Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Further Evidence that Noam Chomsky Is a Fraud

I have never felt comfortable in the company of people who sing the praises of Noam Chomsky. I know I don't share their view of the universe or of humanity, but I never felt comfortable about his work, either. Perhaps with good reason.

His attacks on Alan Dershowitz' latest book, The Case for Israel, appear to be scurrilous at best [link via The Atlantic Blog]. Here are some excerpts from Dershowitz' response.

A systematic effort to discredit the book, and me, has been undertaken by a well-organized group of Israel bashers led by Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, and Alexander Cockburn.

... The mode of attack is consistent. Chomsky selects the target and directs Finkelstein to probe the writings in minute detail and conclude that the writer didn’t actually write the work, that it is plagiarized, that it is a hoax and a fraud. Cockburn publicizes these “findings,” and then a cadre of fellow travelers bombard the Internet with so many attacks on the target that these attacks jump to the top of Google. Because no one has thus far exposed the pattern, each attack may seem plausible on first impression. But when the pattern is examined and exposed, the entire enterprise becomes clear for what it is: a clear attempt to chill pro-Israel advocacy on university campuses by a form of literary McCarthyism.

... They first claimed—as they had with Peters—that I did not “write this book,” that I did not even “read it,” and that I “had no idea what was in the book.” Recently Finkelstein claimed that I don’t write any of my books: “[Dershowitz] has come to the point where he’s had so many people write so many of his books.… [I]t’s sort of like a Hallmark line for Nazis… [T]hey churn them out so fast that he has now reached a point where he doesn’t even read them.”[34]

... The problem for them is that I don’t type or use a computer, so that every word of the text was handwritten by me in my own handwriting—and I still have the manuscript. Even after I publicly offered to make the manuscript available for anyone to examine, Finkelstein repeated the false charge on a C-SPAN television broadcast.[35]

Well, if I did actually write it in my own hand, I must have copied it or plagiarized it. That was the next charge. And guess who I plagiarized it from? Joan Peters, according to Finkelstein, Chomsky, and Cockburn. The problem with their charge is that Peters’ book was entirely demographic and historical, whereas more than 90 percent of my book deals with contemporary events that took place after the publication of Peters’ book. The other, even more serious problem for them is that they could not come up with a single sentence, phrase or idea in my book that came from another source and was used without quotation marks, attribution, and citation.

... Finkelstein’s tiny accusation—that I cited Peters merely eight times instead of a dozen times in two small chapters totaling seven pages of my 264-page book—totally false as it is—has ballooned into a charge that I plagiarized “all” or “large parts” of my book from Peters, despite the fact that the majority of my book deals with events that occurred after the publication of Peter’s book. For example, here is what Chomsky has said: “large parts of the book were simply plagiarized from a well-known hoax….”

It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The only new element in this tired tactic is the creative use of the Internet.Despite his demonstrable lies, Finkelstein is a popular speaker at anti-Israel events on university campuses around the world. He is not quite as popular as Chomsky and Cockburn, but he is paid handsomely by student groups anxious to promote his anti-Zionist rants. The members of the McCarthyite triumvirate are invited to campuses far more frequently than centrist, moderate pro-Israel speakers. There is something very wrong with this picture, but now that the pattern of literary McCarthyism has been exposed, perhaps the picture will change.

Dershowitz is a careful legal scholar; the C-F-C trio have more than met their match. His full piece is well-documented and carefully footnoted. I recommend reading it in its entirety.
Who Links Here