Israel bars Chomsky from the West Bank
      Publish Date: Sunday,16 May, 2010, at 11:58 PM Doha Time 

Renowned Jewish-American scholar and political activist Noam Chomsky said he 
was barred from entering Israel and the West Bank yesterday to speak at a 
Palestinian university.  Chomsky had been invited to speak today at Bir Zeit 
University near Ramallah, but was stopped from entering the West Bank at the 
Israeli-controlled crossing from Jordan, he told Israel's Channel 10 
television. "I went with my daughter and two old friends. We went in the normal 
way to the border where we were all interrogated. They were particularly 
interested in me," he told Channel 10, speaking from Jordan. 

Chomsky said the Israeli border officials were "very polite" as they 
"transmitted inquiries from the ministry of the interior." However, 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 Bir Zeit and not at an Israeli 
university too," he said. 

"I asked them if they could find any government in the world that likes the 
things I say," Chomsky said. A spokeswoman from Israel's interior ministry, 
which controls the country's borders, said Chomsky was still at the border and 
may yet be given permission to enter the West Bank. "We are checking it with 
security officials" Sabin Hadad said. She said the decision not to allow him in 
appeared to be "some kind of a misunderstanding," and added Chomsky was "not on 
any (black) list." 

Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghuti, who had invited Chomsky to speak at the 
university, 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," said 
Barghuti. Chomsky, 81, is a professor of linguistics at the US Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology and a prominent critic of US foreign policy. He has 
also frequently spoken out against Israel's occupation of Palestinian 

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