We publish, today, the second part of Jeffrey Blankfort’s study on the ambiguities of Noam Chomsky. Having shown, in the first part of his article, the professor’s commitment to support the investments in Israel and to accredit the misleading theory of the guard of the oil wells, Blankfort dissects, below, two other dogmas. On the one hand, far from being a strategic asset for the United States, as Chomsky claims, Israel is a handicap. On the other hand, it is not Washington that prevents the solving of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but Israel itself, which wants to be, simultaneously, a Jewish state and the single state in Palestine.
Up to this point, I have dealt largely with Chomsky’s opinions. His scholarship, unfortunately, exhibits the same failings. They were succinctly described by Bruce Sharp on an internet site that examines his early writings on the Cambodian genocide. Chomsky, wrote Sharp:
“does not evaluate all sources and then determine which stand up to logical inquiry. Rather he examines a handful of accounts until he finds one which matches his predetermined idea of what the truth must be; he does not derive his theories from the evidence. Instead, he selectively gathers ‘evidence’ which supports his theories and ignores the rest”. 
“His failures”, wrote Sharp, are:
“rooted in precisely the same sort of unthinking bias that he derides in the mainstream press. Stories which support his theory are held to a different (far lower) standard of accountability than stories which do not”. 
These criticisms, to be sure, are not exclusive to Chomsky, but given his elevated status and credibility as a scholar, they are particularly relevant. What has been described by Sharp is closer to the function of a courtroom prosecutor than a historian.
Granted, the issues concerning the effort to secure a just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict are complex and controversial, but they need to be honestly examined and debated. Everyone, however, is not an equal participant in that debate. The question of the Palestinian "right of return" is for Palestinians themselves to determine, not Israelis, Washington or Chomsky’s "international consensus." Another issue, closely connected, "one-state vs. two states," is more complicated and upon which Palestinians are themselves divided. Although I support a single state, I do not intend to argue for it here, only to present and lay out for the reader Chomsky’s perspective. Given the dominance of the Zionist narrative, however, neither issue has the potential of energizing significant numbers of Americans in their behalf beyond those with a personal or vested interest in their outcome.
Two issues that do have that possibility and which are intimately linked are
1. Stopping the flow of tax dollars to Israel. In view of the sharp cuts being made across the nation in spending on health, education and pensions, there is a ready audience for stopping that aid which has now surpassed the $100 billion mark. It would include ending public and private investment in Israel, in Israeli companies, and in American companies doing business in Israel, which has already begun in a limited way; in other words, imposing the sanctions that Chomsky deplores, and
2. Exposing and challenging the pro-Israel lobby’s stranglehold on Congress and its control over US Middle East policies which is accepted as a fact of life by political observers in Washington and elsewhere, but not by Chomsky.
Chomsky does mention from time to time that the majority of the American people is less than enthusiastic about military aid to Israel but fails to take the issue further than that. His fixation on Israeli pilots flying US helicopters, notwithstanding, relegating the potential power of the aid issue and the lobby to the margins of political discourse has been essential for Chomsky since they undermine the basis of his analysis that
1. Israel is essentially a US client state that is supported by Washington based on its "services" as a "strategic asset"  and "cop on the beat"  for US interests in the Middle East and elsewhere and
2.The "rejectionist" position of the United States, espoused by successive administrations that oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state is the primary obstacle blocking the implementation of a "two-state solution." Moreover, he would have us believe that US policy, despite occasional appearances to the contrary, has supported "the gradual integration of the occupied territories within Israel." 
3.The influence of the pro-Israel lobby has been exaggerated by its critics and is more of a swing factor than an independently decisive one... [and] that opens the way for the ideological influence to exert itself - lined up with real power." 
On these three points there is an extraordinary amount of contradictory evidence provided by reputable scholars in the field of which Chomsky is clearly aware (since he quotes them when useful) but chooses to ignore. Within the limits of this article, I will only be able to touch on a few.
