Great performances in trendy radicalism now get the recognition they deserve.
The Chomskies are named after the renowned linguist and prolific author Noam Chomsky, who never met a leftist idea he disliked and sees nothing in Israel that he likes.
An article of his appeared, without his permission, as the introduction to a book on Holocaust denial. Chomsky shrugged it off, arguing that the author, Robert Faurisson, was not antisemitic and was protected by freedom of speech.
Two distinct types of free speech were evident recently when writers Melanie Phillips and Douglas Murray headed a panel at Jewish Book Week in London. They were greeted by four demonstrators who unfurled a banner demanding “Say no to Islamophobia.”
This Gang of Four, each of whom received a Chomsky for their effort, is Jewish Solidarity Action, not to be confused with Jews Against Boris, which is the name they previously used.
Easily changeable names are vital for rapid response. For example, when the Israeli Philharmonic comes to town, they can just fill in the blank, disrupting the performance while proclaiming that they are Jews Against the Occupation, or Against the Wall, or Against Apartheid or any other choice slogan of the day.
Speaking of filling in blanks, Afro-American academic Marc Lamont Hill believes that “One simply cannot be progressive if they ignore the plight of ________.”
Did he end his sentence by citing the Uighurs in China; the Muslim victims of the Hindus and the Hindu victims of the Muslims in Asia; Christians in the Middle East? A devout progressive like Lamont Hill might even have highlighted the poor.
Instead, he cites only “Palestinians.” And only if he can blame Israel. When the Syrians mistreat the Palestinians, which they do on a massive scale, Lamont Hill neither notices nor cares.
When Lamont Hill appeared before the Secretary General at the United Nations in 2018, he robustly urged that Palestine should be free From the River to the Sea. Afterward, American cable news channel CNN promptly dropped him as a commentator. He remains distinctly pro-Palestinian anti-Israel, and he now boasts a trophy cabinet full of Chomskies.
At a volleyball match between hosts Yeshiva University and Brooklyn College in February, two members of the visiting team, Omar Rezika and Hunnan Butt, refused to stand—they “took a knee”—during the playing of Hatikvah, YU’s anthem.
Kneeling during the anthem was the extent of their demonstration. They did not boycott the game. After the game, they shook hands with the opposing players. They did not explain the reasons behind their short silent protest.
Afterward, a Brooklyn College spokesman said that his institution “strongly condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and hatred. The two students who knelt during the national anthem did not refuse to shake hands with players from the other team. Their kneeling is protected by the First Amendment.” Chomsky would approve.
The two Brooklyn players each received a Chomskie, but the final score of the game remains elusive, even after an extensive internet search (this protest was very widely covered).
I can happily report, however, that YU’s basketball team recently defeated Worcester Polytechnic 102-78 for their 28th consecutive victory! This game was marred by no kneel ins, no sit downs, no signs, no protests and no Chomskies. Thanks to Coronavirus, there were also no spectators. Not even Jews Against Yeshiva University showed up.
Some time ago at a small gathering in New York City, a Jewish acquaintance of mine declined the meat dish, ostentatiously proclaiming that she was a vegetarian. Except that she wasn’t.
She was a bona fide card-carrying meat eater; she was also telling a porkie. Porkie = pork pie = lie = treyf Cockney rhyming slang. Afterward, she told me she lied to impress the others. And that was the same reason why, after the June 1967 War, she declared that Israel was “colonialistic, fascistic and militaristic.” She receives two Chomskies retroactively.