Chat on Noam Chomsky

One day I was musing over the fact that no matter how great someone is, whether it be a Lincoln or a Gandhi, etc, they have their detractors. Then I wondered what I could find against Chomsky. To my amazement what I did find was that some young people, though they admire him greatly, had criticized his anti-porn stance which he stated after the Hustler Magazine interview. I think the young people felt that porn is an embarrassing fact of life which is not about to go away and so one should not simply condemn it. Of course I have seen other sorts of criticisms of Chomsky, e.g. that his lectures tend to ramble and repeat themselves.

It is awkward to condemn lust or anything which we see as an inescapable part of our own nature; or if not inescapable at least very difficult to escape. I noticed one place in the Roman Catholic Catechism which condemns something regarding lust (self gratification) but then states that it may be overlooked in those individuals who have become habituated to it over a lifetime.

I did hear one World War II veteran, one of my grade school teachers, say (after his retirement, years later) privately that he would never permit himself to look at such things as porn; and I believe him for he was always truthful and sincere. He never married. I feel quite certain he was is not gay. Nor was he part of any church though during retirement he mentioned that he had given some thought to filling that void in his life. I always remember him casually quoting the Book of Micah 6:8 to me and saying he had heard it from some speaker at The Yale Divinity School: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

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@Yehoshua, I certainly sympathize with how you must feel about Israel’s position. Were I of Jewish descent and had I immigrated to Israel I am certain I would feel and believe just as you do. I can never forget what Gandhi wrote: In the 1920s, Gandhi declared, “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians as England belongs to the English and France to the French.” Gandhi thought it was a bad idea to create an independent state of Israel. My understanding is that in the 19th century a majority of Rabbis were anti-Zionist. To this day there are anti-Zionist Rabbis.

There was some talk of creating a homeland for the Jews in Kenya.

Of course now it is too late because what has been done is done.

My understanding is that Britain, France and perhaps other nations desired to weaken the Ottoman Empire. They did not care about the Jewish people.

When I first read that Gandhi was anti-Zionist I was shocked because I felt that he wanted independence for India but did not care about the needs of the Jewish diaspora. Then I realized that Gandhi worked hard in order to make possible an independent Pakistan. Perhaps I am totally mistaken in my views and understanding but I believe Gandhi wanted an independent Pakistan because he foresaw that there would NEVER be peace unless Pakistan had independence. I am guessing that Gandhi foresaw that there could never be peace with an independent Jewish state of Israel smack in the middle of many Arab peoples.

What is truth or fact in the eyes of one interest group is propaganda in the eyes of opposing interest groups.

Yehoshua, I do admire you greatly for what you have accomplished in your life and I sense that you have found greater personal happiness and fulfillment by becoming observant than you might have enjoyed living a secular life in America. I admire the courage of those at Masada who did a very difficult thing in choosing to end their lives rather than face what the Romans had in store for them. I admire Israel for exempting Muslim citizens from compulsory military service. I admire the Druze who volunteer to be patriotic border guards even though they could seek exemption from service.

One can never make the sovereign State of Israel disappear. I wish that some lasting peace could be achieved in the Middle East but I have little hope that such a peace shall ever be achieved without violence of unspeakable proportions.

I admire Jimmy Carter for his book “Peace Not Apartheid” and for taking a position which would be very unpopular with many.

I once asked an Israeli what percentage of the population are observant Jews and he said “simply look at the Knesset and you will see that 1/6 are observant and 5/6 are secular.” I mention this because Israel is not JUST about observant Judaism. One of the many anti-Zionist objections is that the existence of Israel confuses the non-Jewish world into conflating the interests of Israel with the interests of Judaism.

I apologize to those many who will feel hurt by what I here express and I have endeavored to express these controversial matters in the most civil manner that I can muster.

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After I posted above, I started thinking about the Parsi Zoroastrians who fled Iran about 1000 years ago and found a home in India. One might in theory speak of giving Iran back to the Parsis (or Manhattan back to the Indians or Australia back to the Aboriginals but to what avail?)

There is one Parsi website which says “We bow our knee to Mother India who gave us shelter 1000 years ago.”

Some Jews who fled Antiochus Epiphanes found refuge in Mumbai and their descendants are there to this day. The Dalai Lama and his followers also took shelter in India. I admire India for many reasons.

To be brutally honest, what I read in the Torah is that Moses sent Joshua and SPIES to scope out the promised land and it was already occupied by the Philistines (Palestinians.) I realize that Judaism believes that an invisible God promised a land to the descendants of Abraham but there it is in black and white, sending spies into an occupied land.

I suppose I should mention that of all the world’s religions, Islam is my least favorite so I am not speaking from a position of prejudice or favoritism but am merely trying to point out that “fair is fair.” Even the Torah admits that the Palestinians were there first.)

By the way, there are only about 300,000 Parsis left in the world because it is STRICTLY forbidden for a Parsi to marry a non-Parsi AND it is strictly forbidden for ANYONE to convert to Zoroastrianism. The original believe in the Avesta scriptures was that God (Ahura Mazda) gave a unique religion to each people. I am convinced that Prophet Mohammad was influence by some of the Parsi teachings.

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