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Noam Chomsky Barred From West Bank by Israel

by shergald Mon May 17th, 2010 at 12:04:21 PM EST

Calls Israel a 'Stalinist regime!'.

After at least 22 news sources responded to Israel's denial of Noam Chomsky's entry into the West Bank where he was to lecture at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah, the New York Times finally chimed in, minimally through its blog. Other major news outlets like Wapo, AP, UPI had already given the story some light.

Said Phil Weiss (Mondoweiss): The greatest lecture Chomsky never gave is boost to BDS movement" (BDS meaning Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions).

For me it's less about what that apartheid regime does and more about the fools in this country who stand behind Israel's actions and attack the BDS movement. In a normal society someone from the NY Times would now call Margaret Atwood and say, "Now that you're back from accepting your prize in Israel do you have anything to say about Noam Chomsky being denied entry into Israel?" But I guess integrity is too much to ask.

[webmaster note: Chomsky has now made Fox, the AP wire, and 22 outlets. Oh and shouldn't we be saying that he was denied entry into Palestine? Allenby Bridge is into occupied West Bank.]

From the Times blog:

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.

A flotilla of ships is on its way to Gaza. Will it ever get this kind of publicity?


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