Fateful Triangle

by Noam Chomsky

Fateful Triangle is Noam Chomsky’s analysis of the relationship among the US, Israel, and Palestine. While most of the book centres on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, he talks about the history of conflict and subjugation within Israel, beginning with the country’s origins, moving through the expansionist period post-1967, and even touching on the implications of the Oslo accords from the mid-’90s, showing the consistent monetary, military, and rhetorical support from the country’s biggest sponsor that enables its destructive, racist policies. Most of the book’s discussions focus on the concept of rejectionism, contrasting between the horribly outdated yet widely accepted notion of Arab rejection of the right of the existence of the state of Israel and the rarely discussed and demonstrably consistent US and Israeli rejection of basic rights of Palestinians.

Chomsky effectively breaks down and lays bare rhetoric employed by the US and Israel’s propaganda machinery, along with what he shows to be a hugely pro-Zionist media and intellectual elite within the States. He unpacks disguised statements that appear reasonable at face value and helps readers to understand deeper, often sinister subtext and, almost as often, outright lies. Throughout, Chomsky dissembles opposing arguments piece by piece, even to the point that we can maintain nonsensical assumptions held by propagandists and still not justify the military incursions or perpetual, crushing colonialism, at least not with a clear conscience. And let it be said that the writing’s at its best when the author gets sarcastic. During these moments, he really makes numerous commentators sound not only amoral but also silly.

So, I thought Fateful Triangle was well written and hugely informative. Chomsky convincingly demonstrates an alternate narrative of the “only democracy in the region”: of a fascist regime that exploits the indigenous population for cheap labour and affords them fewer rights than blacks under Apartheid.