I spent some time recently listening to the 8/7/10 Alison Weir (of If Americans Knew & Council for the National Interest) interview with Noam Chomsky. On the subject of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), Chomsky argued again and again that boycotting Israel would be harmful to the Palestinians because it would enable hardliners to ask 'Why boycott Israel, but not the United States?' To which question there was, presumably, at least for Chomsky, no possible answer.
While we can of course acknowledge the misery meted out on a global basis by the United States, including its aiding and abetting of Israel, it seems to me that Chomsky is overlooking the particularly cruel and inhuman punishment - summed up in the term Israeli apartheid - being meted out to the Palestinians, and the fact that this has been ongoing since 1948 and has now reached crescendo proportions, a state of affairs requiring BDS on the grandest of scales.
I note too that Chomsky recently signed, with others, an open letter written by the Emergency Committee for Rojava, A Call to Defend Rojava (nybooks.com), a response to the Turkish invasion of Afrin - "one of three cantons in Rojava, also called the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria."
Reports the letter, "Many of those who fled Afrin are now sleeping in open fields or in tent cities, lacking the most elementary necessities. Those who remain have been subjected to the same kind of ethnic discrimination, looting and sexual violence that ISIS perpetrated against the Yazidis in Iraq."
Need I remind the Palestinian history literate among you that "tent cities," "ethnic discrimination," "looting" and "sexual violence" were all features of the Zionist usurpation of Arab Palestine in 1948-49, and that tent cities, now permanent, concrete-block refugee camps, ethnic discrimination, and looting, now in the form of land theft, are still basic features of Israel's modus operandi vis-a-vis the Palestinians?
And what btw does the Emergency Committee for Rojava (and by extension Chomsky) want the US government to do?
"Impose economic and political sanctions on Turkey's leadership; embargo sales and delivery of weapons from NATO countries to Turkey; insist upon Rojava's representation in Syrian peace negotiations;... "
If only those forms of BDS were applied to Israel...
But there's a final, 4th demand on the group's to-do list:
"... continue military support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)."
In summary, Chomsky is happy to call for direct US intervention in Syria to protect the Kurds from Turkey, but baulks over the application of BDS to end decades of Israeli apartheid rule over the Palestinians.