The "Strategic Asset" Theory
Chomsky’s argument that US support for Israel has been based on its value as a "strategic asset," was most clearly articulated "The Fateful Triangle" in 1983 and was repeated in interviews and speeches until the Soviet Union was no longer a threat and new justifications were required:
From the late 1950s... the US government came increasingly to accept the Israeli thesis that a powerful Israel is a "strategic asset" for the United States, serving as a barrier against indigenous radical nationalist threats to American interests, which might gain support from the USSR. 
The paucity of "evidence" he supplies to back it up should long ago have raised eyebrows. One item he inevitably brings up is a National Security Council Memorandum from January, 1958, that, according to Chomsky "concluded that a logical corollary of opposition to growing Arab nationalism "would be "to support Israel as the only strong pro-Western power left in the Middle East"  On such an important point, one would expect he could produce something more recent. In that same year, in response to the successful anti-colonial uprising against the British in Iraq and nationalist moves in Lebanon, Eisenhower sent the marines to that country to protect perceived threats to US interests. Use of Israeli troops was apparently not considered.
The only regional "services" provided by Israel referred to by Chomsky were the defeat of Egypt in 1967 (when France was Israel’s major arms supplier) that was clearly done for Israel’s own interests and it’s role in dissuading the Syrian government from coming to the aid of the Palestinians when they were under attack by Jordan’s King Hussein in September, 1970. That’s it. And in the latter instance, Israel did not need the US to activate its forces to prevent what has been incorrectly recorded (not by Chomsky) as an attempted PLO takeover of Jordan. 
What Chomsky and those who parrot his analysis ignore (since he fails to mention them) are other factors that played a role in the routing of the PLO, such as internal Palestinian dissent, the refusal of the Syrian air force under Hafez Al-Assad—no friend of the PLO— to provide air cover, and the strategic advantages of Jordan’s largely Bedouin forces. It was Henry Kissinger who exaggerated Israel’s role in the outcome of that situation and its potential as a Cold War asset , and, ironically, it is Kissinger’s position that Chomsky has enshrined as "fact".
There is another factor in the "strategic asset" argument that is usually overlooked. As Camille Mansour points out: " [T]hese struggles for influence, occurring in a region so close to Israel, are often linked (an in the case of the Jordanian crisis, were definitely linked) to the Arab-Israeli conflict itself: for the Americans, Israel was in the paradoxical position of being an asset by alleviating threats to its own and American interests—threats, however, that it may have itself originally provoked through its situation of conflict with the Arabs." 
This opinion was confirmed earlier by Stephen Hillman, former staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, who wrote:
"The strategic service that Israel is said to perform for the United States—acting as a barrier to Soviet penetration of the Middle East—is one that is needed primarily because of the existence of Israel, but for which the Arabs would be much less amenable to Soviet influence... It is true that Israel provides the United States with valuable military information and intelligence, and it is conceivable... that the United States might have need of naval or air bases on Israeli territory. These assets in themselves... do not seem sufficient to explain the expenditure by the United States between the founding of Israel and 1980 of almost $13 billion in military assistance and over $5.5 billion in economic support, making Israel by far the largest recipient of United States foreign aid."  (Emphasis added)
Chomsky was quite of aware of Tillman’s work, using it frequently as a reference in The Fateful Triangle. The above citation was not included. More to his liking was a comment by the late Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a Democrat from Washington, that Chomsky included in The Fateful Triangle and has been repeating in virtually every book, interview and speech he makes about the Israel-Palestine conflict. According to Jackson Israel’s job was to "inhibit and contain those irresponsible and radical elements in certain Arab states... who were they free to do so, would pose a grave threat indeed to our principal sources of petroleum in the Persian Gulf. 
He was referring to "the tacit alliance between Israel, Iran (under the Shah) and Saudi Arabia" yet there is no evidence that any of the three countries ever performed that role. When the first Bush administration considered the region’s oil sources threatened by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991, it acted on it own, and went out of its way to keep Israel from participating. This has not dissuaded Chomsky from continuing to tell us the same tale.
