'Tom Palmer, a scholar I have great respect for, was due to speak in Beirut on institutions. He did, but there was a stroke of bad luck. Chomsky was on next door. Tom doesn't bother with the formal rebuttal (been there etc.) but does query the prominently displayed endorsement from the Prince Alawaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Center for American Studies and Research. Tom makes an important point though about the baleful influence of Chomskyite conspiracy mongers and the Middle East:
"What’s especially sad about Chomsky’s influence in this part of the world is that his conspiracy theories click in so neatly with the conspiracy mongering and scape-goating that is rife in the Middle East. If the countries of the Middle East are to emerge from authoritarianism and poverty, they will need to cast aside the search for conspiratorial explanations and focus on domestic institutional reform. Were I a Chomskyite, I would attribute the bad timing to a conspiracy by hegemonic forces to silence the marginalized. But I’m not, so I chalk it up to bad luck."
It's worth adding, that from the Nazi and Tsarist anti-Semites through to Chomsky and the rest of the Cockburn/Finkelstein/Tariq Ali crowd, Arabs have always been heavily dependent on Western imports for their conspiracy theories. It's an import they could do without. '
I think that kind of explains it why Chomsky, Finkelstein and the lot are quite so popular here.