First it was the iPad. Now Israeli customs officials have blocked Noam Chomsky from entering the country. The American liberal academic, who was traveling to speak in the Palestinian territories, was stopped due to Israeli travel restrictions that bar most foreigners from those territories. Israeli officials apologized, saying Chomsky's denial was made in error because his case was not appealed to the correct administrative body. However, Chomsky says one border official told him, "Israel does not like what you say," and some within Israel have responded with outrage against their government. Here's Boaz Okon, legal editor of the Hebrew-language publication Yediot:
There is a worrying common denominator here. When freedom disappears — it comes first of all at the expense of the weak, the marginal groups or the minorities. But it does not end there. Now it is also reaching intellectuals with a worldwide reputation. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the decision to shut up Prof. Chomsky is an attempt to put an end to freedom in the State of Israel.
Whatever the case may be, the good news is that, the next time Chomsky visit, he can bring his iPad: Israel's ban has been lifted.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.