Grass Isn't Only Prominent Figure Banned From Israel

A Short List of Unwelcome Guests

By Haaretz

Published April 09, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

On Sunday, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared the German author Gunter Grass persona non grata in Israel, after he published a poem claiming that Israel is a threat to world peace.

“Gunter’s poems are an attempt to fan the flames of hatred against the State of Israel and the Israeli people, and thus to advance the ideas to which he was publicly partner in the past, when he wore the uniform of the SS,” Yishai said, adding, “If Gunter wants to continue publicizing his distorted and false works, I suggest he do it from Iran, where he’ll find a supportive audience.”

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the decision was made in accordance with the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, and that Grass wore an SS uniform in the past.

Grass is not the first prominent figure to be declared unwelcome in Israel. Over the years several other famous visitors have been granted similar treatment. Here’s Haaretz’s short list of unwelcome guests in the Jewish state:

May 2010
American linguist Noam Chomsky was denied entry into the West Bank and Israel when he arrived from Amman to the Allenby border crossing,along with his daughter and two American citizens, an Arab-American mathematics professor and a professor of international relations. At the crossing, Chomsky was questioned about his identification as an anarchist and was prevented for entering the West Bank, where he was scheduled to give a lecture at Bir Zeit University.

The Interior Ministry later insisted the decision to bar Chomsky’s entry was the result of a technical error, as responsibility for coordinating the entrance of foreign citizens into the West Bank lies with the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories at the Defense Ministry.

“Denying me entry into the West Bank is a minor event, but it is significant because it shows how irrational Israel’s actions are,” said Chomsky of the event.

May 2010
Ivan Prado, Spain’s most famous clown, was accused of ties to Palestinian terrorist organizations in the West Bank and refused entry into Israel, after being interrogated at the airport for six hours by Shin Bet and Interior Ministry officials. Israel’s Foreign Ministry later said the episode caused serious damage to Israel’s image in Spain

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.