Official Israel Now Building Wall Against Unapproved Intellectuals

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noam chomsky.jpgNoam Chomsky‘s politics are not my own — but I read him and want to remain aware of his views. I also read Alan Dershowitz, who essentially has become a Noam Chomsky of the right when it comes to Israel policy.
Blocking intellectuals, professors at leading American universities, from entering a country because of their “views” — which is not yet the official reason but the probable excuse that Israel’s Interior Minister will later offer — is an enormous mistake.
Chomsky was scheduled to speak at Bir Zeit University near Jerusalem but was blocked from entering the country. Clearly, someone like Dershowitz is on the list of those who say approved things and will be permitted in the country.
I have always been intrigued and impressed with the depth and breadth of internal debate inside Israel and always wanted to import the quality of that debate to the US, which has a much more binary, narrow band approach to US-Israel issues. It’s a really bad sign when official Israel begins to try and squelch those with which it disagrees rather than debating them publicly — which was always Israel’s forte.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

78 comments on “Official Israel Now Building Wall Against Unapproved Intellectuals

  1. David says:

    My boss at the grocery store at which I worked in high school (The Goldenrod Market) owned a ’54 Desoto, so I’m hoping, in the event of a time leap, we will be protected from the boycott.
    Meanwhile, the ecocide in the Gulf of Mexico continues apace…. Die, sealife, die. You gave your all for BP’s corporate bottom line, which it is hoping to salvage by capturing some of the oil and by finding ways to avoid paying for what they’ve done. After all, the first moral obligation of corporate execs is to their shareholders. Everything else is an externality. And, as we all know, rescuing people who are being forced into foreclosures raises the specter of a moral hazard. Truly fascinating how the corporatist world has succeeded in redefining morality.

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hey, have you guys heard the news???
    There is a worldwide boycott of all the west coast businesses owned by Suffi Muslims, Quakers, and owners of 1953 Desotos!

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Geez, it seems a put a thorn in his panties.
    I hereby propose we boycott all west coast businesses ran by Suffi Muslims, Quakers, and all owners of 1953 Desotos.

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  4. David says:

    “Surely, they can’t actually believe in some of the shit they peddle, can they?” There is no limit to the absurdity of what people can believe, or be taught to believe. Sarah Palin believes she needs to be protected from witches. I have friends and acquaintances who believe Fox News is a truthful news source. I have relatives who believe in the Rapture. Nadine apparently believes the expansionist government of Israel can do no wrong. Suicide bombers apparently believe they are earning a place in heaven. Pat Roberston believes he can redirect hurricanes.
    Yeah, I suspect these people believe what they are saying.

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  5. Sweetness says:

    Hey POA, I’ll respond to the bits that apply to me since, of course, YOU are lying here.
    POA: Three, a worldwide boycott of Israeli intellectuals doesn’t in fact exist, but if it did, perhaps Israel is just reacting to it.
    SN: Actually, as the links show, a boycott HAS been called for, and your comrade in arms, David, also said so (something you didn’t dispute). As you may know, boycotts are “called” at a certain time, but don’t come into force all at once.
    Perhaps you’d agree that there is such a thing as BDS vis a vis Israel, yes? Microsoft is on that list; so is Google. How many people do you think have thrown away their Windows machines and stopped Googling to support BDS? In the scheme of things, I’d wager not many.
    But that doesn’t mean that BDS “doesn’t exist,” as you’re trying to say.
    Since you’ve suddenly become such a close textual analyst, noting the lack of the word “proposed,” perhaps you noted, also, the word “perhaps.” In English, perhaps signals that the person is putting forward X as a possibility. He isn’t saying that X IS the truth; nor is he defending the morality of X. He is putting it forward as a suggestion, a possibility.
    Perhaps if you were more interested in what people were ACTUALLY saying rather than in what you think or WANT them to be saying, we could have talked about it, but then you wouldn’t be you, would you?
    POA: And five, although Israel does this all the time to intellectuals, journalists, peace activists, and politicians, Chomsky is, after all, just one guy, so its not fair to keep count.
    SN: I gave you that one, in principle, but of course, each case needs to be looked at by itself. Because if your thesis is that Israel simply doesn’t tolerate critics, homegrown or otherwise, you have a lot ‘splaining to do around all the critics in Israel (whom Steve of all people cites above–I guess he’s cowering so they don’t revoke his visa, yeah?) and those who travel to Israel. And those who teach on the WB and in Israel and travel back and forth. So clearly, the situation isn’t nearly the black and white picture you and others like to the paint–that’s just a fact.
    The “non-existent boycott,” on the other hand, applies across the board to Israeli academics regardless of who they are, what they stand for, or what they’ve done for peace or otherwise.
    As to calling me, a “right wing Zionist,” well, my friend, you are the recovering right winger, not I.

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  6. rc says:

    Just in case there is any ambiguity in my comment:
    “Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. The cognitive application of freethought is known as freethinking, and practitioners of freethought are known as freethinkers.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freethought)

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  7. rc says:

    Quote:
    Boaz Okon, the legal affairs editor for the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, said the issue could mark”the end of Israel as a freedom-loving state of law”.
    “When freedom disappears – it comes first of all at the expense of the weak, the marginal groups or the minorities. But it does not end there. Now it is also reaching intellectuals with a worldwide reputation.
    “Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the decision to shut up Prof. Chomsky is an attempt to put an end to freedom in the State of Israel,” Okon wrote.
    Endquote
    http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/05/201051720277177651.html

    POA (10:10PM) — you need to understand that there is a creeping fascism entering the world today, and it does not tolerate or practice free thinking.
    quote:
    The official asked Chomsky why he did not have an Israeli passport.
    “I replied I am an American citizen,” Chomsky said.
    endquote
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/after-denied-entry-to-west-bank-chomsky-likens-israel-to-stalinist-regime-1.290736
    That about says it imo. Perhaps his comment about Israel and “Stalinist regimes” was a not so subtle poke at the smell of Russian Jews in the Land of Palestine today?

