Israel Bars One of its Most Prominent Critics, Norman Finkelstein, for Ten Years
Norman Finkelstein was arrested and deported from Israel last week and told heΓ??s barred for ten years. Finkelstein is known as one of the most prominent academic critics of IsraelΓ??s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We speak to Finkelstein and the human rights worker he was on his way to visit, Musa Abu Hashhash.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has published an editorial criticizing the Israeli governmentΓ??s decision to ban American academic Norman Finkelstein from entering the country. Last Friday, Finkelstein was arrested at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv and questioned by the Shin Bet security service for several hours. It later became known that he had been banned from entering Israel for ten years for so-called Γ??security reasons.Γ??
Finkelstein is known as one of the most prominent academic critics of IsraelΓ??s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The Haaretz editorial reads in part, Γ??Considering his unusual and extremely critical views, one cannot avoid the suspicion that refusing to allow him to enter Israel was a punishment rather than a precautionΓ?ª The right to enter Israel is not guaranteed to noncitizens, but the right of Israeli citizens to hear unusual views is one that should be fought for. It is not for the government to decide which views should be heard here and which ones would not. The decision to ban Finkelstein hurts us more than it hurts him.