Noam Chomsky, renown philosopher, linguist and advocate of Palestinian rights, discharged from Sao Paulo hospital

Source: Democracy Now!

World renown philosopher, linguist and advocate of Palestinian rights, Noam Chomsky, now 95, was discharged from a hospital in Sao Paulo on 18th June. He will continue with his convalescence after suffering a stroke one year ago. The stroke impacted the right side of his body, as well as his ability to speak. 

As reported by Democracy Now! his Brazilian wife, Valeria Wasserman, said that he still follows the news and raises his left arm in anger when he sees images of Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.

Chomsky and his wife have owned a residence in Brazil since 2015.

In the interview with Democracy Now! – see above – Vijay Prashad, co-author with Chomsky and executive director of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, mentioned that he had visited Chomsky in hospital last year and again just recently at Chomsky’s residence after he was discharged.1

On 24th June during his last visit, Prashad said that Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, visited Chomsky. In referring to this memorable occasion, Prashad noted that President Lula had acknowledged that Chomsky was one of the most influential people in his life.

Prashad speculated about the possibility of Joe Biden or any other US high official visiting Chomsky during his convalescence. “It’s impossible to imagine,” he said!

Back in 2018, Chomsky and his wife visited Lula in a Brazilian prison. Lula was a former union leader who was first elected to the presidency in 2002. He was imprisoned in 2018 on alleged corruption charges and barred from running for office again. Lula’s imprisonment lasted for 580 days before the charges were overturned. He was subsequently elected as Brazil’s president for an unprecedented third term in 2022.2

Chomsky wrote at the time: “Although [Lula’s] policies while in office were designed to accommodate the concerns of domestic and international finance, he is despised by elites, in part no doubt because of his policies of social inclusion and benefits for the dispossessed.”3

In the Democracy Now! interview, Prashad also revealed that he had informed Chomsky that their co-authored book entitled On Cuba: Reflections on 70 Years of Revolution and Struggle, was soon to be published. When Chomsky heard this, Prashad said “there was a hint of a smile”.

While Chomsky’s commentary on Israel’s war on Gaza has been sorely missed as a result of his stroke in June 2023, debate on Israel’s ongoing repression of Palestinians in the occupied territories, along with US complicity in this brutality, has nevertheless been informed by Chomsky’s extensive scholarship on the Middle East.

1. Democracy Now!, Interview with Vijay Prashad, video published Jul 3, 2024.
2. Noam Chomsky, ‘I Just Visited Lula, The World’s Most Prominent Political Prisoner. A “Soft Coup” In Brazil’s Election Will Have Global Consequences’, The Intercept, Oct 2, 2018.
3. Ibid.

More information
Noam Chomsky & Vijay Prashad, On Cuba: Reflections on 70 Years of Revolution and Struggle, New Press, available July 2024.
Free Will, ‘Noam Chomsky on the key problem of the Palestine-Israel conflict’, video published Nov 2, 2023.
Free Will, Noam Chomsky : Why America Holds Israel as a Sacred Cow?, video published Oct 27, 2023.
Democracy Now!, Interview with Noam Chomsky on Gaza, video published Aug 16, 2018.
Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappé, On Palestine, Penguin, May 2015.
Noam Chomsky & Ilan Pappé, Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians, Penguin, July 2011.
Noam Chomsky, Middle East Illusions, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

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