Kim Petersen, an editor at Dissident Voice, recently wrote an article criticizing me for alleged dishonesty and hypocrisy. To explain the background, Jeffrey Blankfort had written an article entitled “Chomsky and Palestine: Asset or Liability?”, published originally at Pulse and subsequently at Dissident Voice, in which he effectively tried to argue that Chomsky is a Zionist who supports Israeli oppression of Palestinians. I responded with an article of my own entitled “Criticism of Chomsky: Asset or Liability?” to point out how Blankfort systematically and willfully mischaracterized Chomsky’s views. Dissident Voice published my rejoinder (Pulse refused to do so, and Idrees, an editor there, called me an “ass” for pointing out Chomsky’s actual views).
That’s the back story, with which interested readers may choose to familiarize themselves (or not). Turning to Petersen’s own rejoinder of my rejoinder, curiously entitled “The Legitimacy of Boycotting as a Tactic” (curious because most of the article consists of attacks on my person, and only at the end of the piece does he tangentially discuss the issue of the title), he makes numerous arguments to support his contention that I was the one doing the willful mischaracterization.
An examination of Petersen’s evidence for this thesis is instructive as to the intellectual dishonesty that permeates not only the mainstream, but also, unfortunately, the alternative online media, including “progressive” sites like Dissident Voice that seek to “struggle for peace and social justice” — which will never be obtained by means of propagating falsehoods that serve only to distract attention from real and important issues (which was the whole point of my original rejoinder).