By Ted Belman
Robin Shepherd contrasts the case of Gert Wilders being denied entrance into the Britain and Noam Chomsky being denied entrance into Israel.
Now, like the Israeli government, I believe it was a mistake to initially refuse Chomsky entry. Nonetheless, his consistent defamation of the State of Israel would certainly provide grounds for declaring him persona non grata. If ever there were a case for doing so in a western democracy, this was it. But, as I have said, I regard it as a mistake. By no conceivable yardstick of harm to the national interest, however, could Wilders have been banned from Britain. His case was about censorship and appeasement of militant Islam. Nothing more, nothing less. The national interest had nothing to do with it.
In the sharply contrasting reactions to what ostensibly looks like two similar cases, what we have here is a remarkably illustrative case study of how the dominant opinion formers in the western media view the world. Chomsky, an extremist who displays complete contempt for reasoned discourse and who provides succour to totalitarian movements and their apologists around the world, is hailed as a hunted hero: a dissident being oppressed in a manner which led the Times gleefully to report an Israeli writer as saying “we may be becoming fascists”.
The Times article in question opened by describing Chomsky as “a leading left-wing political thinker”. The BBC went further, admiringly describing him as “Renowned US scholar Noam Chomsky”. Wilders is always described as “far-Right” Dutch politician, Geert Wilders. The tone of articles about him is condemnatory; the subtext consistently portrays him as a racist with no place in polite society.
Such are the values and beliefs which guide the thinking of a liberal establishment in Europe which has a near monolithic dominance over the political mainstream. A storm in a tea cup involving one of their heroes on the Jordanian border is indignantly magnified into a grotesque example of the horrors visited upon a gentle and brilliant intellectual by an oppressive Jewish state. A flawed but brave Dutch politician, a genuine political dissident who faces the threat of death and jail for his views, is excoriated and branded a pariah even though he has no grudge against the state which denied him entry.
He got that right.