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  8. ImadK says:

    I have always been interested in Chomsky, and as you can guess, i dislike Dershowitz intensely. I’m surprised that no one in this comments mentioned Dershowitz getting an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University, or the letter to the Dead of TAU about the concern of Dershowitz’s speech at the graduate ceremony. Details can be found here.
    http://themagneszionist.blogspot.com/2010/05/alan-dershowitz-hammers-another-nail.html

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, as the thread winds down we have a clear picture of why barring Chomsky from entry into Palestine is A-OK.
    One, because anyone that says it isn’t OK is an anti-semite.
    Two, it doesn’t matter what Chomsky has to say, so just to rub it in, they aren’t gonna let him say it.
    Three, a worldwide boycott of Israeli intellectuals doesn’t in fact exist, but if it did, perhaps Israel is just reacting to it.
    Four, these nasty heathen Palestinian kids are prone to violence, and having someone feed them the truth might just incite them into throwing rocks at army tanks, posing a severe thread to Israel’s security.
    And five, although Israel does this all the time to intellectuals, journalists, peace activists, and politicians, Chomsky is, after all, just one guy, so its not fair to keep count.
    Ya gotta love it, doncha? This thread qualifies as a classic example of RW zionist assholishness, mixed in with an unhealthy dose of jerkwaddity. It rates right up there with Nadine’s past argument that when some IDF perverts gang banged a fourteen year old child, it was OK because it was “consensual”.
    But theres more, even!!! Here, at this link….
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/05/debating_the_fa/#comments
    …….you can marvel at Nadine’s argument that all Netanyahu has to do is LIE about making “concessions”, and voila, “concessions” they are.
    Often, when reading here, I ponder whether or not these people even know what jackasses they make of themselves, or, if they even care. Surely, they can’t actually believe in some of the shit they peddle, can they? Sometimes I find them pathetic, and sometimes I find them evil. I ALWAYS find them lying. Is it so hard to fathom that an argument founded in bullshit is not an argument worth waging?
    Oh well, at least its amusing. Seeing Wig-wag insult Rosen is especially surreal, isn’t it??? Next thing ya know, she’ll be genuflecting about the size of his private parts.

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  10. ... says:

    a bad day is a zionist seeing apartheid israel in action and not having the jam to acknowledge any of it..

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  11. Dan Kervick says:

    I did WigWag. I couldn’t find any confirmation of the claims you are making.

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  12. Carroll says:

    Well, generally I am opposed to boycotting speech or thought …but let’s face it, a lot of intellectuals aren’t exactly intellectual….however intellectuals are defined these days. A lot of them pose as intellectuals by making up some idiotic and radical idea that the dumbed down society will accept as ‘deep thought’.
    No intelligence person would call Dershowitz an intellectual for instance.

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  13. WigWag says:

    “Why is this a surprise? Israel denies millions of palestinians access to their homes and deprives them even of entry into palestine.” (Nir Rosen)
    Having a bad day, Nir? Is that the best you can do? Usually we can depend on you for a full-throated, maniacal rant.

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  14. WigWag says:

    Dan, check the CNN website; the Politico website and the Pajamas Media blog.
    WigWag

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  15. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag, please provide some sources for the accusations you are hurling. Roger Simon retracted the initial story, said there had been no change of policy, and that scientists who work at Dimona have had more difficulty getting visas since 9/11.

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  16. nir rosen says:

    Why is this a surprise? Israel denies millions of palestinians access to their homes and deprives them even of entry into palestine

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  17. Sweetness says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, May 16 2010, 10:17PM – Link
    POA, I’ll grant your point as far as it goes. To do justice to your list, however, we’d need to look into the reasons why access was denied and whether it was legitimate (somewhat in the eye of the beholder), etc.
    But in the meantime, one for you.

    Reply

  18. WigWag says:

    “Anyway, I think we should distinguish between visa denials to scientists or engineers engaged in technical work that might be connected with tangible security threats and visa denials to intellectuals who are denied entry on ideological grounds, or due to the threats posed by their speech.” (Dan Kervick)
    The problem with your thesis Dan is two-fold:
    (1) given the nature of the scientists work and the subject of the conference they were scheduled to participate in, there was virtually no chance that anything they learned there would be relevant to Israel’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
    Given the inflammatory remarks that Chomsky is
    noted for making and given the proclivity of Palestinians, including Palestinian students, to engage in violence, Chomsky’s participation in the meeting he was planning to attend was a greater threat to peace than the Ben Gurion University professors attendance at the American conference.
    (2)Given the fact that the visa denial by the Obama Administration took place during the whole temper tantrum Obama was having over Netanyahu, it is highly likely that the visa denial had nothing to do with security concerns and everything to do with politics. The most logical conclusion is that the Obama Administration was seeking political retaliation against Israel by making the Ben Gurion University scientists, scapegoats. In all likelihood the behavior of the Obama Administration was every bit as political and perhaps more political than the decision of the Netanyahu Administration to exclude Chomsky.
    The bottom line is that like many frustrated and marginalized realists, Steve has a strange obsession with Israel. Conduct, that if other nations like the United States or Saudi Arabia engaged in it, Steve wouldn’t even notice, becomes something far more worthy of attention when it is engaged in by Israel.
    It may be indelicate to point out Steve’s hypocrisy but unless he can come up with an alternative explanation, the only logical conclusion is that when it comes to Israel, Steve is a purveyor of double standards.

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  19. Sweetness says:

    David writes: “But if Tel Aviv U. (which is a fully-embedded part of the Israeli military-industrial complex, as well as being built partially on the ruins of illegally expropriated Palestinian property) tries to fund a conference or a joint research project, we politely refuse (or in my case, lobby my employer, with limited success, to refuse). The end results are essentially very very different: Israeli state institutions get the message their participation is not welcome, although individual academics are (of course).”
    If this is, in fact, the way it works, I accept your point. But it is worth noting that the call to boycott specifically mentions individuals. But if you tell me that individual scholars get to write, get to speak, get to travel, etc., then okay…

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  20. Sweetness says:

    David writes: “Oh, and Sweetness, about that inevitability: please don’t take my word for it, ask either of the Ehuds, or Reuven Rivlin.
    One person, one vote, from the river to the sea: kinda catchy, doncha think?”
    Except…
    It doesn’t seem to be catching on, does it?

