Israel deports Finkelstein after his Hizbollah visit

Norman Finkelstein, the American Jewish academic who has long been an outspoken critic of Israel, has been denied entry to the country.

He was put on a plane back to Amsterdam after being questioned by security officials at Ben Gurion airport after landing last Friday.


According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Dr Finkelstein said he had been banned from the country for 10 years.

A Shin Bet source was reported to have said that he was denied entry because of “suspicions involving hostile elements in Lebanon” following his visit to that country a few months ago where he met representatives of Hizbollah.

Dr Finkelstein, whose books include The Holocaust Industry, was quoting as saying: “I did my best to provide absolutely candid and comprehensive answers to all the questions put to me. I am confident I have nothing to hide.”

He said that he had always supported a two-state solution and was “not an enemy of Israel”.

Dr Finkelstein, who had come to visit a Palestinian friend, said that he had been kept in a holding cell at the airport for 24 hours.

In the past, he has accused supporters of Israel of misusing antisemitism and the Holocaust. The decision to deport him was criticised by Israel’s Association for Civil Rights.

Last updated: 4:50pm, June 13 2008