Noam Chomsky Denied Entry to Israel

May 18, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Renowned Jewish-American scholar and political activist Noam Chomsky speaks during a scheduled lecture at Bir Zeit University by video conference from Jordan University in Amman on May 18, after he was officially barred from entering Israel and the West Bank.(Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)
Renowned Jewish-American scholar and political activist Noam Chomsky speaks during a scheduled lecture at Bir Zeit University by video conference from Jordan University in Amman on May 18, after he was officially barred from entering Israel and the West Bank.(Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)
The Israeli government refused to allow renowned intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky to enter the country Sunday.

Chomsky was traveling with his daughter on his way to give a lecture at Bir Zeit University in Ramallah in the West Bank.

He was detained for four hours and questioned by officials before being turned away without an official reason for the entry denial, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Immigration officials later said they misunderstood his reasons for coming, saying they thought he planned to visit Israel, according to Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.

“I was told the government doesn't like the kinds of things I say, and secondly, they don't like the fact I will only be speaking at Bir Zeit and not speak at any Israeli University," Chomsky told Israel’s Channel 10 in the Post report.

Chomsky, a professor at MIT, has been sharply critical of Israel policy.