    Reply

  21. b says:

    “I also read Alan Dershowitz, who essentially has become a Noam Chomsky of the right when it comes to Israel policy.”
    Google Scholar Search:
    Chomsky – 139.000 Results
    Dershowitz – 15.600 Results
    No match there …

    Reply

  22. mica says:

    Block intellectuals? There’s a gang that blocks the truth while putting another country’s interests way above U.S. interests.
    Richard Perle/Paul Wolfowitz/Larry Franklin/dirty Douglas Feith/Edward Luttwak/gangster Henry Kissinger/master thief Dov Zakheim/Kenneth Adelman/”Scootin” the law Libby/Robert Satloff/Elliott Abrams/treason specialsit Marc Grossman/Richard Haass/Robert Zoellick/Ari Fleischer/James Schlesinger/David Frum/Joshua Bolten/David Wurmser/Eliot Cohen/and many, many more. . .
    I don’t know about you, but dual citizenship is fine with me for an ordinary citizen. But if you hold an official position that demands that you put American interests above all else — if you should look transparent and fair to the rest of the world regarding your formation of Middle East foreign policies, then this has proven to be a very dangerous trend.

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  23. David says:

    Panskeptic, there no evidence (none) of Jew-hating in any of the posts here. Your continued recourse to vacuous accusations of anti-Semitism are evidence only of the poverty of your arguments.
    The most important point above (thanks, Dan K.) bears repeating again:
    Chomsky wasn’t denied a visa for a trip to Israel; he was denied a visa *by Israel* for a trip to Bir Zeit university in the Palestinian territories, exercised not at the Israeli border, but the border between Jordan and Palestine under Israel’s authority as the occupying power in the Palestinian territories. Israelis can run their own country any way they want to, but it is outrageous that more than four decades after the 1967 war, Israel is still permitted to run the lives of non-Israelis outside of Israel, in Palestine.

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  24. Panskeptic says:

    I have pointed out that Israel currently has a right wing government, and it makes the same mistakes ours did. However, the blame here is always cast on Israel, the entire population and country, and all Jews abroad as well. No one on this page singles out the government, that like all democratically elected governments, speaks for only part of the voters.
    It is interesting that my previous arguments were brushed aside as “unsubstantiated horseshit” without the slightest substantiation for the contrary argument. Can somebody here prove that Hezbullah was not founded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard? Can somebody prove that they’ve disarmed, and have only cap-pistols and cherry bombs in Southern Lebanon? No, I thought not.
    Translated, the argument really is, who cares if they’re armed and dangerous, they’re only going to kill Jews. Yes, the most vehement posters in this thread are Jew-haters, and nothing infuriates them like being called out on it. Perhaps that’s because while proclaiming their superiority, they show themselves to be less-than-superior examples of humanity.
    Many responsible news websites have been forced to place automatic filters on their comments pages because of the brain-dead, medieval ethnic hatred that invariably accompanies any discussion of Israel and the Jews. If Mr. Clemons must continue his confused, contradictory, wooly-minded exploration of Israeli exceptionalism, he can add a digital disinfectant to the comments page, to spare us all the cretinous Bund rally that inevitably follows.

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  25. (other) David says:

    Oh, and Sweetness, about that inevitability: please don’t take my word for it, ask either of the Ehuds, or Reuven Rivlin.
    One person, one vote, from the river to the sea: kinda catchy, doncha think?

    Reply

  26. Dan Kervick says:

    “In reality, the scientists concerned had never worked at Dimona …”
    How would you know WigWag? How would any of us know?
    Anyway, I think we should distinguish between visa denials to scientists or engineers engaged in technical work that might be connected with tangible security threats and visa denials to intellectuals who are denied entry on ideological grounds, or due to the threats posed by their speech.

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  27. ... says:

    worth repeating…
    Chomsky wasn’t denied a visa for a trip to Israel; he was denied a visa *by Israel* for a trip to Bir Zeit university in the Palestinian territories, exercised not at the Israeli border, but the border between Jordan and Palestine under Israel’s authority as the occupying power in the Palestinian territories. I

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    Interestingly, in mid-April the Obama Administration refused to grant visas to two chemists from Ben Gurion University in Ber Sheva Israel to attend academic conferences in the United States. Zeev Alfassi, a Professor at Ben Gurion University confirmed the reports to a number of individuals including Ben Smith of Politico. The scientists were denied entry because of fears on the part of the Obama Administration that they may have spent time working at Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.
    After reports of the incident were made public by Politico, CNN and the website, Pajamas Media, the Obama Administration backed down and pretended the whole thing never happened. In reality, the scientists concerned had never worked at Dimona and the visas were quickly granted but by then the conference the professors were planning to attend was over. A hearing that the House of Representatives threatened to call on the subject was cancelled after the Obama Administration promised that the whole thing had been a misunderstanding. The Obama Administration said that even had the scientists worked at Dimona their visa should have been approved; they chalked the whole thing up to a temporary glitch.
    I never saw a Steve Clemons post on this subject. Why exactly is denying Noam Chomsky a visa to enter Israel to attend an academic meeting more worth commenting on then the refusal to grant a visa to two Israeli chemists seeking to attend a U.S. workshop that had nothing to do with nuclear power?
    Care to tell us Steve, why you think Israelis should be held to a different standard than Americans or your Arab friends?

    Reply

  29. David says:

    Last comment is from the other David (me), the one on the edge…of the Green Swamp, heart of the Floridan aquifer (yes, it is spelled Floridan, at least on all the state signs).

