(photo credit: REUTERS)
Well-known linguist, author and Israel critic Noam Chomsky criticized the Western media and leadership's hypocrisy in its reaction to the attack against satirical journal Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed earlier this month.
Writing in a CNN op-ed published on Monday, Chomsky said that "terrorist" attacks perpetrated by the West did not spark outrage as the Hebdo attack did, nor did they bring calls for "inquiries into the roots of the attack in Christian culture and history," as the Hebdo attacks did for Muslim culture.
Chomsky gave the example of a NATO missile attack on Serbian state television headquarters that killed 16 journalists in 1999. The attack was not seen by Western leaders as an attack against the press, but rather a legitimate target in efforts to undermine the rule of President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia.
Chomsky gave the example of Anders Breivik, "a Christian ultra-Zionist extremist and Islamophobe, slaughtered 77 people, mostly teenagers." He said that Breivik's attacks in Norway had not brought calls for an inquiry into Western culture.
He said that such outrage was also not directed toward "the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times -- Barack Obama's global assassination campaign targeting people suspected of perhaps intending to harm us some day, and any unfortunates who happen to be nearby."
Chomsky questioned the commitment of Charlie Hebdo
itself to freedom of expression saying that it fired cartoonist Siné on grounds that a comment of his was deemed to have anti-Semitic connotations.
Challenging the idea that the Charlie Hebdo
attack was the greatest attack against journalism "in living memory," Chomsky gave the example of Israel. He said that during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, "many journalists were murdered, sometimes in well-marked press cars, along with thousands of others, while the Israeli-run outdoor prison was again reduced to rubble on pretexts that collapse instantly on examination."