WASHINGTON – Leftist linguista Noam Chomsky thinks far too much is being made of Russian interference in the 2016 election – and not nearly enough about meddling by another foreign state.
Whom does the fiery 90-year-old atheist, socialist professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology blame? Well, the Jews … Jerusalem … Israel.
“First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support,” he told the Democracy Now TV program.
Chomsky told the program aired on NPR, PBS, Pacifica Radio and some satellite channels the media’s infatuation with supposed Russian interference in the election is “almost a joke.”
“Did the Russians interfere in our elections?” he asked rhetorically. “[It’s] an issue of overwhelming concern in the media. I mean, in most of the world, that’s almost a joke. First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support. Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies – what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015. Did Putin come to give an address to the joint sessions of Congress trying to – calling on them to reverse U.S. policy, without even informing the president? And that’s just a tiny bit of this overwhelming influence. So, if you happen to be interested in influence of – foreign influence on elections, there are places to look. But even that is a joke.”
Chomsky continued: “I mean, one of the most elementary principles of a functioning democracy is that elected representatives should be responsive to those who elected them. There’s nothing more elementary than that. But we know very well that that is simply not the case in the United States. There’s ample literature in mainstream academic political science simply comparing voters’ attitudes with the policies pursued by their representatives, and it shows that for a large majority of the population, they’re basically disenfranchised. Their own representatives pay no attention to their voices. They listen to the voices of the famous 1 percent – the rich and the powerful, the corporate sector. The elections – Tom Ferguson’s stellar work has demonstrated, very conclusively, that for a long period, way back, U.S. elections have been pretty much bought. You can predict the outcome of a presidential or congressional election with remarkable precision by simply looking at campaign spending. That’s only one part of it. Lobbyists practically write legislation in congressional offices. In massive ways, the concentrated private capital, corporate sector, super wealth, intervene in our elections, massively, overwhelmingly, to the extent that the most elementary principles of democracy are undermined. Now, of course, all that is technically legal, but that tells you something about the way the society functions.
“So, if you’re concerned with our elections and how they operate and how they relate to what would happen in a democratic society, taking a look at Russian hacking is absolutely the wrong place to look,” he said. “Well, you see occasionally some attention to these matters in the media, but very minor as compared with the extremely marginal question of Russian hacking.”
In response to Chomsky’s attack on Israel for supposedly meddling in the 2016 election, Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter professor of law emeritus at Harvard Law School, reminds that Chomsky has flirted with anti-Semitism in the past.
“Remember this is the same man who defended the so-called ‘research’ of the notorious Holocaust-denier, Robert Faurisson,” said Dershowitz. “Not only did Chomsky defend Faurisson’s phony research, but he denied that Faurisson – who is a notorious Jew-hater – had said anything that qualifies as anti-Semitic.”