Professor Noam Chomsky, an American linguist and left-wing activist, was denied entry into Israel on Sunday, for reasons that were not immediately clear.
Chomsky, who was scheduled to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University near Jerusalem, told the Right to Enter activist group by telephone that inspectors had stamped the words "denied entry" onto his passport when he tried to cross from Jordan over Allenby Bridge.
When he asked an Israeli inspector why he had not received permission, he was told that an explanation would be sent in writing to the American embassy.
Chomsky arrived at the Allenby Bridge at around 1:30 in the afternoon and was taken for questioning, before being released back to Amman at 4:30 P.M.
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Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said Chomsky was turned away for various reasons but declined to elaborate. The ministry was looking into allowing him to enter only the West Bank, said Haddad.
In a telephone interview with Channel 10, Chomsky said the interrogators had told him he had written things that the Israeli government did not like.
"I suggested [the interrogator try to] find any government in the world that likes anything I say," he said.
Chomsky is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is considered among the foremost academics in the world. He identifies with the radical left and is often critical of both Israeli and American policies.