Israel turns away academic Finkelstein


Norman Finkelstein, a controversial Jewish-American academic, was denied entry to Israel.

Finkelstein flew in to Ben-Gurion Airport late Thursday but was denied entry by Israel’s Shin Bet security service, which held him overnight before putting him on a plane to Amsterdam, his point of origin.

An Israeli security source said on Sunday that Finkelstein was flagged because of his contacts with “hostile Lebanese elements” – an allusion to Hezbollah, some of whose leaders the academic has met.

A son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein has raised hackles among mainstream American Jews by accusing Israel of exploiting the aftermath of the Nazi genocide. He has also come out strongly against Israel’s security policies.

Finkelstein told Haaretz that he had been questioned by the Shin Bet and had answered truthfully. He has previously visited Israel, he said, and this time planned to meet with a Palestinian activist friend.

The Israeli security source said interrogators were not persuaded that Finkelstein answered their questions fully.


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