He was also one of the anti-Israel Left’s first and probably most important shields against accusations of Anti-Semitism. Since he was one of the most prominent Jewish intellectuals in America at the time (mainly for his linguistics work), he gave the anti-Israel Left a lot of cover, and allowed them to escape responsibility for the Anti-Semitic aspects of their ideology for a long time.

It was really only with the Second Intifada that people finally started speaking out against Leftwing Anti-Semitism, which was mainly the fault of the movement itself. They’d gotten a free pass for so long that they probably thought it would go on forever. In a sense, thankfully, this has to count as one of Chomsky’s greatest failures…