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"Palestinian Hopes, Regional Turmoil.

Of all the conflicts in the world this is one of the easiest to settle. It is very straightforward. Just withdraw US support for the ongoing policies. World-renowned linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky tackles the challenges and prospects of the future of Palestine in a lecture titled Palestinian Hopes, Regional Turmoil. The talk, often interrupted by massive applause and standing ovations, delivered several important points on what the future might hold for the Palestinian people. In this talk, Chomsky also harshly criticizes the ongoing US support of Israeli actions. The talk comes in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Middle Eastern Childrens Alliance (MECA). The event took place on Wednesday May 8 at the historic Paramount theatre in Oakland, California. The event was organized by MECA, an organization Chomsky helped to found twenty five years ago. The event was sponsored by KPFA, Haymarket Books, Arab Resource & Organizing Center, Arab Cultural & Community Center, Arab Film Festival, Al-Awda, Palestine Youth Movement, Jewish Voice for Peace, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Bay Area Women in Black, San Francisco Women in Black. All proceeds went towards aid for Palestinian children. Barbara Lubin, founder and executive director of MECA, inaugurated the event with a brief history of the organization. Lubin highlighted the organization's accomplishments throughout the years. Since its founding in 1988, MECA has managed to send 20 million dollars of medicine, food, and aid to children in Iraq and Palestine. Preceding Chomskys appearance, singer and activist Holly Near gave a chilling performance. I aint afraid of your Yahweh, I aint afraid of your Allah, I aint afraid of your Jesus. Im afraid of what you do in the name of your God. Her powerful and political songs stirred up the audiences passion, inducing great chanting and rhythmic applause.

Chomsky, who needed no introductions, as Luben said, gave a lecture that lasted for an hour and a half followed by questions from the audience. The MIT Emeritus, usually known for his soft-spoken demeanor, delivered points that were nothing short of audacious. He started with a recount of his days in the kibbutz. Sixty years ago, hiking through the Northern Galilee, Chomsky and his wife Carol were yelled at to go back where they came from. You are in the wrong country, an officer in a jeep told them. Apparently they had crossed to Lebanon. Chomsky said that this taught him a lesson that has stayed with him since, I think, not just for the Middle East, theres no reason to worship or even accept the artificial borders that were imposed by the imperial powers. He compared said borders with those between the US and what he called Occupied Mexico. He added, If you take a look at the crimes and atrocities and horrors around the world, overwhelmingly, theyre the result of places where the imperial powers drew borders for their own interests irrelevant to the people who live there. He then moved on to discuss what he called the astonishing level of US support of Israeli actions. Criticizing the USs role in obstructing any hope for a conflict resolution. He explained, "The Palestinians are accused of imposing preconditions on negotiations so the US and Israel say 'we just want negotiate, but the Palestinians are obstructive, and they insist on preconditions.' In reality it is approximately the opposite. The US-Israeli alliance imposes very strict preconditions. He added, The United States is an advocate, a participant, often called Israels lawyer. Its not whats called here an honest broker. So if there were to be serious negotiations, theyd have to be run by some neutral party that has some international respect. Maybe Brazil. He controversially called the US the worlds leading rogue state. The bold remark was received with astounding applause. Chomsky emphasized that if we want to do something about the situation, We have to face those realities, not live with fantasies and illusions, explaining that it would be unrealistic to evacuate the settlements in West Jerusalem because they are very well-established, but if the US withdrew

support, all the settlers would inevitably have to move out of their subsidized housings to subsidized housings within Israel. Chomsky jokingly said, If there are some (people), maybe from Brooklyn, who want to cling to every rock in the West Bank thats okay, too. Theres no reason why they shouldnt be allowed to stay in a Palestinian state. Click here for an audio recording of "Palestinian Hope, Regional Turmoil."