According to a JTA bulletin of May 17, “Noam Chomsky met with Hezbollah’s leader [Sheik Nasrallah], the Al-Manar TV network reported.”
Al-Manar is the Lebanese Hezbollah movement’s television station. A few years ago, I had the “pleasure” of seeing some well-produced video images from this station, which would constantly broadcast vile anti-Semitic hatred and blood-curdling incitement for war and terrorism. It’s hard to imagine that it’s spruced up or reformed itself for Prof. Chomsky’s visit.
JTA continues: “The terrorist group’s station broadcast that the American linguist and MIT professor met with Sheik Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut this week, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“ ‘Hezbollah’s insistence on keeping arms is justified,’ Al-Manar quoted Chomsky, a critic of U.S. and Israeli foreign policy, as saying. ‘Nasrallah has a reasoned argument’ that the group should be armed ‘as a deterrent to potential aggression.’ He also called the United States the leading terrorist state, Al-Manar reported.”
At the same time, JTA reports: “China urged Hamas to recognize Israel.
“We don’t necessarily agree with Hamas policies, but we respect the people’s choice,” Zhai Jun, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official, told reporters Wednesday.
He added: “On this basis, we can urge the Hamas government to respect agreements previously signed with Israel, to recognize Israel and to return to talks.”
My observation: China is more constructive and reasonable in its role in the Middle East than Chomky! According to Robert Rosenberg’s “Today” e-newsletter:
“Beijing… was trying to persuade the Hamas government to abide by the Western conditions accepted by Israel, Fateh, Washington, and European capitals for a resumption of contacts with the Palestinian government: recognition of Israel, renunciation of terror, and abiding by international agreements signed by previous PA governments.
“Inch by inch, the Hamas does seem to be trying to wriggle its way into those conditions, without appearing to do so. The latest inch was a statement issued by a Hamas spokesman in Gaza saying that the PA government was considering approving negotiations with the Israeli government — without recognizing Israel — on the basis of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, but without negotiations for a permanent peace, just a long term hudna (truce).
“Israel Radio’s hourly news broadcasts, not known for openness to nuances in Palestinian positions, made the Hamas spokesman’s remarks the lead item for three hours in a row this morning. The Hamas spokesman’s statement comes as the Palestinians head into what they are calling a ‘national discussion’ in which Hamas and Fateh, as well as the other political parties in the profoundly political Palestinian territories will debate the issues facing Palestinian society, including how to deal with Israel.”