Speaking to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now today, renowned linguist and political scientist Noam Chomsky spared no barb in his estimation of the life of recently deceased former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
“[T]here is a convention that you’re not supposed to speak ill of the recently dead, which unfortunately imposes a kind of vow of silence because there’s nothing else to say–there’s nothing good to say,” Chomsky said.
“He was a brutal killer,” Chomsky continued. “He had one fixed idea in mind, which drove him all his life: a greater Israel, as powerful as possible, as few Palestinians as possible.”
According to Chomsky, Sharon’s career was “one of unremitting brutality, dedication to the fixed idea of his life. He doubtless showed courage and commitment to pursuing this ideal, which is an ugly and horrific one.”
Chomsky agreed with Rashid Khalidi, who was also on the program and described the response to Sharon’s death as one in which “a war criminal and mass murderer” is being “turned into a god in the American media.”
“What Rashid has said is exactly accurate,” Chomsky said. Sharon “was a brutal killer” committed to the idea that the Palestinians “should somehow disappear” and that Israel should “be powerful enough to dominate the region.”
He went on to discuss Sharon’s separation of the West Bank from the Gaza Strip: “Israel will keep the people in Gaza on a diet. We won’t let them starve to death; that won’t look good in the international world,” he said. “We’ll just give them just enough to stay barely alive in this open-air prison, as Rashid Khalidi correctly described it, and they’ll be separated from the West Bank.”
He finished by noting that all Americans are implicated in Sharon’s alleged crimes. “[W]e have direct responsibility,” Chomsky argued, “for the fact that our own government is crucially facilitating all of this.”
Watch the first segment of Chomsky’s interview with Amy Goodman below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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