Noam Chomsky, centre, in Maroun Al Ras. Chomsky recently made headlines after Israel refused him entry to speak at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank last week. Regardless of Israeli efforts to bar him, the lecture was delivered via a satellite link from Amman. Image Credit: Samia Badih/Gulf News

Beirut: It is implausible that Israel will attack Lebanon this summer, renowned Jewish-American scholar Noam Chomsky said.

With the region abuzz with talk of Israel taking military action against Hezbollah this summer, Gulf News caught up with the renowned linguist while touring South Lebanon over the weekend.

"I can't imagine that Israel would just attack Lebanon. It's too dangerous for them and there would be retaliation," Chomsky said.

Israel yesterday began a five-day military exercise as people in south Lebanon voted in municipal elections.

Chomsky, who has been a vocal critic of many of Hezbollah's positions, said that he believes Hezbollah "has the right" to fight aggression. If there is indeed a war during the summer "it would be an intense air war over most of Lebanon and would be part of a more general war against Iran", he said.

On the recent nuclear agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil, Chomsky said the US response to push through with sanctions was an effort to "keep control of the situation and push aside the initiative."

However, pushing for sanctions was "all for show", Chomsky said. "Although the US was able to get Russia and China to agree to the sanctions, they are meaningless," he added, alluding to their inability to halt Iran's nuclear programme.

Speaking on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Chomsky said that a two-state solution was possible, but the US was a barrier.

"If the US were to join the rest of the world, Israel would more or less be compelled to get along because they are highly dependent on the US," he said.

On the other hand, Chomsky stressed that the Palestinians and the Arab states need to deal concretely with the options that are available "even if it feels like you are giving up your principles".

"You really have to do so if you want to live in this world," he said.