Chomsky, Jewish New Left Leader, Endorses Secular State to Replace Israel

A Middle East settlement that would replace Israel with a secular state in which Israelis and Palestinians would share in a federal government, was endorsed here last night by Dr. Noam Chomsky, a leader of the New Left and professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Chomsky, who is Jewish and describes himself as a non-Zionist Socialist, was the featured speaker at the third annual convention of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates held at Northwestern University. The Mideast solution he favors is similar to that proposed by El Fatah, the Palestinian guerrilla organization and far more extreme than the kind of settlement the Arab states, such as Egypt and Jordan, profess to favor. It would include the entire area of what is now Israel plus the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank. The plan drew the unanimous support of the 500 delegates–mostly Arab-Americans and Arab nationals resident in this country–although there were sharp differences of opinion over the methods to be employed in establishing a binational state. Some speakers were less vociferous than others in their criticism of Israel and U.S. support of Israel.

Dr. Chomsky said it was clear that the Palestinian groups could not create their state by military force. If they persisted, he said, they would destroy themselves or cause a nuclear war on the Middle East. He said that Israel, on the other hand, had attempted through force of arms to destroy the commando movement, “but the more they win by force, the more they lose.” He claimed that Israel has “brought the Russians further and further in, created an even higher degree of hostility toward themselves and kept the Arabs united against them.” Dr. Chomsky said that “Israel can argue with reason that she cannot give up territory without guaranteed security. But there is no such thing as a meaningful security guarantee. And the more Israel must depend on her own armed strength, the more dependent she has become on outside support.” Dr. Chomsky claimed that there were Israelis willing to consider a secular bi-national state to which the Palestinian refugees could return. “Certainly it would mean some abandonment of independence but this would be a small price compared with the loss Israel and the Palestinians are now suffering through their growing dependence on other groups, including the great powers,” Dr. Chomsky said.

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