In order to maintain its little Middle Eastern empire, the Israeli government and society are getting so closed that they are failing to live up to the democratic ideals that country was founded on, limited as they were to Jews. So, it takes a lot to shock me these days. But, this one just blows my mind. (Haaretz 5/16/10)
Professor Noam Chomsky, an American linguist and left-wing activist, was denied entry into Israel and the West Bank on Sunday.
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.
This is so crazy, even the Israeli government is trying to reverse the decision.
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said officials were now trying to get clearance from the Israel Defense Forces, which controls access to the West Bank to allow Chomsky to enter that territory.
"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," said Hadad.
The efforts by the Israeli government and Defense Forces to marginalize and dehumanize the Palestinians have gotten so fanatical that they are having more and more bizarre results. Chomsky explained what happened, as best he could.
Chomsky said inspectors had stamped the words "denied entry" onto his passport when he tried to cross from Jordan over Allenby Bridge.
When he asked an Israeli inspector why he had not received permission, he was told that an explanation would be sent in writing to the American embassy. "They apparently didn't like the fact that I was due to lecture at a Palestinian university and not in Israel," Chomsky told Reuters by telephone from Amman.
Rick over at Ten Percent, is reporting that there is another ship of supplies being sent by the Free Gaza folks, and the Israeli government is threatening a military attack if the ship doesn't turn back.
In order to maintain their occupation, Isreal is losing its mind.
Photo: Duncan Rawlinson