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  30. David says:

    Anyone else remember when the United States denied Athol Fugard entry into the United States for the premier of one of his plays, probably Master Harold? I can’t remember the details, but how American of Israel to block Noam Chomsky.
    Fortunately the United States has moved beyond that particular idiocy. I think Athol Fugard is now a professor at an American university. Be terrific if Noam Chomsky could be at least a visiting professor at an Israeli university (my guess is that there are folks in the Israeli academic community who would welcome him, at least for his huge store of knowledge and his intellectual horsepower.

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  31. ... says:

    dan kervick 914pm- very good point on where israel is exercising there ””right”’…. thanks for sharing this.. lets see if one of the apologists for all things israel have any comment on it…

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  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I might also add POA-ishly that Chomsky is just “one guy.”"
    Hmmm….lets see now…..
    *Norman Finklestien..refused entry.
    *US editor at Palestinian agency fights Israel entry ban
    Malsin is awaiting the court ruling on his expulsion
    A US citizen working as an editor for a the Palestinian news agency Maan is appealing against Israel’s refusal to allow him entry at Tel Aviv airport.
    Jared Malsin has been detained since he returned from a holiday in Prague on Tuesday evening, his colleagues said.
    Israeli security officials said security concerns had arisen when he was questioned, and the Interior Ministry had refused him entry.
    Maan said a court hearing due on Thursday has been postponed to Sunday.
    It said the decision could “only be explained as a retaliatory measure for his reporting on Palestine”.
    continues….
    *Richard Falk….deported.
    *Irish mininster….refused entry.
    *Cliff Kindy….refused entry.
    *Starhawk….refused entry.
    *Dear Friends,
    My name is Mr Jameel Zayed of the department of chemistry at the University of Cambridge. I wanted to share with you my ordeal on Saturday when visiting Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv.
    Upon arriving at the airport, I was detained for 9 hours and interrogated repeatedly with no access to food. Humiliated by the numerous strip searches, I was given no reason for my detention, before finally being told that my access to Israel had been denied. I was then taken by police to a detention centre where I was locked in a cell for another 9 hours awaiting deportation back to Britain. I visit my Israeli grandparents regularly who live in Jerusalem as Israelis, and I have never had a problem in the past. My uncle in Israel contacted the British embassy in Tel Aviv, and even the director of trade and investment there was unable to extract further information regarding our detention other than that ‘security reasons’ were responsible.
    As it turns out, within the first 30 minutes of my detention, in the first interrogation interview, I was asked my occupation. I replied that I am a research scientist, when asked further, I said that I am a chemist. The mood of the interrogators instantly changed, to which one of them said “ha!, you galloped on the wrong side of the border today my friend”, in a sarcastic tone, she continued to then say she is now in no mood to let me in. I find this ridiculous that people are being profiled according to their professional skill set.
    continues….
    Need I continue, Sweetness? I could, for hours. Your argument is disingenuous horseshit.
    For God’s sake, man, have a little self respect.

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  33. David says:

    @Sweetness, “I’m willing to grant you the distinction but aver that it boils down to censorship.” You manifestly have no idea what it meanns to be a working academic. What don’t you leave these distinctions (which seem to be beyond you) to those of us who actually make these distinctions all the time.
    The proof is in your precious internet: if there had been any (any!) Israeli academics who were individually “vicitimized” by this supposed boycott, we would hear them screaming all over the web. Whereas in fact: thunderous silence. Why? Because the boycott (as anounced) targets institutions, not individuals. Get your mind around it: the distinction really isn’t that complicated.

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  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, good for you, Sweetness, a rebuttal on this thread that actually has an ounce of substance. Turning over a new leaf?
    But, uh, problem is, with all these “pages of hits”, I can’t seem to find any instances of an ACTUAL boycott taking place. Lots of threats. Lots of proposals. Lots of hasbarist HORSESHIT about the existence of an ACTUAL working boycott.
    But gee, lo and behold, no actual instances of Israeli intellectuals actually being victims of such a boycott.

    Reply

  35. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag is right about intellectuals barred entry in the US and in Arab countries. Back in the olden days of 2004, I had a blog for a few months, and wrote a post about Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan was not just denied a visa for a speaking engagement. He had been given a tenured faculty position at the University of Notre Dame, but was ultimately forced to decline that position because the US government would not permit him to enter the country.
    What shouldn’t escape notice here is that this exclusion of Chomsky illustrates the inherent injustice of the occupation. Chomsky wasn’t denied a visa for a trip to Israel; he was denied a visa *by Israel* for a trip to Bir Zeit university in the Palestinian territories, exercised not at the Israeli border, but the border between Jordan and Palestine under Israel’s authority as the occupying power in the Palestinian territories. Israelis can run their own country any way they want to, but it is outrageous that more than four decades after the 1967 war, Israel is still permitted to run the lives of non-Israelis outside of Israel, in Palestine.

    Reply

  36. Sweetness says:

    Here you go, POA. If you type in “boycott of Israeli academics,” you
    get pages of “hits.”
    http://www.google.com/search?
    q=boycott+of+israeli+academics&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&sta
    rt=0&sa=N

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:
  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gee, Wiggie, you forgot to mention the banishment of Iranian journalists that wanted to cover their President’s speech. Or these asshole “representatives” of ours that walk out when Iranians stand behind the dais.
    No one here is defending such counterproductive actions by the assholes in DC. They’re ridiculous and destructive. What we ARE discussing here, at the moment, is Israel’s fascist diplomatic blunder, considering its high and mighty self proffessed horseshit about being “the only democracy in the Middle East”.
    And uh, I don’t see us arresting journalists that are critical of Arizona’s recent passage of a controversial bill, do you? Or deporting them? Or refusing any of the fioreign journalists decrying this bill entry into the states?
    Its really quite telling that you Israeli apologists and hasbarists are so often reduced to saying things like “well, everyone does it, so why can’t we”? in order to defend despicable policies. Does that make them any less despicable? When you reared your children Wig-wag, did you point to the worst examples of human behaviour to provide them with role models???
    On second thought, don’t answer that.

