Chomsky Barred from Entering Israel
Amidst an ongoing crackdown against political dissent in Israel (Where even the defense of basic rights of expression and criticism has become a radical act). Well, Israel never has liked leftists:
The Zionist establishment has been united in its attack upon the ISO, beginning immediately after the Six Day War of June 1967 when the ISO called for immediate withdrawal from the occupied territories. Since the war, however, opposition to Zionist policies has grown within the country and more people are being drawn to the radical position.
Aware of this development, Matzpen’s opponents have conducted a campaign of misrepresentation, misquotation and character assassination in the media, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and even in the streets. The label “Matzpenik” has been applied to anyone who voices even mild criticism of Israeli policy, and is usually linked with the words “defeatist,” “self-hater” and “traitor.”
Even Nahum Goldmann, the venerable president of the World Jewish Congress, was denounced as a “Matzpenik” when he voiced his criticism of the rigidity of Israeli Government policy (about which more later).
M. Bar-On, head of the youth department of the Jewish Agency and former chief educational officer of the Israeli Army, declared in the March 31, 1970, issue of Yediot Aharonot: “Matzpen is nothing more than a gang of traitors … Matzpen is the same as Fatah … They are the real initiators and planners of the poisonous Fatah propaganda against Israel … [that is] distributed in Britain and Europe … Matzpen doesn’t want peace … they are traitors and self-haters and their only wish is to destroy Israel and its people and to erase their name from under the sun.”
Vigilante groups have been formed – especially in the universities – which are sworn to “cleanse the nation” of “defeatists.” ISO members are harassed in their jobs, and have often lost them.
People passing out leaflets or hawking Matzpen in the universities and on the streets were regularly attacked, and the material has sometimes been burned in ceremonial auto-da-fe. The organization has been forced to defend its meetings against physical attack by organized goons. Typical of these incidents were an attack on Matzpen demonstrators at Tel Aviv University, who were protesting the blowing up of Arab houses, and the unsuccessful assault by the recently founded fascist student organization, the Wolfs Cubs, on an ISO meeting in Jerusalem which was addressed by Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
The witch-hunting campaign has not been limited to attacks by the media or by vigilante groups. It has been accompanied by increasing police harassment of ISO members, especially Arabs. Khalil Toamme served nine months in prison in 1968-69 after a “trial” by a military court.
After his release he was confined indefinitely to his village by military decree. Not one of the Arab members of ISO remaining in the country is completely at liberty – all are either under house arrest or area restriction by administrative decree.
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- See: www.maxaj1.com