Reflecting on Noam’s writings on the Middle East—it is no exaggeration to say that over the years they had the impact of silent thunderbolts illuminating skies darkened by deceit and comforting taboos. They still do. For this, Noam was savaged by the foreign policy establishment, ignored by academic “experts,” and dealt with contempt by intellectual elites, including those on the left who condemned him for deviating from their pro-Israel stances.
Against this stood those who packed his teach-ins, crammed his classes, lined up at his lectures and outside his office to argue and learn from his courage to question accepted views, and above all, to ask why?
A participant in this history and one of its many beneficiaries, I was able to engage with Noam in countless exchanges on the Middle East and the world. And then I got into the habit of testing my latest research findings on Noam and the close friends who met for dinners on those long Boston nights that I miss. But the wonder of Noam’s caring friendship and support remain and for them I am forever grateful.
So onward Noam! Wishing you a Happy Birthday and many, many, many more to come!