    Reply

  39. Sweetness says:

    David writes: “Interestingly, this incident also proves the ultimate
    futility of the so-called two-state solution which Chomsky (like
    Finkelstein) defends: under Israel’s most “generous” offer, the
    bantustan in Ramallah would not even control an international
    border with Jordan, and could only invite international academics
    at the whim of ther pwerful neighbour. Considering the second
    reason Israel gave for barring Chomsky
    SN: Dave perhaps you can explain how a one-state solution is
    feasible if a two-state solution isn’t.
    Dave: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0vvaNM9J0U: he was
    not going on to visit an Israeli university after speaking at Birzeit
    U.), can you imagine any other state which has to have its
    academic invitations vetted in this way by its “neighbour”?? (“No,
    sorry, you can’t speak in Luxembourg because you aren’t going
    to a Dutch university as well…”)
    SN: Except, Dave, plenty of folks teach in both places and we
    don’t even have your inevitable one-state solution yet, do we?
    Dave: Substitute any countries you want, it would be intolerable.
    SN: Aside from the fact that professors DO teach in Israel and
    the WB, and Chomsky is “just one guy,” I think you’re
    overreaching here. You know Dave, it used to be, and maybe
    still is, that you couldn’t even get into Syria or Egypt or Iraq if
    you had an Israeli stamp on your passport. Forget about
    teaching; you couldn’t even travel.
    Now maybe, per DonS, this is okay because Egypt and Syria
    don’t claim to be anything but barbaric, undemocratic states, so
    they never disappoint.
    Dave: But Palestinians are supposed to be grate for their
    “autonomy”.
    SN: Actually, Dave, they are seeking their autonomy.
    Dave: Which leaves the inevitable: one democratic state for all its
    citizens. Chomsky has claimed this is a pipe-dream, but now it
    looks like the two-state “solution” is fading fast.
    SN: What makes it inevitable, Dave? Democracy doesn’t seem to
    be inevitable in any other part of the Middle East. Doesn’t
    appear to be inevitable in Syria, Jordan, SA, Egypt, Libya,
    Morocco, Tunisia and, God knows Iraq. Are you saying that it’s
    inevitable in Israel because, ah, Israel IS a democracy?
    As far as the boycott thing goes, here’s the run down. Maybe
    you can copy it out so you can keep track:

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  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If you do a google on almost virtually ANYTHING, you will get tens of hits, or thousands, or even tens of thousands.
    Run an advanced google search on the exact words “”boycott of Israeli intellectuals”….
    http://tinyurl.com/28rcbrh
    And you get…ta daaa….6 hits.
    Six.
    And not one of then describes an actual, past or present, “boycott of Israeli intellectuals”.

    Reply

  41. WigWag says:

    Once again our gentle Arabist host, Steve Clemons, demonstrates that he is a purveyor of double standards.
    I have mixed feelings about whether Chomsky should be admitted to Israel, but one thing is clear; foreign academics who make statements as belligerent to the United States as Chomsky makes about Israel are frequently denied American visas and excluded from the United States.
    Among the foreign academics denied American entry to attend academic conferences or to assume teaching positions in just the past few years are: Karim Meziane of the University of New Brunswick, Nalina Ghurman of the University of Western Wales (she was actually denied a visa to take up a teaching position at Mills College of Music), Waskar Ari of the University of La Paz, Marixa Lasso of the University of Panama (after 18 months she actually got her visa to teach at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland), Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University and Goverdhan Mehta of the University of Bangalore.
    The United States first became stingy about admitting foreign academics in the wake of the September 11th attacks, but while the Bush Administration was particularly vehement about denying entry to Professors who they deemed a threat, the Obama Administration has only been modestly more liberal in deciding who to admit.
    I only mentioned a few of the academics denied entry to the United States because of statements they made about the U.S. in their home countries; there are scores more that I could have cited.
    And of course our Docent of Double Standards, the right honorable Steve Clemons, also fails to mention the standard of behavior in the Arab countries. Does anyone notice that Steve absolutely never criticizes nations like Saudi Arabia, Jordan or even Syria?
    The Arab nations not only refuse to admit academics they fear will make statements that they object to, they won’t let anyone into their countries if they have an Israeli stamp in their passports. Visitors to Israel who later want to visit one of the Arab countries have to request that the Israeli immigration officials not stamp their passports or they have to get separate passports for travel to Israel and the Arab nations.
    It doesn’t matter whether you

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is Sweetness’ original comment….
    “Steve, perhaps this is the inverse reaction to the boycott of Israeli intellectuals abroad…”
    Note the lack of the word “proposed”. When queried about the assertion that there is in fact a “boycott of Israeli officials abroad”, it became a “proposal” rather than an actual event or policy occurring, or practiced, “worldwide”.
    Perhaps Sweetness could slightly redeem his credibility by offering examples of this “boycott” that he presents, initially, as a reality rather than simply a past proposal that has gone largely ignored.
    Or, perhaps it would be simpler, and easier, to just admit to the disingenuous exageration contained in his original comment, and simply move on from there.

    Reply

  43. DonS says:

    Sweetness, I was mainly interested in jlong’s characterization of Steve’s tightrope, not the boycott thing.
    But since you wonder, I am actually complaining about the many faced way Israel plays the US for a sucker through contradictory words and actions, and still the US can’t help from responding “how high” fast enough.
    So my complaint is not just against Israel’s behavior and mythology, but it’s US enablers as well.
    Thanks for pushing the thought, I think.

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  44. David says:

    “Contrary to what jlong says, the boycott does have a basis in fact,” @Sweetness, facts are what you are supposed to be checking, remember? Yes, there is a boycott, no it doesn’t apply to individuals. States censor individuals, boycotts target institutions. Do you have to copy it out repeatedly in order to grasp this elementary distinciton?

