"Right to Exist" another Zionist Propaganda TrickJohn Titlow: What do you make of the Bush administration’s recent efforts through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to monitor NPR’s coverage of the Middle East in order to detect a so-called bias, which to the government might mean something different than it does to us?
Chomsky: On the Middle East bias, that’s an interesting question. There’s a big attack on the universities for that too, same as public broadcasting. And it does raise the question of “what do you mean by bias?” There are some very simple tests of that, which are never undertaken. They’re never undertaken because everybody knows what the answer will be.
The question is: Are you biased against Israel? There’s a simple test: Do you think that Israel should have the same rights as any state in the international system? No more, no less. That’s neutral. That’s what it means not to be biased against, say, Luxembourg. Well, nobody asks that, because the answer’s going to be 100 percent agreement in the Middle East departments of the universities and the media and so on, so therefore that’s not a good answer. What lies behind it is the belief that Israel, the U.S. offshoot in the Middle East, should have rights far beyond those of any state in the international system. That’s called unbiased.
And that’s what mainstream opinion is: Israel should have what’s called the abstract “right to exist.” No state has a right to exist, and no one demands such a right. For example, the United States has no such right. Mexico doesn’t respect the right of the United States to exist, sitting on half of Mexico, which was conquered in war. They do grant the U.S. rights in the international system, but not the legitimacy of those rights.
This concept “right to exist” was in fact invented, as far as I can tell, in the 1970s when there was general international agreement, including the Arab states and the PLO, that Israel should have the rights of every state in the international system. And therefore, in an effort to prevent negotiations and a diplomatic settlement, the U.S. and Israel insisted on raising the barrier to something that nobody’s going to accept. Certainly, the Palestinians can’t accept it. They’re not going to accept Israel’s existence but also the legitimacy of its existence and the legitimacy of their dispossession. Why should they accept that? Why should anyone accept it?
But that’s what’s called “neutrality” and being “unbiased.” It shows in all sorts of other ways. So what they mean by unbiased is approximately what they would have meant in the Kremlin. Yes, that’s very dangerous and the fact that that’s even contemplated is outrageous, and the attacks against the universities as well. These really reflect a totalitarian instinct, in my opinion, and of course they’re dressed up under the name academic freedom and so on, but anyone who’s read Orwell knows what that means.
DFire Interview: Chomsky The venerated MIT professor talks about the future of democracy by John Titlow in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA