Israel deports American academic

Israel has refused entry to the controversial Jewish American academic and UN envoy, Richard Falk who once compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.

Falk flew into Tel Aviv on Sunday night and spent the night at Ben Gurion airport before he was deported this morning.

Earlier this year, when the Princeton University professor of international law was appointed as the UN’s special rapporteur in the Palestinian territories, Israel said it would deny him entry because in 2007 he said the Jewish nation’s blockade on the Palestinian coastal territory of Gaza was a “Holocaust in the making”.

In June this year, Israel allowed Falk to enter in a personal capacity to attend a conference in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Israel defended its decision to deport Falk, saying he had used his personal visit in June to write an official UN report and because of his “shameful comparisons to the Holocaust”.

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Israel also objects to the UN’s special rapporteur mandate which aims to document only the Jewish state’s abuses of Palestinian human rights. It does not include Palestinian abuses of Israeli human rights.

It’s the third time this year that Israel has barred a high-profile critic from entering.

In May, it deported Norman Finkelstein, a controversial Jewish American academic who has accused Israel of using the Holocaust to justify its actions against the Palestinians. Israel also refused Nobel peace laureate the Archbishop Desmond Tutu entry while on a UN fact-finding mission in Gaza the same month.

Toni O’Loughlin in Jerusalem –  guardian.co.uk

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US political author Norman Finkelstein denied entry to Israel

A great example of how the west claims to have the freedom of speech but in reality it is only the freedom to say whatever the west allows you to say and not to step out of the box

norman finkelstein

Jerusalem – The US political author and critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein was denied entry to the Jewish state on Friday, his lawyer said.

Finkelstein landed at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv in the early morning and was told by a representative of the ministry of interior that he would not be allowed into the country on ‘security’ grounds, attorney Michael Sfard told dpa.

‘This usually means a 10-year ban on entry,’ Sfard added.

Finkelstein, who is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, has written critical books on Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories and on what he called ‘exploitation’ of the Jewish tragedy during World War II.

Finkelstein has received with the fierce disapproval of some authors and academics, while others have praised his controversial works.

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