Why Chomsky believes we should give credibility to Jackson’s opinion is that he was "the Senate’s leading expert on the topic [of oil]" in Fateful Triangle ( p. 535); "the Senate’s expert on the Middle East and Oil" in Toward a New Cold War. (p. 315)
"the Senate’s leading specialist on the Middle East and Oil" in The New Intifada, (p .9) and Middle East Illusions (p. 179);"the ranking oil expert," on (P. 55) in Deterring Democracy, "the Senate’s leading specialist on the Middle East and oil," in Pirates and Emperors, (p. 165), and "an influential figure concerned with the Middle East," in Hegemony or Survival ( p.165).
I dwell on Chomsky’s descriptions of Jackson because they are characteristically misleading. The closest thing that Jackson came to being an oil expert was having once chaired an investigation on domestic oil practices while head of the Senate Interior Committee.
Aside from being known as "the senator from Boeing," in recognition of the many lucrative contracts he funneled Boeing’s way while chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jackson’s main legacy is as co-author of the Jackson-Vanik amendment which made the success of US-USSR Cold War negotiations dependent on the Soviet Union opening its doors to Jewish emigration. Understandably, that made him the darling of the pro-Israel lobby and American Jews, in general, who provided $523,778 or 24.9% of his campaign contributions over a five-year period.  An opponent of détente and a Cold War hawk, he was "virtually the last Democrat in the Senate to support... [the Vietnam] war."  Most recently, he has been remembered as the Congressional patron saint of the neo-cons, having given Richard Perle his start on the path to evil.
Thanks to his support of both Israel and the US military-industrial complex, Jackson’s labors did not go unnoticed by the influential Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a major promoter of the integration of the US and Israeli arms industries since 1976. It is another key component of the pro-Israel lobby that Chomsky has never mentioned. In 1982, it established the Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson Distinguished Service Award and Jackson became its first honoree. The most recent was his protégé, Perle.
Had Chomsky mentioned Jackson’s hawkish pro-Israel background it would surely have raised questions about the senator’s credibility if not stripped it away altogether.
Apart from a handful of loyalists who seem echo his every word, Chomsky’s view of US-Israel relations does not fair as well with his fellow academics, including those who generally share his world view. While careful not to mention Chomsky by name, for example, Professor Ian Lustick was clearly referring to his theory when interviewed by Shibley Telhami in 2001:
"The US is strong enough and rich enough that, even when thereare crises like the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which was clearly a majorcrisis, it could address it. But... the biggest question in terms ofwhat motivates the US domestically has been on what is the source ofthe commitment to Israel. That really has been the core question. Andhere you have different competing views. For a long time, there was a view which said that the commitment to Israel is a corollary to the USstrategic interest, that, essentially, the US sees Israel as an instrument in its broader strategic interest, containing the Soviet Union during the Cold War and then later, maintaining the flow of oil, reducing terrorism, etc".
The truth of the matter is that theory just doesn’t work, because Israel was, at various stages, very useful strategically, and other stages it was not viewed to be strategically very important. Even more important, probably, during muchof the Cold War, the bureaucracies – the Executive bureaucracy, the Defense Department, and the State Department — did not view Israel to be a strategic asset, and some of them viewed it to be a detriment. So that just doesn’t do it. 
Whether valid or not, if during the Cold War the US regarded Israel as a reliable ally against Soviet-backed regimes in some Arab states, this argument vanished as quickly as did the USSR. When Afif Safieh, Palestinian Delegate to the UK and the Holy See visited the United States just before the collapse of the Soviet Union he was surprised to see "within pro-Israeli circles ... their worry was about the loss of an "enemy," what it might signify for the "raison-d’être" and the strategicfunction and utility of Israel in American foreign policy as a bastionand strategic asset to contain Soviet expansionism. It was preciselyduring this period that the ideological construction of an alternative global threat, the peril of Islam, took shape". 
