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First Chomsky, now Streisand

February 3, 2011

Every time the Israeli Ministry of the Interior is in the news in the context of immigration controversy, my ears perk up immediately. The last time I remember this happening was when Noam Chomsky was barred entry to Israel and the West Bank in what turned out to be one of the few times I’ve ever heard of the government admitting someone “overstepped his authority” and made the wrong decision.

When an article titled Israel refuses to let Barbra Streisand’s cousin make aliyah popped up today, it made me wonder how long it will take before media attention — if the media picks up on the story, anyway, which is doubtful given the significance of news from Egypt — will force the Ministry to admit a similar lapse in judgment, or at least come out and be more forthcoming about their decision-making process.

Either way, stories like this make me feel lucky I get to live here at all. Or maybe the lady in charge of my immigration case wasn’t kidding when she claimed my situation, complications and rarities and all, was one of the simplest types that comes across her desk. With Chomsky, his politics certainly influenced the guy at the Jordan-West Bank border — believing otherwise is probably naive. And Streisand’s marriage to a citizen of the Philippines very likely is at or near the heart of the problem the government has with him as well. Let’s hope not, but it’s hard to be optimistic when the guy running the Ministry of the Interior has repeatedly vowed to deport all Filipino women and children over the past few years due to their liability “to damage the state’s Jewish identity.”

As complicated as living in Israel feels sometimes, this goes to show it could always be more complicated.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 4:18 pm

    I also read about Barbara Streisand’s cousin and it was one of those things I didn’t even know what to say, just shake my head. That’s amazing that the Israeli government admitted to someone “overstepping his authority” with Chomsky! It’s far more surprising than the fact that they rejected him. Ah yes, Israel is indeed one complicated place.

    • February 8, 2011 6:39 pm

      I think it was Ministry of Foreign Affairs that admitted to an error being made, though it may not have been sincere so much as it was a way to appease the rest of the world. I’m pretty sure the Ministry of the Interior still thinks it did the right thing, and why shouldn’t they, considering no one got in trouble. Sigh.

  2. Derrick permalink
    February 13, 2011 7:09 pm

    Wow. This is extremely self-indugent. Comparative relationships are not good when they’re not serving to elevate the voices of the opressed. “Man, I’m glad I’m not those poor stupid bastards. Poor them. Let’s go get drink. I’m tired of looking at those poor stupid bastards now.” That’s essentially the argument your making here and I’m sorry, but it’s not very savvy.

    • February 13, 2011 7:26 pm

      I’m not sure I see how you walked away with that interpretation based on this post alone. While I do see how my words can be taken in a pitying way, I certainly didn’t mean to imply I didn’t care about the injustice of the inequalities being enforced. The point I was attempting to make was that while I thought I faced unfair or irrational judgments in relation to immigration, there is far worse going on without anyone taking notice.

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