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  45. David says:

    Interestingly, this incident also proves the ultimate futility of the so-called two-state solution which Chomsky (like Finkelstein) defends: under Israel’s most “generous” offer, the bantustan in Ramallah would not even control an international border with Jordan, and could only invite international academics at the whim of ther pwerful neighbour. Considering the second reason Israel gave for barring Chomsky (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0vvaNM9J0U: he was not going on to visit an Israeli university after speaking at Birzeit U.), can you imagine any other state which has to have its academic invitations vetted in this way by its “neighbour”?? (“No, sorry, you can’t speak in Luxembourg because you aren’t going to a Dutch university as well…”) Substitute any countries you want, it would be intolerable. But Palestinians are supposed to be grate for their “autonomy”.
    Which leaves the inevitable: one democratic state for all its citizens. Chomsky has claimed this is a pipe-dream, but now it looks like the two-state “solution” is fading fast.

    Reply

  46. Sweetness says:

    Posted by DonS, May 16 2010, 7:06PM – Link
    So, are you complaining about what Israel actually does
    compared to, say, what Syria actually does?
    Or are you complaining that Israel is a hypocrite by claiming she
    adheres to one set of standards when, in fact, she adheres to
    another set?
    Apparently Steve thought it was worth mentioning one little guy,
    Chomsky, and I thought it was worth mentioning one little
    boycott. Contrary to what jlong says, the boycott does have a
    basis in fact, and the Palestinians would be unhappy to hear that
    Brother or Sister Long thought otherwise.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And here we find the typical status quo defense, and denial, of Israeli fascism….
    http://newledger.com/2010/05/noam-chomsky-and-israel/
    Interesting seeing this Kerstein ghoul accusing Chomsky of the sins so evident in Kerstien’s own assassination of Chomsky’s character. The moral inferiority of Israel’s staunchest defenders is glaring and commonplace. One could say that it is universal to those that launch such vehement defenses of Israeli policy.
    I’m sorry, but “scum” just really doesn’t do justice to describing some of these people. “Maggots” comes close, but still doesn’t rise to the task. “Nazis” seems to be getting closer and closer to the truth.

    Reply

  48. David says:

    To recap (and yes, this will be on the final exam, so please review carefully): Individuals are not subject to boycott, because boycotts target institutions. States however do target individuals, as in Chomsky’s case (in addition of course to many many Palestinian academics, who face all kinds of restrictions from Israel on their academic travel etc. — even when they hold fellowships, scholarships etc. from international universities. Do you care about the very real threats to academic freedom for them, or are you only concerned with imagined restrictions on Israeli academics?). States also censor individuals (another charge which boycotts are inaccurately smeared with).
    A couple of UK (note, NOT “worldwide”) documents propose measures that might target individual scholars’ research, but that is not the international PACBI call, as supported e.g. in Canada, France and elsewhere. The international (i.e. Palestinian) or “proposed worldwide” call clearly targets only institutions, so please stop with the red herrings already. Do your homework before coming to class and you might contribute something interesting to the debate.

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  49. rc says:

    I though all Jews had a right to enter Israel? I’d suggest whatever is running there now is not Israel as per definition. Just some sick Goon Show on borrowed time. The pen is mightier than the sword (eventually). I look forward to Chomsky’s next video – I suspect the Israeli interior ministry is going to squirm.

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  50. David says:

    @Sweetness: “The end result is a proposed barring of Israeli academics from conferences, journals and the like–”. No, actually, none of this stuff follows at all. For those of us who are actually familiar with how academia works, there is a huge difference, and the lines are quite straightfoward to draw.
    So professor X travels to conferences, and professor Y publishes her papers internationally: neither has anything to do with the boycott, end of story (and since any reputable journal would have the papers refereed anonymously, there is no way any of us doing the reviewing could know who the article was submitted by or from where). The free flow of ideas and individuals in ensured, period.
    But if Tel Aviv U. (which is a fully-embedded part of the Israeli military-industrial complex, as well as being built partially on the ruins of illegally expropriated Palestinian property) tries to fund a conference or a joint research project, we politely refuse (or in my case, lobby my employer, with limited success, to refuse). The end results are essentially very very different: Israeli state institutions get the message their participation is not welcome, although individual academics are (of course).

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  51. PissedOffAmerican says:

    …”those for whom Israel can do no right crawl right out from under their rocks.”"
    Well, I’d be interested in knowing what “right” Israel commits that enhances our own interests or security? Espionage against us??? False flag attacks??? Selling our weapons technologies to the highest bidder after they steal them? Telling our president and vice president to go fuck themselves??? Bribing, intimidating, and blackmailing our politicians??? Providing false intelligence designed to incite us into war with Israel’s enemies? Leeching from our depleted coffers while their own economy prospers?
    Do tell us, Panseptic, what are the “rights” you attribute to these racist leeches?

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  52. DonS says:

    jlong, you stated it well. The Zionist radicals hereabouts like to complain mightily that Israel is being judged by different standards that the rest of the ME, which they incongruously state or imply are just a bunch of medieval savages.
    However, out the other side of their mouths, and with the bobbing heads of Senators and Congresspersons without number, they proclaim Israel the enlightened, democratic paragon.
    If Israel is indeed judged by different standards, they are standards that Israel’s boosters have shouted from the house tops as a mark of their civility. We see, however, it is civility honored mostly in the breach.
    The debate several posts back about Israelis compatibility, or not, with Americans brought out some disarming admissions from Israeli boosters. Truth is, Israelis are crude and rude, and lack much compassion for the ‘other’. Justifiably so??? I don’t know, but now that I’ve stepped in it, I’ll step out.

    Reply

  53. ... says:

    …”those for whom Israel can do no right crawl right out from under their rocks.”"
    to say nothing of those for whom israel can do no wrong crawling right out from under their rocks at the same time, which would explain Panskeptic’s presence here….

