Friday, May 28, 2010

Hezbollah’s Pal Fails To Enter Israel

Steven Plaut

Noam Chomsky was one of the organizers and promoters of the MIT-Harvard campaign to boycott and “divest” Israel a few years back. Well, last week Israel decided to boycott one of its own boycotters. Chomsky was refused entry into the country when he tried to cross over from Jordan, for purposes of giving an anti-Israel speech at a Palestinian “university” in Ramallah. As such, Chomsky joined the very select club of people who have been prevented from entering Israel because of their blatant anti-Israel activities and their open collaboration with terrorists.

Chomsky was on his way to give an anti-Israel speech at Birzeit University. (Instead he gave the speech by videoconference from Jordan.) Now, Chomsky had been in Israel for visits before, and was even hosted at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheba. In fact the entire “ban” was evidently nothing more than some bureaucratic glitch in the instructions to Israeli border passport checkers. Chomsky was invited at the Jordan River Crossing to enter the country instead through the Tel Aviv airport. Ironically, the Israeli bureaucratic glitch resulted in Israel accidentally doing the right thing.

But this did not prevent a worldwide campaign of anti-Israel vilification by the usual crowd, denouncing Israel for the “banning” of Chomsky, complete with denunciations of “Israeli fascism.” Led by the Daily Kos, the leftist blogs declared, “Chomsky was banned by the occupation army,” even though the Israeli army had nothing to do with it. Far leftists inside Israel joined in the brouhaha. Chomsky groupies accused Israel of suppressing freedom of speech. Never mind that there are sufficient reasons to keep Chomsky out of Israel that have nothing to do with his anti-Israel opinions, such as his friendly ties and meetings with the Hezb’Allah terrorist group or his long track record of celebrating and promoting Holocaust deniers. In fact, no sooner was Chomsky denied entry into Israel than he popped over to Lebanon, and there met with the Hezb’Allah terrorists and attended a salute to Hezb’Allah chief murderer Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, as reported in the Ya Libnan, a Lebanese news service.

Chomsky himself denounced the Israeli decision to block his entry as “Stalinism.” To tell the truth, when I first heard that Chomsky accused Israel of Stalinism I assumed he meant it as a compliment. Chomsky has gone out of his way to defend Stalin and he publishes his own articles in all the prominent Stalinist websites. But like most Stalinists these days, Chomsky prefers to label himself an “anarchist.” This, of course, is the very same individual who spent much of his career as the academic spokesman for the Khmer Rouge regime, the ultra-communists who can only be described as Stalinists on steroids. Chomsky defended Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge as they annihilated the Cambodian population and he still doubletalks his way out when asked about the genocide that the Khmer Rouge conducted. He once claimed the Khmer Rouge actually SAVED millions of Cambodian lives. Even far-leftist The Nation demolished Chomsky for his toadying up to Pol Pot.

There have only been a few other cases of people being prevented from entering Israel because of their ties to terrorists or their involvement in anti-Semitic or anti-Israel campaigns. Norman Finkelstein, the unemployed hate-monger fired by DePaul University, was banned from entering Israel a couple of years back because of his intimate collaboration with Hezb’Allah terrorists. Others banned from Israel include Richard Falk, the retired Princeton propagandist who has made a career out of denouncing Israelis as Nazis. He was denied entry into Israel as a UN “investigator,” because that UN “investigation” was nothing more than a campaign of lies and smears about Israeli “war crimes.” Falk earlier had been allowed to enter Israel as a private citizen.

Chomsky has, in the past, been welcomed to enter Israel even though he proclaims that he considers both the US and Israel to be far worse than Nazi Germany. When not dealing with linguistics, Chomsky may be best known for his obsessive cheering on of terrorists and occasionally holding meetings with them. Chomsky has pow-wowed with Hezb’Allah terrorists. He has also long been a major promoter of Holocaust deniers. Like Falk and Finkelstein, Chomsky has long led the campaign to boycott and “divest” Israel. Even a free speech absolutist must concede that there is some logic to a victim of a boycott boycotting that boycotter. Chomsky has led the jihad against Israel’s existence for as long as he has been a public figure. He is also a pathological serial liar.

