Jerusalem - The US political author and critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein was denied entry to the Jewish state on Friday, his lawyer said.A bit garbled at the end there but that's what it said in Monsters and Critics.
Finkelstein landed at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv in the early morning and was told by a representative of the ministry of interior that he would not be allowed into the country on 'security' grounds, 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.
There are several reports on this around the web. I got the news from the Just Peace UK list. Desert Peace refers people to Norman Finkelstein's site for updates and the Camden Abu Dis group again on the Just Peace list has sent out a plea from Sam Bahour in Ramallah for Americans and Israelis to contact their relevant state officials to do what they can/should to enable Finkelstein to get to the occupied territory he was bound for when he was arrested.
I wonder if the smear campaign against Finkelstein, now rearing its ugly head in the UK, is anything to do with all this.
ADDITION - I was just having a little natter with Mooser in the comments to this post and it occurred to me that if Israel can deny someone entry on security grounds because of what they write or say, any state signed up for the ludicrous war on terror can do it. You see whilst honest people recognise in Israel a particularly repugnant ideology at work, the western states that back Israel all the way like to pretend that Israel is "normal" by their standards. Of course that's just not true but that is the claim that is made for these war criminals. Remember the Abu Ghraib torture business? Remember how one of the lawyers for one (or more?) of the torturers said, straight faced, that these are Israeli techniques? If Israel is a role model then what's to stop other western states banning people on account of their criticism of the racist war criminals of Israel, their apologists in governments, "opposition", the media, and Israel's fundraisers?
This may well be the thin end of the wedge though. As I said above, there are people urging letter writing to stop this thing. Protest emails and faxes are being directed to:
Mr. Meir Sheetrit, MinisterI saw a couple of emails that suggested that this fascistic behaviour by Israel was bad for Israel. If I thought that was true I'd ask Israel for more of the same.
Israeli Ministry of the Interior
Fax: 00 972-2-670-1628
UPDATE: I don't think this had hit the net when I posted the above but I gather Israel is using meetings Finkelstein had with some Hizbullah people as an excuse for arresting, deporting and banning him. I got that from a comment by someone called Shlemazl. So thank you, Shlemazl. Actually, as a hasbara foot soldier Shlemazl couldn't resist accusing me, by innuendo, of suppressing this vital information by reference to it appearing in the papers. It hadn't appeared in any paper I read when I did the post but I'm still left wondering how this makes Finkelstein a security risk.