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Writing to Protest

May 25, 2010

“The government of Israel does not like the kinds of things I say, which puts them into the category of, I suppose, every other government in the world.” – Noam Chosmky, after he was denied entry into the West Bank.

Last week, Israel denied Noam Chomsky entry into the West Bank. Professor Chomsky was on his way to Birzeit University to give a lecture.

In response, 500 academics and students signed a letter protesting Israel’s actions against Professor Chomsky.

“Refusing entry to a person whose political views may not be acceptable to only some people is a serious harm to democracy. One of the basic principles of democracy can be defined simply: Under democracy, we do not silence voices that express an opinion which is different than the dominant one – not in science, and of course not in society and in politics.”

The Israeli government replied that it was a “big mistake” by some overzealous clerk. Yeah, sure, it was a mistake by a low-level clerk, and the orders to deny entry did not come from someone higher within the Ministry of Defense.

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