Well, one thing we know…Bibi reads the papers (Bibiton-Yisrael HaYom at least): that’s apparently how he learns of major decisions made by his own Interior Ministry to bar one of the most distinguished linguists in the world from entering the West Bank to lecture at Bir Zeit University. You wouldn’t think he’d hear it from his own minister, would you?
“We read about it in the paper,” Netanyahu said during a Knesset session…
This is a classic case of passing the buck as far down the line as you can go. Was the decision to bar the enimnent Dr. Chomsky made my a senior official? Hell no, Israel always allows junior officers manning a desk at the Allenby Bridge to make such judgments independently:
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “There is no change in our policy. The idea that Israel is preventing people from entering whose opinions are critical of the state is ludicrous; it is not happening. This was a mishap. A guy at the border overstepped his authority.”
Regev suggested that if Chomsky tried to enter Israel again, he would succeed.
I think Israel punished the 81 year old Chomsky enough interrogating him for 4 hours after he’d made the trek from Boston to Amman and thence to the Allenby Bridge. Why would he want to be put through this nonsense again just to enable Israel to say it did the right thing (finally) by admitting him?
People who are writing about this incident are getting it wrong when they say Chomsky was denied entry to Israel. He was denied entry to the West Bank, which is not Israel. Israel should have no right to determine who enters Palestinian territory via the Allenby Bridge. This should be controlled by the PA.