    Reply

  54. samuelburke says:

    israel when compared to the myth they try to portray of her in the
    u.s media is a total joke and has become a shame to the jewish
    people here in the states who have taken a closer look behind the
    curtain.
    thats why so many jewish americans are walking away from blind
    support for israel.
    fairy tales are for suckers.

    Reply

  55. jlong says:

    BRAVO PissedOffAmerican!! Steve knows he can only go
    so far. If he’s going to criticize Israeli
    behavior, he has to criticize its enemies, even if
    the charges (“proposed worldwide boycott of Israeli
    intellectuals”) are ludicrous and without any basis
    whatsoever. But let’s give credit to Steve for at
    least trying to push the envelope somewhat (lord
    knows they’ll come after him if he strays too far
    off the ranch.) And you couldnt be more right about
    the new media. We’ll see how many Americans will
    actually educate themselves about the truth given
    that for the first time it’s now available — to
    anyone willing with access to a computer…

    Reply

  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ah yes, citing unsubstantiated horseshit, the latest zionist hasbarist jackass slithers in with accusations of “anti-semitism”.
    “What difference does it make what Chomsky says or does at this point? None”
    Apparently the fascist leadership of the Racist State of Israel disagrees with you. Apparently they consider his “opinion” a threat to thier security. Kinda like seventy five year old Palestinians wandering too close the border, or American kids peacefully protesting policies that are deemed to be illegal by the global community.
    Is there any conclusions we should draw by the fact that the sleeziest and most despicable attacks on Steve’s character alway seem to come from the zionist trolls that slither in from time to time?

    Reply

  57. Panskeptic says:

    What is this strange fascination with Israel from Steve? What measure is he using to judge it? Is there some other country in the Middle East with greater intellectual debate? If so, that’s one helluva scoop we’re not getting.
    Let’s put it simply. Israel has a Likud government at the moment, about as obtuse and incompetent as Bush/Cheney. The difference is that there are over 40,000 missiles in Hezbullah’s hot little hands up in Lebanon that can reach the entire country, and a better than 50/50 chance of war this summer.
    So if Israel is a little jittery, they’re right to be so. They have no margin for error. And if their government is clumsy, so was ours for eight years. What difference does it make what Chomsky says or does at this point? None.
    But every time Clemons puts up a post like this, Jew-haters and those for whom Israel can do no right crawl right out from under their rocks. Public Notice: anti-Semitism is a form of psychosis, and we get a full complement around here. So thanks, Steve, for adding precisely nothing to the sum total of human knowledge.

    Reply

  58. ... says:

    poa – thanks for the 504pm link… shocking, but will americans ever wake up to any of this? is that a pic of nadine?

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    No, actually I was merely pointing out how idiotic your “rationale” for Israel’s action was, and underscoring what exagerated horseshit your claim of a “proposed worldwide boycott was”.
    I “propose” that we all eat four Snickers bars a day. Further, I hereby “propose” that the practice become worldwide.
    Voila. Done deal.

    Reply

  60. Sweetness says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, May 16 2010, 5:13PM – Link
    So now you’ve moved from denying outright that there’s been a call
    to boycott…to settling for the notion that it hasn’t succeeded. But I
    guess even you would have to admit that it hasn’t failed for lack of
    trying, wouldn’t you?

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    From Sweetness’ link….
    “As of Saturday afternoon, two days after the campaign’s press release went out, Lloyd reported that the campaign had received more than 70 endorsements by individuals, and two by organizations”
    WOW!!!!! And just think, that was in January of ’09. By now, they have probably got endorsements from five or six more “individuals”, and maybe even another “organization” or two!!!!
    Now THATS “worldwide”, by gawd!!!!
    You get that one from Nadine, Sweetness, or didcha dream it up all by your lonesome?

    Reply

  62. Sweetness says:

    “Pretending that individuals (rather than institutions) are
    targeted by the boycott is either plain ignorant or (more likely) a
    cynical attempt to smear this peaceful pressure campaign
    through exaggeration and lies. In both cases, the antidote is
    simple: check the facts.”
    Hmmm. I’m not sure there’s a distinction with a real difference
    here. The end result is a proposed barring of Israeli academics
    from conferences, journals and the like–these are individuals
    are they not? In fact, the word “individuals” appears in the
    manifesto you link to.
    “Since Israeli academic institutions (mostly state controlled) and
    the vast majority of Israeli intellectuals and academics have
    either contributed directly to maintaining, defending or
    otherwise justifying the above forms of oppression, or have
    been complicit in them through their silence…”
    You’ll note they accuse, directly, “the vast majority of Israeli
    intellectuals and academics…” individuals all. And…
    “We, Palestinian academics and intellectuals, call upon our
    colleagues in the international community to comprehensively
    and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural
    institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel

    Reply

  63. Sweetness says:

    I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it; it has been in the news
    quite a lot off and on. Perhaps “worldwide” is too wide a word,
    as it really started and was concentrated in the UK, but its aim
    was much broader than England.
    All that said, the press in Israel has been much freer in terms of
    its critique of Israel than almost anywhere else. Uri Avnery has
    published since 1970, and I’ve been reading him for almost that
    long. And there have been others, as we see, almost daily from
    Haaretz. So I’m not entirely sure why the fuss about Chomsky.
    Here’s one link about the proposed boycott, but you can Google
    it if you’re interested:
    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/01/26/boycott
    Mr. Murder, I’m not sure what a “Jewey Jew” is. His Dad was a
    Hebrew scholar and they were members of a Hebrew-based
    Zionist organization, according to Wiki. Sounds pretty “Jewey” to
    me. Anyway, here’s a segment on him from Wiki:
    “Chomsky was born on the morning of December 7, 1928 to
    Jewish parents in the affluent East Oak Lane neighborhood of
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of noted professor of Hebrew
    at Gratz College and IWW (Industrial Workers of the World)
    member William Chomsky (1896

    Reply

  64. David says:

    There is no “proposed worldwide call for a boycott of Israeli academics” (nor has there ever been). Please get your facts straight folks. See for example the Palestinian Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=869
    Pretending that individuals (rather than institutions) are targeted by the boycott is either plain ignorant or (more likely) a cynical attempt to smear this peaceful pressure campaign through exaggeration and lies. In both cases, the antidote is simple: check the facts.

