He was born Avram Noam Chomsky. That's actually pronounced "No-am," by the way, not "Nome" (or "gnome"), and, yes, it's a Hebrew name. "Noam" means "pleasant," and to Jews who have spent any time in a synagague, it's a word easily recognizable from the opening verses of the etz ha'im prayer (adapted from Proverbs 3:18 and :17):
She [the Torah] is a tree of life to all who hold her, and all her supporters are glad. Her paths are pleasant paths (darchei noam) and all her ways are peace.
Chomsky's parents seem to have been dedicated Zionists, actually. And so, he says, was he. In fact, it may come as a surprise to some that Chomsky came close to making aliyah and settling on a kibbutz in the 1950s. Not that he was enamored of the inherently "racist" nature of Israeli society in general and the kibbutz in particular, of course. Not that what he considered "Zionist" in those days bears much resemblance to what the word is generally taken to connote. But who am I to argue semantics with a world-renowned linguist?
So rather than try to paraphrase Chomsky's reflections on his own history, I'll just direct you again to this link. Please take a look. It's extremely enlightening.
Even more enlightening, however, is a series of posts by Oliver Kamm over the past few months that detail Chomsky's habitual distortions and contortions in his seemingly limitless quest to disparage all things Jewish, Israeli and American. You can start here and follow the links back to the beginning. Whatever you do, though, don't miss this entry, which falls somewhat outside the linkage chain but, if you have time for only one post, will give you a good synopsis of the broader issue.
So, as it turns out, this is the second in a series of posts in which I'm taking a sort of survey of prominent self-hating Jews. Next up -- Adam Shapiro.