Noam Chomsky – German Weapons Exports to Israel & Saudi Arabia and the Refugee Crisis

April 7, 2016

Noam Chomsky, discusses the impacts of German arms and weapons exports into Saudi Arabia and Israel. He also talks about the refugee and Syrian crisis that is engulfing neighbouring states as well as the European continent

Noam Chomsky, discusses the impacts of German arms and weapons exports into Saudi Arabia and Israel. He also talks about the refugee and Syrian crisis that is engulfing neighbouring states as well as the European continent


Story Transcript

NOTE: This transcript may not be 100% accurate.

Noam Chomsky: German Weapons Exports, Israel, Saudi Arabia, ISIS and Refugee Crisis

Zain Raza:

Before we come to an end, there’s a couple of questions, but we better move now on to

some foreign policy in terms of Germany. Germany has strong economic interest in the Middle

East. To name a few examples: it is selling tanks to Saudi Arabia and it’s providing submarines to

Israel. What implications do these relationships have on democracy and security of the population


Noam Chomsky:

I think they harm the security of the population. Take the submarines. These dolphin class

submarines that Germany is providing to Israel are instantly refitted in Israel to have nuclear

weapons capacity, and that’s not aimed at defense of Israel. Nuclear armed submarines don’t defend

Israel. They are meant for attack, that’s what they are. And we know what attack they’re aimed for

in the short run: an attack on Iran in the gulf. That’s a terrible threat, not only to the Iranians, but to

the world. And Israel, after all, has a doctrine, an official doctrine. They say, they’re free to attack

Iran if they choose to. Furthermore, Israel is engaged in what the Pentagon has described as a war

against Iran, and so is the United States. The US Pentagon declares that cyber war is an act of war.

NATO last year agreed at a NATO conference that a cyber attack against any NATO country would

call into operation the mutual defense provisions of the NATO treaty, which means every NATO

country would be entitled to respond to a cyber attack by a military attack. The US and Israel are

not only carrying cyber attacks against Iran, they’re proud of it. It is openly proclaimed with pride

they sabotage with cyber attack. That’s an act of war. Killing Iranian nuclear scientists, which is

probably carried out by Israel, we’re not sure. Would we accept that? And to send submarines,

which are in effect nuclear armed submarines to Israel at this time is a radical act of adventurism,

which should not be tolerated by Germany. There are other cases too, but this one is particularly


Zain Raza:

Do you think these policies, not only by Germany, but the United States as well, in the Middle East

are contributing to the refugee crisis?

Noam Chomsky: They are a large part of the basis of the refugee crisis. I should say Germany is a

pretty minor actor when compared with the United States in this respect, I am not approving of what

its doing but these are overwhelmingly US, secondly British and French policies. Say in the case of

the destruction of Libya, which had horrible effects for the region and in fact is expanding the

refugee crisis – that was primarily a French initiative joined by Britain and followed by the United

States – terrible consequences. In the Levant, in Syria and you know that area, the source of the

crisis, major source there – two major sources of the crisis – which flow together:


e of them is the US & British Invasion of Iraq which hit the country like a sledgehammer –

horrible effects in the country – killed hundreds of thousands of people destroyed much of the

country and among other things set-off/incited a sectarian conflict which had not existed before, and

that sectarian was exacerbated by the torture and terror and other atrocities, but that crisis is now

tearing Iraq to shreds and is tearing the region to shreds – expanded to Syria and elsewhere. That’s

one factor.

The other parallel factor was what Patrick Cockburn, one of the leading correspondents in the

region calls, “The Wahabization” of Sunni Islam coming from Saudi Arabia both with funding and

with doctrine – extremist, radical, Salafi-Wahabi Doctrines coming out of Saudi Arabia are being

spread through the region with not only money but also clerics, madrassas, lots of devices.

And these things coincide. They have led to, ISIS for example is an out-growth of them. The same

with the other Jihadi groups in Syria. So there is an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Al-Nusra Front,

which is not that different from ISIS in its commitments and is supported openly by Saudi Arabia

and the other Gulf States, openly by Turkey – indirectly by the US – and is part of the destruction of

the region. Meanwhile Russia and Iran are supporting the Assad regime, which is brutal and

destructive – but the role of the West in this is by no means inconsiderable, it is quite substantial.

Again, Germany is kind of a minor player in so far as it supports the West, it is a player, but it is

primarily the US, secondarily Britain and France.