Chomsky blocked from entering Israel

Interior Ministry calls decision "misunderstanding."

Noam Chomsky 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Noam Chomsky 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The Interior Ministry on Sunday denied entry to Jewish American linguist Prof. Noam Chomsky – one of Israel’s fiercest opponents in academia – turning him back from the Allenby Bridge border crossing at the Jordan Valley.
However, it indicated by press time Sunday night that it might reverse its decision and allow Chomsky to speak at the Bir Zeit University near Ramallah.
“We are checking with the IDF’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories [COGAT],” Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday evening. “If COGAT gives us the all-clear, we will grant him entry.”
Haddad said the initial decision to deny Chomsky entry was due to a “misunderstanding,” and denied claims that Chomsky’s name was on a blacklist of individuals prohibited from entering the country.
She confirmed he had been questioned for a number of hours before being denied entry by the Interior Ministry’s Immigration and Border Authority.
Speaking from the Jordan Valley, Chomsky told Channel 10 TV, “I’ve often spoken at Israeli universities.”
In 2009, following Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, Chomsky said that “supporters of Israel are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration.”