Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chomsky Denied Entry to West Bank

Amira Hass, writing for Haaretz, reports that Noam Chomsky was recently (the article is dated 16 May 2010) denied entry to Israel. Note that this does not correspond to the way that I referred to the situation in the title of my post. To clarify: Chomsky was scheduled to speak at the Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, but since Palestine is an occupied territory, Israel (technically their defense forces) controls who comes and goes. This is not the first time that intellectuals who are critical of Israel's occupation of Palestine have been denied entry to Israel or Occupied Palestine. Nearly two years ago, Norman Finkelstein was denied entry to the '67-borders-Israel en route to the West Bank for “security reasons.” Unlike Chomsky, he's currently subject to a decade long ban on entering Israel. His thoughts, in 2008:
Finkelstein did not intend to visit Israel, but had to pass through Israeli customs “by force of circumstance,” to visit a friend in Hebron. “Israel has the right to restrict who enters its country, but the West Bank is not its country,” said Finkelstein. “One day the Palestinian Authority may restrict my rights, but that’s an issue for the Palestinian Authority,” he continued.

Chomsky's thoughts, in 2010:
In a telephone interview with Channel 10, Chomsky said the interrogators had told him he had written things that the Israeli government did not like. “I suggested [the interrogator try to] find any government in the world that likes anything I say,” he said.

1 comment:

Devin Zane Shaw said...

Note that I'm not implying that Finkelstein and Chomsky are the only two intellectuals who have had trouble entering Israel or Palestine. They aren't.