that if Tel Aviv University is boycotted because Israel violates human rights at home, “then why not boycott Harvard because of far greater violations by the US?”

He also questions the “very dubious” analogy made by BDS between sanctions against Israel and sanctions against apartheid South Africa. By 1960, global investors had already abandoned South Africa, says Chomsky, though some historians dispute the claim. Today, by contrast, US investment is flowing into Israel.

“While there is … a growing domestic opposition in the US to Israeli crimes, it does not remotely compare with the South African case,” he writes. “The necessary educational work has not been done. Spokespeople for the BDS movement may believe they have attained their ‘South African moment’, but that is far from accurate. And if tactics are to be effective, they must be based on a realistic assessment of actual circumstances.”

Similar arguments are deployed against the invocation of apartheid. “Within Israel, discrimination against non-Jews is severe; the land laws are just the most extreme example. But it is not South African-style apartheid. In the occupied territories, the situation is far worse than it was in South Africa, where the white nationalists needed the black population: it was the country’s workforce, and as grotesque as the bantustans were, the nationalist government devoted resources to sustaining and seeking international recognition for them.

“In sharp contrast, Israel wants to rid itself of the Palestinian burden. The road ahead is not toward South Africa, as commonly alleged, but toward something much worse.”

Chomsky expresses support for the boycott of products from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories – a strategy enhanced by an EU policy shift last year that was welcomed by pro-Palestinian activists.

South Africa’s freedom struggle, Chomsky recalls, was helped by Cuban military and soft power, as Nelson Mandela gratefully acknowledged. But as the Palestinians have no such saviour, he concludes, “those who are sincerely dedicated to the Palestinian cause should avoid illusion and myth, and think carefully about the tactics they choose and the course they follow.”

• This article was amended on 3 July 2014 to clarify that a remark about global investors abandoning South Africa was part of a paraphrasing of Noam Chomsky’s argument.


  1. mikerol said,

    July 6, 2014 at 18:41

    This boycott, or attempt at it, merely exacerbates the animosity and is as unlikely to produce moves towards peace as all such boycotts US/Cuba, US/Iraq US/Iran have.

  2. July 6, 2014 at 19:42

    […] …read more […]

  3. July 6, 2014 at 23:13


  4. Jim Yost said,

    July 7, 2014 at 04:25

    Chomsky lost his credibility when he came out with his statement that it doesn’t matter who did 911. Now he is nothing more than a dead man who doesn’t realize that he has died. He killed himself and refuses to face up to it.

  5. July 7, 2014 at 04:51

    At one time, I admired almost everything Chomsky had to say, but now realize that he is a phony intellectual who cannot bring himself to admit that 9/11 was an obvious false flag event.

  6. Anon said,

    July 7, 2014 at 08:30

    Noam Chomsky, IF he were a true activist, wouldn’t get the attention of the mainstream media. He is a “gatekeeper” for the establishment. That is why the mainstream media always goes to Noam Chomsky, to see what he has to say about this or that topic. He provides a “limited-hangout” for people on the cusp of a full awakening, but not yet quite there. He keeps them in the current parameters of allowed thinking. He denies the truth regarding 9/11? No surprise there.

  7. mikerol said,

    July 7, 2014 at 15:32

    I’m sorry, I appear to have missed what THE TRUTH about 9/11 is that you are apprised of. Please elucidate,

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