    Reply

  65. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=175654
    Emanuel to rabbis: US ‘screwed up’
    The Obama administration has

    Reply

  66. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What I’m suggesting is that it may be a REACTION TO the proposed worldwide boycott of Israeli intellectuals”
    WHAT “proposed worldwide boycott of Israeli intellectuals”???
    Could you be a little more specific, please? I know of no such “proposed” boycott of any “worldwide” scale to merit mention.
    I do know some American college student bodies are rightfully opposed to giving racists, war criminals, and their supporters, forums from which to spew their hasbarist garbage.
    But as far as this being a “proposed worldwide boycott”, don’t you think thats more than just a little disingenuous? Particularly in the respect that these fascists in Israel have worked so hard, for so many decades, to control the narrative and silence criticism? This Chomsky thing isn’t a “reaction”, its a long held practice. Its just that the “new media” is pulling the covers off of such longstanding Israeli policies, and exposing them to the light of day.

    Reply

  67. Mr.Murder says:

    Noam is not a Jewey Jew, so he can be placed under travel apartheid.
    We can finally agree on the difference between a good Jew and a bad Jew.
    Can we do more to separate the Jews from good and bad, like put a patch on their clothing to better identify the bad ones? Maybe hand tattoos or RFID tags?
    Noam would probably consider the travel ban a badge of honor. Would such moves against leading thinkers in the world community constitute grounds for sanctions requests?

    Reply

  68. ... says:

    johnh – 259pm – i agree with you… would be nice to get at the medias role in helping silence or not, certain individuals…

    Reply

  69. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, these bigots like Nadine, having destroyed the credibility of the term “anti-semitism” through their prolific mis-use of the label, are now using labels like “Israel hater” to describe any and all who are critical of Israel’s racist, fascist, and murderous policies. Rest assured, Israel’s attrocities, crimes, abuses, and social perversions are prolific enough to demand constant “defense”, so it will not be long before the label “Israel hater” is cast in the same dustbin “anti-semite” has been consigned to. One wonders what bigots like Nadine will then label those of us that care about justice and human rights. Perhaps she will become honest about her core beliefs, and simply label us as genetic inferiors.

    Reply

  70. Sweetness says:

    POA writes: “Is that an excuse, Sweetness? A justification? A rationale?”
    What I’m suggesting is that it may be a REACTION TO the proposed worldwide boycott of Israeli intellectuals. There is no end of discussion on these boards about how when we do X, other countries do Y in reaction.
    I’m offering this up as a possibility…but of course I don’t know if it’s true or not. That’s why I said “perhaps.” Nor am I answering for Israel’s actions, good or bad–they aren’t mine.

    Reply

  71. Woody says:

    Yeah, “debating publicly” has always been Israel’s “forte”, lol.
    Where have you been? Their forte is hasbara/propaganda. Why do you think the debate in the US is so narrow???

    Reply

  72. nadine says:

    For too long Israel has allowed the worst haters of Israel to come in and perpetuate the vilest slanders without a peep — and then these same people would then declare since ‘silence equals consent’, Israel had proved itself guilty of everything! This is a great sign that someone in Israel finally grew a spine!
    The only pity is, we can’t encourage Professor Chomsky to spend his retirement in one of those Communist hellholes he has spent his life apologizing for and praising. But no, I’m sure he will spend his retirement in the USA, the country he hates so much and has villified so unceasingly, the same country which has provided him with such a fine secure living, a house, a vacation home, a boat, etc.

    Reply

  73. JohnH says:

    Interesting that Steve notes the contrasting situations of Dershowitz and Chomsky. In the US Dershowitz gets wide media coverage, Chomsky is effectively banned. In Israel, Deshowitz can appear publicly, Chomsky is banned.
    The difference is that Israel is a small country where individual speakers can have an impact without broad access to the media. In the US it is virtually impossible for individuals to have an impact without broad access to the media.
    The US media built a wall against banned intellectual long ago.
    Steve should condemn that wall just as he condemns the Israeli government’s wall against intellectuals.

    Reply

  74. ... says:

    steve quote “It’s a really bad sign when official Israel begins to try and squelch those with which it disagrees rather than debating them publicly — which was always Israel’s forte.”
    i agree steve! i am not so sure israel has been willing to debate in certain areas either… i think certain topics are off bounds.. the openness is not as open as you seem to imply…
    sweetness, you may be correct.. this implies the actions of other countries and institutions are having an impact…. israels response here will only further galvanize those who oppose it’s general approach which is clearly on a downhill trajectory with news as steve provides us here today…

    Reply

  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Steve, perhaps this is the inverse reaction to the boycott of Israeli intellectuals abroad…”
    Is that an excuse, Sweetness? A justification? A rationale?
    Do tell, what Israeli intellectuals have we barred from entering the US??? Even I wouldn’t advocate for such a policy, although I would possibly support deporting this racist piece of garbage Dershowitz to Hamas controlled territory with a target painted on his ass.
    And their oppression of peaceful protestors, arrests of journalists, and efforts to outlaw left wing Jewish and Israeli peace organizations? What feckless excuse and justification do you offer for these fascist policies?

    Reply

  76. Sweetness says:

    Steve, perhaps this is the inverse reaction to the boycott of Israeli intellectuals abroad…

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Blocking intellectuals, professors at leading American universities, from entering a country because of their “views” — which is not yet the official reason but the probable excuse that Israel’s Interior Minister will later offer — is an enormous mistake”
    But shooting American citizens, engaged in peaceful protest, doesn’t warrant mention, eh?
    Perhaps they should simply shoot Chomsky in the head if the want to avoid criticism from our politicians, our media, and our esteemable American “think” tanks.

    Reply

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