Chomsky on Gaza: Why Israel will “go crazy”

Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force.

And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade.

Such cruelty is to ensure that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed, and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement granting basic human rights will be nullified. The Israeli political leadership has dramatically illustrated this commitment … warning that they will “go crazy” if Palestinian rights are given even limited recognition by the U.N.

This threat to “go crazy” (“nishtagea”) – that is, launch a tough response – is deeply rooted, stretching back to the Labor governments of the 1950s, along with the related “Samson Complex”: “If crossed, we will bring down the Temple walls around us.” .”


Of course, there were pretexts (for the violence) – there always are. The usual one, trotted out when needed, is “security”: in this case, against homemade rockets from Gaza.

To read the full article:

Noam Chomsky: The Soul-Crushing Cruelties Perpetrated by America’s Number One Ally ::


4 thoughts on “Chomsky on Gaza: Why Israel will “go crazy”

  1. Reblogged this on Kairos Southern Africa and commented:
    Israel will continue the conflict in the name of “peace”,”truth” and the Bible until they have all the land with all the resources and all the rights – or until we, the human family, take a strong stand against their brutal inhumanity and their multiple violations of international law. Our quest should be one for a way whereby the Israelis, the Palestinians and everyone else can live with human dignity.


  2. Chomsky always says it so powerfully. He certainly is not a traitor to “his people”. I think rather he is deeply saddened that “his people” have descended into the pit of inhumanity. It is scary when a people become so desensitised to committing continued violence against those that they have dehumanised by whichever means possible. In the same way that Hitler and his henchmen were able to murder with impunity so many Jews during WW2 by first dehumanising them, so the State of Israel and its leaders commit crimes against the people of Palestine – they simply don’t see them as human beings with names and feelings and hopes and lives worthy of living.

    People resort to spontaneous violence when they have nothing left to lose, when there is no hope left of doing things any other way (as opposed to state-sponsored and state-organised violence, which is a far more insidious form of violence). I see the rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas into Israel as a retaliation against the oppression suffered all these years by the Palestinians and not as a primary act of aggression. Of course it is not pretty and if I was an Israeli living in Israel I would be most unhappy about the possibility of being hit by a Qassam or a Fajr. But, having been deprived by Israel of absolutely everything necessary for a dignified life, I ask what choice is left to the Palestinians, especially those of Gaza? There is no choice – even though violence does not have a positive outcome, it is a fight to the death because their very survival depends on it.

    The power to change things for the better lies squarely with Israel. But they have become so blinded by their own megalomania that they have lost the ability to see things in a broader context and to exercise compassion (if as a state they ever had it) towards those they occupy. Clear-thinking Israelis need to ask themselves (and thankfully many do), “when and how did we lose our humanity”, and then do everything in their power to regain it. Otherwise they will destroy not only those they are fighting but also themselves.


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