Chomsky confesses to his emotional attachment to his Zionist state
Here are some excertps from Jeff Blankfort's,
"Damage Control, Noam Chomsky and the Israel-Palestine conflict".
While I knew, in a casual way, that Chomsky had been a Zionist in his youth, it had not seemed that important since his detailed descriptions of the injustices that had been heaped upon the Palestinians by the Israelis, described in detail in The Fateful Triangle and elsewhere, were exposing thousands of new readers and potential activists to the evils of Zionism. What was puzzling was why, at the same time, he was providing cover for the pro-Israel lobby.
While doing research for this article, I believe I found the answer. In 1974, Chomsky had written a little book, Peace in the Middle East, which contained many clues to the puzzle but this paragraph was the one that tied them all together. He wrote:
that a few years later [after the establishment of the state] I spent several very happy months working in a Kibbutz and for several years thought seriously about returning permanently. Some of my closest friends, including several who have had a significant influence on my own thinking over the years, now live in Kibbutzim or elsewhere in Israel and I retain close connections that are quite separate from any political judgments and attitudes. I mention all of this to make clear that I inevitably view the continuing conflict from a very specific point of view, colored by these personal relationships. Perhaps this personal history distorts my perspective. In any event, it should be understood by the reader.
Although Peace in the Middle East was reprinted in 2003 as the first part of yet another Chomsky book, Middle East Illusions, it is questionable how many of Chomsky’s many fans and admirers know this about his past. A reference to his Zionist youth was in the Safundi interview cited earlier and seemed to account for his determination to protect Israel, for which he obviously maintains an affection, from being punished in any way for its misdeeds. Here is what he said in that later interview:
I've been involved in this since childhood in the 1930s. I was part of the Zionist movement, in fact, a Zionist youth leader, but I was opposed to a Jewish state, and that was part of the Zionist movement at the time. It was not the main part, but it was considered within the umbrella, so I could be an activist Zionist youth leader-the main thing in my life as a teenager- but opposed to a Jewish state, up until 1948.