Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad to The Jerusalem Post: ‘The initial decision to deny Chomsky entry was due to a misunderstanding. Chomsky’s name is not on a blacklist of individuals prohibited from entering the country.’

US linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky pauses while addressing the audience at the National Autonomous University’s Educational Investigation Institute …

Jan Boeykens on

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  1. kruitvat Says:

  2. kruitvat Says:

    Chomsky barred from West Bank
    MIT professor turned away at Jordan border

    By Peter Schworm
    Globe Staff / May 17, 2010

    Noam Chomsky, an outspoken voice on the political left and a fierce critic of Israeli foreign policy, was denied entry by Israeli officials into the West Bank yesterday, where he was scheduled to deliver a lecture at a Palestinian university.

    Chomsky, a renowned linguistics professor at MIT, was seeking to cross the border between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, but was turned away after being questioned for several hours. He said authorities did not provide an explanation, but told him they would send a written account to the American Embassy.

    An Israeli official said in published reports that border officials barred Chomsky because they mistakenly thought he was also planning to visit other places in Israel outside of the Palestinian territory. She said border and immigration officials were consulting military officials about potentially letting him enter the country.

    “We are trying to contact the military to clear things up, and if they have no objection, we see no reason why he should not be allowed in,’’ Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told Reuters.

    In an e-mail to the Globe, Chomsky said he believed he was being singled out for his criticism of Israel, as well as his plans to speak at a Palestinian university. “They are carrying out an action of a kind that I’ve never heard of before, except in totalitarian states,’’ he said.

    Chomsky, 81, said he believes he was also targeted because his trip did not include any engagements at Israeli universities, as he has often done in the past. He predicted that Israel would ultimately reverse its decision because of international criticism.

    In a live television interview with Al Jazeera, Chomsky said the Israeli government “does not like the kind of things I say, which puts them into the category of every other government in the world.’’

    In Jerusalem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel condemned the barring of Chomsky.

    “A democratic state, which considers freedom of expression a guiding principle, does not close itself off to criticism or uncomfortable notions and does not refuse entry to visitors whose views it does not accept, but rather deals with them through public discourse,’’ the group said in a statement.

    Chomsky, who is Jewish, is a frequent critic of Israeli policy in the Palestinian territories and of US support for Israel.

    On its website, Birzeit University said that “academics who hold international passports and wish to teach at Palestinian universities are often denied entry/deported by Israel.’’

    Chomsky’s daughter — Aviva Chomsky, a professor at Salem State College — was also denied entry.

    In e-mails, she said that she and her father were questioned by an official from the Ministry of the Interior, who asked why Chomsky was going to Birzeit and not to an Israeli university and what he was planning to speak about.

    Chomsky said he had traveled to Israel on numerous occasions.

    © Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

  3. kruitvat Says:



    Interior Ministry calls decision ‘misunderstanding’.

    The Interior Ministry on Sunday denied entry to Jewish American linguist Prof. Noam Chomsky – one of Israel’s fiercest opponents in academia – turning him back from the Allenby Bridge border crossing at the Jordan Valley.

    However, it indicated by press time Sunday night that it might reverse its decision and allow Chomsky to speak at the Bir Zeit University near Ramallah.

    “We are checking with the IDF’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories [COGAT],” Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday evening. “If COGAT gives us the all-clear, we will grant him entry.”

    Haddad said the initial decision to deny Chomsky entry was due to a “misunderstanding,” and denied claims that Chomsky’s name was on a blacklist of individuals prohibited from entering the country.

    She confirmed he had been questioned for a number of hours before being denied entry by the Interior Ministry’s Immigration and Border Authority.

    Speaking from the Jordan Valley, Chomsky told Channel 10 TV, “I’ve often spoken at Israeli universities.”

    In 2009, following Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, Chomsky said that “supporters of Israel are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration.”

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