Chomsky Barred From West Bank by Israel
By ROBERT MACKEY
May 16, 2010
An Al Jazeera interview with Noam Chomsky, broadcast on Sunday.
Updated | Monday | 2:40 p.m. Noam Chomsky, an American linguist and political thinker who has been critical of Israel, was denied entry into the West Bank on Sunday by Israeli immigration officials when he tried to cross into the Palestinian territory from Jordan to deliver a lecture.
Amira Hass of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported:
No reason was initially given for the decision, but the Interior Ministry later said immigration officials at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan had misunderstood Chomsky's intentions thinking initially he was also due to visit Israel. Chomsky, who is on a speaking tour in the region, was scheduled to speak at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank on Monday.
A spokeswoman for Israel's interior ministry also told Reuters that there had been a misunderstanding and "officials were trying to get clearance from the Israeli military, which controls access to the West Bank to allow Chomsky to enter."
In a television interview from Amman, Jordan, after he was rebuffed, Mr. Chomsky told Al Jazeera English, "the facts were completely clear to everyone; there was no basis for a misunderstanding." He explained that he was interrogated for several hours before being told that he would not be allowed to cross into the occupied Palestinian territory. The 81-year-old scholar added:
I can only say what was conveyed to me in the discussion with the official who was carrying out the interrogation — he was receiving instructions from the [Israeli] ministry of interior and relaying them. There were two basic points. One was that the government of Israel does not like the kinds of things I say — which puts them into the category of I suppose every other government in the world. The second was that they seemed upset about the fact that I was just taking an invitation from Bir Zeit and I had no plans to go on to speak in Israeli universities, as I have done many times in the past but not this time.
Mr. Chomsky had been invited to speak about American foreign and domestic policy by the philosophy department at the Palestinian university in Ramallah.
The renowned linguist was outspoken in his opposition to the Israeli offensive in Gaza, which ended in January 2009 and has criticized Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory many times.
In an interview with Deborah Solomon of The New York Times Magazine in 2003, Mr. Chomsky said, "I objected to the founding of Israel as a Jewish state. I don't think a Jewish or Christian or Islamic state is a proper concept. I would object to the United States as a Christian state." When Ms. Solomon pressed Mr. Chomsky on his opposition to Israel, saying, "Your father was a respected Hebraic scholar, and sometimes you sound like a self-hating Jew," he replied:
It is a shame that critics of Israeli policies are seen as either anti-Semites or self-hating Jews. It's grotesque. If an Italian criticized Italian policies, would he be seen as a self-hating Italian?
Update: To clear up a misunderstanding that has taken root in the comments thread below, as my colleague Ethan Bronner explains in an article on this subject, Mr. Chomsky, "has objected to Israel's foundation as a Jewish state, but he has supported a two-state solution and has not condemned Israel's existence."
Planet Chomsky vs. Dershowitz's Orbit by Gilad Atzmon
Monday, May 17, 2010
The Israeli Interior Ministry on Sunday denied entry to Jewish American linguist Prof. Noam Chomsky turning him back from the Allenby Bridge border crossing in the Jordan Valley. Seemingly, the moral ash cloud that is pouring out of the morbid Jewish ghetto known as Israel is not going to clear. It is there to stay.
On the face of it, Chomsky's border incident shouldn't take us by surprise. Israel is the Jewish state and as such it operates as a synagogue of great magnitude. The synagogue is an exclusive entity, it only allows in those who fit. The synagogue is neither democratic nor liberal, it is actually subject to tribal judgments that have very little to do with ethics or universalism.
In the Jewish State, Prof Noam Chomsky is apparently a persona non grata, however, Alan Dershowitz, a shallow intellect is seemingly the hero of Tel Aviv University.
A week ago, during a University symposium, Dershowitz said that Israel's biggest problem is Israel-bashing `Jews' like Norman Finkelstein and Gilad Atzmon. He said some people live on what he calls "Planet Chomsky". Dershowitz didn't do his homework. Clearly I myself share very little with Chomsky. As if this is not enough, I am not a Jew for more than a while.
However, it doesn't take a genius to detect a continuum between Israel and Dershowitz. A week ago Chomsky was a `planet'. Yesterday, at a Jordan valley border crossing, he was denied entry to the `Jews only universe'. The astronomy of the Jewish cosmos is pretty simple. You do not need a Galileo figure. The Jewish planet seeks total submissive tribal conformity.
Interestingly enough, Chomsky is not exactly the harsh anti Zionist figure that Dershowitz wants us to believe. Along the years, Chomsky was flirting heavily with Zionism. He was often visiting Israeli universities. I myself attended his Tel Aviv University lectures in the 1980's. Chomsky was spreading some bizarre ungrounded ideas defying early Zionist commitment to the Jewish state. As American activist Jeff Blankfort pointed out recently Chomsky has been dismissing the power of the pro-Israel lobby. He opposed the BDS movement and made some efforts to "dissuade people from using the term, apartheid, to describe Israel's control over Palestinian society". Chomsky also opposes the Palestinian right of return and a one-state solution. Chomsky is in fact, a liberal Zionist as well as a kibbutz enthusiast. He may as well be the prototype of the righteous Jew and Zionist fig leaf. And in spite of that Israel denied the entry of the 82 year old American academic
Israel now admits that it made a mistake. In fact Israel couldn't inflict more harm on itself. As it happens, Chomsky's border incident yesterday may as well be the biggest contribution the American academic has ever made to the anti Zionist struggle.
As the truth of Israeli barbarism is unfolding, more and more Westerners admit that time is ripe for the nations to spit out Israel, for the Jewish state doesn't have room amongst nations. But the nations shouldn't stop there. Time is also overdue to spit the Dershowitzes and other Zionist comic figures from our public, academic, social and intellectual life. De-Zionification is of the essence in the search for peace and humanity.
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