The Soviet collapse forced not only the pro-Israel lobby, but Chomsky, as well, to scramble for a new reason justifying continued US support; the lobby to maintain, Chomsky to explain the US-Israel relationship.
He found it in a statement by former Israeli intelligence chief, Shlomo Gazit. The Cold War argument that Chomsky had earlier relied upon he now found to have been "highly misleading," preferring "the analysis... of Gazit" who wrote after the collapse of the USSR that:
"Israel’s main task has not changed at all, and it remains of crucial importance. Its location at the center of the Arab Muslim Middle East predestines Israel to be a devoted guardian of stability in all the countries surrounding it. Its [role] is to protect the existing regimes: to prevent or halt the processes of radicalization and to block expansion of fundamentalist religious zealotry". 
"To which we may add," Chomsky wrote in the preface to the new edition of Fateful Triangle, "performing dirty work that the US is unable to undertake itself because of popular opposition or other costs." . Chomsky is still writing as if it were the Seventies or Eighties; there apparently is no limits to the "dirty work" the US will do for itself these days. Gazit would, of course, be expected to come up with an excuse for maintaining US support. But stability? If anything, Israel’s presence in the region has been the key destabilizing factor in the region and on two occasions, in 1967, and again in 1973, it almost led to nuclear war (and did lead then to a costly Arab oil embargo.) In the early days of the October War, when it appeared that Israeli troops might be overrun, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan reportedly panicked and threatened to use Israel’s atomic weapons on Egypt if the US did not rush Israel an airlift of conventional weapons. The Nixon administration promptly responded. 
As Mansour points out, "By so urgently asking Washington for arms, the Israeli government did not behave as a strategic asset, but as a protégé that feared—exaggeratedly perhaps—for its life." 
It should be noted that not until 1978, when Menachem Begin was elected prime minister, did Israel officially promote itself as a US asset. In an interview in the January 1991 Journal of Palestine Studies, the late retired Israel General Matti Peled said, "The argument that Israel is a strategic asset of the US serving as a static aircraft carrier, has never been more than a figment of the Israeli imagination. It was first proposed by Prime Minister Begin as a way of justifying the considerable grants given to Israel to purchase American weapon systems.... The Kuwaiti crisis has proved that the argument was false..." The arms deals were useful to the U.S, he said, because they triggered even bigger arms sales to America’s Arab allies".
In 1986, and reprinted in four editions through 2002, Chomsky’s popular Pirates and Emperors contained a "strategic asset" theory that appeared to be pumped up on steroids. In one of five references to Israel performing that service, he wrote:
"The US has consistently sought to maintain the military confrontation and to ensure that Israel remains a "strategic asset." In this conception, Israel is to be highly militarized, technologically advanced, a pariah state with little in the way of an independent economy apart from high tech production (often in coordination with the US), utterly dependent on the United States and hence dependable, serving US needs as a local "cop on the beat" and as a mercenary state employed for US purposes elsewhere... " 
Chomsky couldn’t have been more mistaken. Thanks to the political support of the United States, Israel is anything but a "pariah state." It enjoys favored nation status with the European Union, its largest trading partner, and its arms industry, despite increasing integration with its US counterpart, is one of the world’s largest and competes with that of the US on the world market. Israel is also one of the major centers of the domestic high tech industry. It is hardly hostage to US demands although that characterization is what Chomsky is clearly trying to suggest. Furthermore, while the Israeli military and its arms manufacturers did serve US interests in Latin America and Africa, from the Sixties to the early Eighties, they did so for their own interests which happened to be mutually profitable.
Israel’s alleged usefulness to the US has been negated from other angles. Harold Brown was Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Defense. When his Israeli counterpart suggested that the two countries make plans for joint nuclear targeting of the Soviet Union in case of a war, Brown told Seymour Hersh that the Carter administration
"would not have wanted to get involved in an Israeli-Soviet conflict. The whole idea of Israel as a strategic asset seems crazy to me. The Israelis would say, ‘Let us help you,’ and then you end up being their tool. The Israelis have their own security interests and we have our interests. They are not identical". 
