Controversial American author and academic Norman Finkelstein has been arrested at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv and forced to leave the country. Various news reports indicate that he may be banished from Israel for ten years on on “security’ grounds.”
The campaign against Finkelstein by critics like Alan Dershowitz resulted in his removal from the DePaul faculty. While I take no sides in this dispute over his writings (which I have not read), the campaign did raise some serious question over academic freedom since it seemed that he was targeted for his unpopular views, click here.
It is difficult to understand the basis for banning Finkelstein from Israel due to his writings. My guess is that his interaction with certain groups like top Hezbollah officials in Lebanon may be cited as the reason. Finkelstein is Jewish and the son of holocaust survivors, but has been an outspoken critic of the use the holocaust by advocates.
The details on his denial of entry remain sketchy, even on his site.
, attorney Michael Sfard told dpa.
‘This usually means a 10-year ban on entry,’ Sfard added.
Finkelstein, who is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, has written critical books on Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories and on what he called ‘exploitation’ of the Jewish tragedy during World War II.
Finkelstein has received with the fierce disapproval of some authors and academics, while others have praised his controversial works.