Now, whether or not one agrees with them doing so, democratic countries, in fact, often deny entrance to people whose opinions or politics they find repulsive. The very same people now whining about Israel refusing Chomsky access to the country to engage in anti-Israel agitation were strangely silent when Britain prohibited 16 people from entering the country on grounds that they held politically incorrect opinions. These included US radio host Michael Savage. Before that, the UK banned Rev. Fred Phelps from entering the country because he is anti-gay. Dutch politician Geert Wilders, a candidate for the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, was barred from entering the UK because of his opinions. The UK has banned a whole host of Israelis from entering their country, including activist Moshe Feiglin.

The United States has banned all sorts of people from entering, not limited to those suspected of having ties to terror groups. In some cases it was because of their political views. Journalist Robert Fisk was banned for this reason. Professor John Milios from Greece was banned. Curiously, few in the world denounced the US for being a fascist country on that basis. Tariq Ramadan, the darling of the pro-jihad Left, was barred until recently from both the US and France. Liberian President Charles Taylor and other leading Liberians were banned from entering the US because of their support for rebels in Sierra Leone. Canada has also banned people because of their views or behavior, most famously the case of George Galloway, the British Member of Parliament because of his intimate ties to Saddam Hussein.

Germany, Austria and some other European countries routinely ban Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers from entering their territories and sometimes jail them when they enter. Germany banned the Reverend Moon from entering. And so on.

In the late 1970s, a professor of literature at the University of Lyon named Robert Faurisson wrote two letters to Le Monde claiming that the gas chambers in concentration camps used by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews did not exist and were a Jewish hoax. Faurisson was convicted of Holocaust denial and hate speech in two trials in France, in 1983 and 1990.

Noam Chomsky has long been the most prominent defender of Faurisson. Chomsky’s father had been a Hebrew teacher at Gratz College in Philadelphia (which I attended in the 1960s). Chomsky the younger may be the most academically distinguished Jewish anti-Semite on the planet, even though his theories about linguistics have evidently lost much of their favor among researchers in recent years.

In the 1980s Chomsky signed a petition denying that Faurisson was an anti-Semite and saluting Faurisson as a “respected professor.” Chomsky not only defended Faurisson’s “academic freedom” but endorsed the content of Faurisson’s anti-Semitic diatribes.

Chomsky also wrote the foreword to one of Faurisson’s Holocaust denial books. There Chomsky wrote: “Is it true that Faurisson is an anti-Semite or a neo-Nazi? As noted earlier, I do not know his work very well. But from what I have read — largely as a result of the nature of the attacks on him — I find no evidence to support either conclusion. Nor do I find credible evidence in the material that I have read concerning him, either in the public record or in private correspondence. As far as I can determine, he is a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort.”

In defending Faurisson, Chomsky wrote: “I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers or even denial of the Holocaust. Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the Holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti-Semitic implications in Faurisson’s work.”

Now if anyone is looking for another reason why Israel should legitimately prevent Chomsky from setting his paws on the Holy Land, how was that? Add it to Chomsky’s role in the Israeli boycott movement and his associations with terrorists.

Should Israel have prevented Chomsky from entering? It was clearly justified in doing so. But was that the right choice? Personally – I would have let him in and then immediately had him arrested him for Holocaust denial (if not of Jews then surely regarding the genocide of Cambodians) and anti-Semitism. Like many countries in Europe, Holocaust Denial is illegal in Israel, although the law is never enforced against anyone, even Arab politicians. And Israel has an “anti-racism” law on the books, albeit one only used against rightwing Jews, and Chomsky is clearly in violation of it.

Indicting Chomsky under that would have made such a wonderful legal precedent.

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