Professor Cheryl Rubenberg challenged the Chomsky mindset from another perspective:
" [T]he constraints imposed on American diplomacy in the Middle East by virtue of the US-Israeli relationship have impeded Washington’s ability to achieve stable and constructive working relationships with the Arab states, a necessary prerequisite for the realization of all American regional interests... .Even those regimes that pursued close associations with Washington in spite of the American-Israeli union were constrained from publicly normalizing the ties for fear of the domestic opposition an overt affiliation with the United States would bring... "
American corporate and commercial interests in the Middle East have been constrained in other ways... .To cite but one example: as a result of pressure that pro-Israeli groups were able to exert on Congress, a set of antiboycott laws was passed that severely limit [US] "business" in the Arab world. As a result, American companies and the United States economy suffer an estimated $ 1 billion loss per year. 
That antiboycott legislation has been successfully used to prosecute American companies over the years and is now being employed by pro-Israel members of Congress to stifle efforts of US activists to instigate a boycott of Israeli products in the United States. There is no need to ask where Chomsky stands on that.
Furthermore, Rubenberg, emphasizing the point made by others, asks, "How can Israel, committed to policies that a priori assure the perpetuation of regional instability, be considered a strategic asset to American interests?" 
For the post-Soviet era, Chomsky might have sought support for his case from neocon stalwart Douglas Feith. With only slight modifications, these lines from an article by the Deputy Defense Secretary in the Harvard Law Review, Spring 2004, could have been written by Chomsky himself:
"For a variety of reasons, Israel has remained strategically relevantsince the Soviet Union’s demise... Israel’s geography ensures itscontinued importance to the US Even without a Soviet presence, theMiddle East remains important to the US as the primary source ofAmerican oil imports... . Israel has been a loyal ally to the US and, through its strength, a stabilizing Force in an otherwise volatile region. Although Israel’s very existence has fueled numerous conflicts in the Middle East, from the perspective of the US government, the destruction of Israel, the region’s sole liberal democracy, is strategically not an option. Operating on the principle that Israel is here to stay and should stay, US aid to Israel has yielded enormous strategic dividends for the US By creating a regional imbalance ofpower favoring Israel, aid has curbed Arab military aggression andprevented situations, namely full-blown war between Israel and itsneighbors, in which the US might need to deploy troops to the MiddleEast". (Emphasis added)
This last paragraph is quite interesting. Not only does Feith reinforce earlier citations from Hillman, Mansour and Rubenberg regarding Israel’s existence being the source of regional instability, he suggests that Israel has been justly rewarded for preventing another war that’s its presence would otherwise have caused. That’s chutzpah.
The "Rejectionist" Theory
"In the real world," Chomsky writes, "the primary barrier to the ‘emerging vision’ [the Arab League’s offer of full peace and recognition in exchange for Israeli withdrawal] has been and remains, unilateral US rejectionism." (Emphasis added)  Chomsky would have us believe that it is primarily the US and not Israel that stands in the way of a peaceful (if not a just) settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict. He fails, however, in all his prolific writings, to explain why this solution would interfere and not enhance US power in the Middle East since the Palestinian state suggested, as he frequently acknowledges, would be weak and dependent largely on Israel, the US and other Arab countries for its economic survival.
By repeating it over and over, often several times on the same page, Chomsky has made the "rejectionist" label stick to the US like tar paper. What he has really achieved, however, is establishing his own definition of the term, yet another "straw man" that he can then pummel the stuffing out of as if it were real. This has required some nimble shifting and inexcusable ignoring of the available record that every US president beginning with Richard Nixon has tried to get Israel to withdraw from the land it captured in 1967, albeit now, after successive failures, White House efforts have been reduced to a dribble.
