Among its many failings, the US mainstream media doesn’t give much time, attention, or critical scrutiny to the situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
From questions of apartheid in the Occupied Territories to the status of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, American journalists rarely take up issues that may put Israel in a bad light — let alone challenge the wisdom and legitimacy of US government aid to Israel.
So it should come as no surprise at all to find that news of MIT Professor Noam Chomsky being denied access to the Israel and the West Bank is receiving little if any coverage or comment in the mainstream news.
According to this item from Haaretz, Chomsky, the famed American linguist and political activist, was on a speaking tour of the region and scheduled to speak at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank on Monday.
The Haaretz story continues: “Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said officials were now trying to get clearance from the Israel Defense Forces, which controls access to the West Bank to allow Chomsky to enter that territory.
“We are trying to contact the military to clear things up and if they have no objection we see no reason why he should not be allowed in,’ said Hadad.
Chomsky said inspectors had stamped the words ‘denied entry’ onto his passport when he tried to cross from Jordan over Allenby Bridge.”
This is the latest instance of high-profile visitors from the United States and elsewhere being denied entry into Israel and the Occupied Territories. In fact, last July, former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was detained and ultimately deported for participating in a humanitarian mission to Gaza.
Here again, this story received little traction in the corporate media. Nor does the Free Gaza Movement — an international human rights group — get much mention in either US public broadcasting or the commercial press.
The US press corps is infamous for its insularity and its acquiescence to American and Israeli politicians and policy makers. This makes for a rather one-dimensional perspective on one of the most vexing and consequential obstacles to peace and security in, and well beyond, the Middle East.