Norman Finkelstein Denied Entry Into Israel

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.

2 thoughts on “Norman Finkelstein Denied Entry Into Israel”

  1. Israel is not the only, or worse, country in this regard. As a Bahai I do not state the fact when I visit Moslem countries (if you know anything about the persecution and killing of Bahai’s in Iran in the last 30 years you will know why). Also, a few years ago, around 2000, I had a Moslem Libyan student in Canada who was denied a visa to enter the USA to give a talk at a scientific conference. He had to go to the US consulate in Toronto, Canada, at least 4 times and was told they do not have to give a reason (fair enough – though they could have told him the 1st time). I looked into the matter and found that many nationalities (Libyan, Nigerians, Vietnamese, etc) were being arbirtarily denied Visas for the USA to give talks at scientific confences, for no good reason. Accordingly I wrote to various heads of scientific institutes (or which I was a member), as well as senators,and then president Clinton and his wife for clarification. The only people who replied (and in fact got me an explanation – simply that his scientific work was funded by Libya) were various Republican senators (including the then minority leader), CEO’s of oil companies and institutes who still valued the American values of freedom of the individual and expression: the so-called academic and democratic people (both institute CEOs, e.g. that of the Geological Society of America, and slick willie and his wife) were not interested. As I wrote at the time I will myself not attend any other scientific conferences in the USA until their government lives up the the promises of its constitution. The USA which was once,’the hope of the world'(a sentiment I once agreed with) is now sinking back into another miserable, arbitrary despotism (especially under its current President Moron). Tolerance and freedom apply to everyone – not just those who agree with you.

  2. Well, i’m shocked. Shocked. That the Blight Unto The Nations, the “beacon of democracy in the Middle East”, would stoop to this.

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