Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chomsky denied entry into Israel

Naom Chomsky has been denied entry into Israel, on his way to giving a talk at the Birzeit University in the West Bank, with border guards stamping "denied entry" onto his passport at the Allenby Bridge crossing. Of course, the very headline in 'Haaretz is repugnant, as the Allenby Bridge crosses into the West Bank, into Palestine. Anyway, the reasons for his being denied entry, we are told, will be sent to the American embassy although in an interview with Israel's Channel 10, Chomsky has already said that he was told by an official that  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". 

Of course, although there will be many disappointed students at the university this, in a sense is actually good news, for what we have is the "only democracy" in the Middle East shooting itself in the foot. After all, while the international community appears to accept the fact that this "Jewish Democracy" actually disenfranchises 20% of its population and illegally occupies someone else's land, while conveniently forgetting its responsibilities according to international law, those things are, in fact, done for very real reasons. For, if Israel were to give its Arab population equal rights and if it were to face up to its responsibilities in the occupied territories, which ultimately includes facing up to its responsibility to accept United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and withdraw from the occupied territories, the Zionists would have very real problems realising their "little" Zionist goal of getting their eretz Israel. However, not letting Chomsky speak? What can be gained by that?  In case they didn't know it, free speech is something which distinguishes democracies from  dictatorships. Yes, course, the disgusting little proto-fascist farce that is Israel has, once again, revealed itself to all and sundry for what it really is.

Indeed, had Israel let Chomsky enter the country to speak at Birzeit, it could have claimed a little victory. The evidence, however, that these people are not only too myopic to realise this but that they are actually frightened of criticism. Well, not only is it becoming increasingly possible to win over the skeptics when it comes to an academic boycott of Israel, but it would also appear that they are actually frightened of words. It would, indeed, appear that our oxymoronic "Jewish Democracy's" days are numbered, or most certainly numbered as the "democracy" that it never was. "Never was"; and should there be any doubt about that, then the following couple of lines, which have been taken from the Birzeit website, should, at least, help to dispel them: "The University is guided by the principle of academic freedom and upholds independence of thought, freedom of discussion, and unimpeded circulation of ideas. Ironically, these principles made the Birzeit University community a target of harassment under the Israeli military occupation." The students at Birzeit being deprived of Chomsky's talk is just one more incident of that harassment and so much for "independence of thought, freedom of discussion, and unimpeded circulation of ideas."

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