These "peace plans" as they were called were not initiated for the benefit of the Palestinians but to pacify the area in the pursuit of America’s regional and global interests that have been negatively affected by Israel’s continuing occupation as described earlier. Under those plans, Palestinians in the West Bank would likely have once again come under Jordanian sovereignty and the Gazans under that of Egypt. Other than Camp David, in which Israel ended up the big winner, all the plans have been doomed:
"What happened to all those nice plans?" asked Israeli journalist and peace activist Uri Avnery. "Israel’s governments have mobilized the collective power of US Jewry - which dominates Congress and the media to a large degree - against them. Faced by this vigorous opposition, all the presidents, great and small, football players and movie stars - folded one after another." 
The origin of the term "rejectionist" is important. Chomsky lifted it from what was referred to in the Seventies by Israel’s supporters, Chomsky among them, as the Palestinian "rejection front." It was the term they used to describe those Palestinian resistance organizations, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DPFLP), and some smaller groups, that rejected the existence of Israel as a Jewish state and called for the establishment of a democratic, secular state in all of historic Palestine, a position to which Chomsky was and remains unalterably opposed.
In 1975, Chomsky considered the possibility of "a unitary democratic secular state in Mandatory Palestine... an exercise in futility. It is curious that this goal is advocated in some form by the most extreme antagonists: the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and expansionist elements within Israel. But the documents of the former indicate that what they have in mind is an Arab state that will grant civil rights to Jews, and the pronouncements of the advocates of a Greater Israel leave little doubt that their thoughts run along parallel lines, interchanging "Jew" and "Arab". 
The Palestinian struggle did not, in fact, become acceptable in Chomsky’s eyes until it accepted the US-Israel demand that the PLO recognize Israel’s legitimacy within its 1967 borders. That he equates the desires of Palestinians to regain their lost homeland to the program of the most extremist Israeli colonizers is also telling. Another piece of the puzzle fits. Writing in 1974, he was more explicit:
"The Palestinian groups that have consolidated in the past few years argue that this injustice could be rectified by the establishment of a democratic secular state in all of Palestine. However, they frankly acknowledge—in fact, insist—that this would require the elimination of the "political, military, social, syndical and cultural institutions" of Israel" which will necessitate armed struggle, which "guarantees that... all elements of Israeli society will be unified in opposing the armed struggle against its institutions".
"Even if, contrary to fact, the means proposed could succeed—I repeat and emphasize, even if, contrary to fact, these means could succeed—they would involve the destruction by force of a unified society, its people, and its institutions—a consequence intolerable to civilized opinion on the left or elsewhere." (emphasis in original) 
Apparently, for Chomsky, "civilized opinion" excluded the entire Arab world and much of the Third World—at least in sufficient numbers for the UN General Assembly to overwhelmingly brand Zionism as a form of racism in 1975. His "civilized opinion" as well, did not consider the expulsion of the Palestinians to be an "intolerable consequence" of the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state.
Now, in an effort to appear fair-minded, he equates the rejection of a Palestinian state with the rejection of an Israeli Jewish state and declares the US to be "rejectionist" on the basis that it has not called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. This enables him to ignore the US goal: getting Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders as a way of improving regional US relations and the stability of it sources of oil.
Not only does this make the US "rejectionist" by Chomsky’s definition, but also, so he places Resolution 242 in the same category. While admitting that the resolution, passed five months after the 1967 war was intended to restore the pre-existing status quo, "It is important to bear in mind that 242 was strictly rejectionist—using the term here in a neutral sense to refer to rejection of national rights of one or the other of the contending national groups in the former Palestine, not just rejection of the right of Jews, as in the conventional racist usage." 
Chomsky’s use of the inflammatory term, "racist," here, however, disguises the fact that from the perspective of the Palestinians, it was Chomsky who was the rejectionist. In the early 70s, the Palestinian national movement was not calling for a separate state in the West Bank and Gaza but for returning to the land from which 750,000 of them had been expelled or fled, not 2000 years, but twenty years before. It was not until the PLO dropped its demand for its national rights in all of what had been Palestine in exchange for a truncated entity on the other side of the Green Line (1967 border) that Palestinian national rights, or what was left of them, became acceptable to Chomsky.