Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chomsky Denied Entry to West Bank

It is an unbelievable PR blunder of Israel to stop a person, none other than Noam Chomsky, at its West Bank checkpoint that borders with Jordan. The following reports are from Al Jazeera and the BBC.

Israel stops US academic at border (Al Jazeera)
Noam Chomsky, a renowned Jewish-American scholar and political activist, has been barred from entering the West Bank.
Chomsky was denied entry by Israeli immigration officials as he attempted to cross the Allenby Bridge from Jordan on Sunday.
The linguistics professor, who frequently speaks out against Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, had been scheduled to give a lecture at Birzeit University in the West Bank.
"I entered with my daughter and two friends who we met in Amman the day before," he told Al Jazeera.
"After several hours of waiting and multiple interrogations our two friends were permitted entry and my daughter and I were informed that we were denied entry after much discussion indirectly with the interior ministry."

Chomsky said the border officials were "very polite" as they "transmitted inquiries from the [Israeli] ministry of the interior".

He said that he believed he was denied entry was for two reasons.

"The government does not like the kind of things I say which puts them into the category of every other government in the world," he said.
"The second was that they seemed upset about the fact that I was taking an invitation from Birzeit and I had no plans of speaking to any Israeli universities as I've done many times in the past, but not this time."


However, a spokeswoman at the Israeli interior ministry, which controls the country's borders, said Chomsky had not been allowed to cross the border due to misunderstanding.

She said officials were trying to get clearance from the Israeli military, which controls access to the West Bank to allow Chomsky to enter.
"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," Sabine Hadad told the Reuters news agency.
Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian MP who had invited Chomsky to speak at the university's philosophy department, said the scholar had been detained at the border for five hours.
"This act shows the nature of the Israeli government that is against freedom of speech, particularly from such a noted international figure like Chomsky," Barghouti said.
Chomsky, 81, is a professor of linguistics at the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has frequently spoken out against Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

Israel denies US academic Chomsky West Bank entry (BBC)
Renowned US scholar Noam Chomsky has been denied entry to the West Bank by Israeli immigration officials.
Prof Chomsky, renowned for his work on linguistics and philosophy, was planning to deliver a lecture at Birzeit University.
Prof Chomsky, 82, had been trying to enter from Jordan.
An Israeli interior ministry spokeswoman said it was to trying to clear the matter up and allow Prof Chomsky to enter.
Prof Chomsky said the officials were very polite but he was denied entry because "the government did not like the kinds of things I say and they did not like that I was only talking at Birzeit and not at an Israeli university too."
He added: "I asked them if they could find any government in the world that likes the things I say."
Prof Chomsky's Palestinian host for the visit, Mustafa al-Barghouti, told Reuters: "This decision is a fascist action, amounting to suppression of freedom of expression."
The interior ministry spokeswoman, Sabine Hadad, said: "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."
Prof Chomsky has frequently spoken out against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Some days ago, I found myself in another uncomfortable state. The reason was the same that distressed me a few months ago. He was boastful vacuously about something that clearly belongs to my own field, when it is broadly defined. Apparently, he was trying to present himself as someone that is larger than who he actually is. He may have a success in doing so with people who have only a scant background of the subject as he may have with the people who were also there, but not with me. That he brought up the topic again when I was with him, who should be aware of my occupational knowledge, seems that he tries to compete with me at my own game. No chance and so cheap, man. Is this a reflection of his inferior complex?

There must be something wrong with online connection. I see “Problem loading Page: Server not found” repeatedly and when pages can be loaded, it takes so long. I have searched many sites, when they could be accessed, but I still cannot figure out if this happens because of the computer, the provider or the browser.

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