The president of the Technion, Professor Peretz Lavie, recently went to Boston and "participated in an event saluting the technological achievements of the State of Israel held at the Boston Museum of Science, organized by that city's Israeli consulate and Jewish community. Included in the event was an exhibition showcasing Israel's technological achievements, particularly in the fields of communication and medical equipment, and lecturers paid tribute to the wonders of Israeli technology that have placed it at the forefront internationally in this field."
After the event, Lavie found out that Noam Chomsky had initiated a letter that was sent to the Science Museum, protesting the invitation and exhibition.
It was only the next day, as I continued on my way, did I start receiving telephone messages about a letter that had been sent to the Boston Science Museum prior to the event, at the initiative of Prof. Noam Chomsky from MIT, faculty members from two Israeli universities and other individuals. In this letter, Chomsky and his colleagues expressed a sharply worded protest against the fact that the museum was allowing the president of the Technion - "the university that prepares weapons of murder" - to deliver a lecture there. The letter went on to say that the event, which had paid tribute to Israel's tremendous contribution to world technology and science, was actually serving as a cover and camouflage for Israel's crimes against humanity.If Noam Chomsky were truly as devoted to the principles of free speech and inquiry as he and his admirers think he is, he certainly would not have advocated barring Professor Lavie from speaking at the Boston Science Museum. Chomsky's only objection to being forbidden to enter Israel was that he was forbidden from entering. There was clearly no larger principle for him. Let's remember this the next time he pretends to follow a moral principle that he then denies to others.
And by the way, Lavie said in his article, "Despite this, I think the state authorities should have allowed the linguist Chomsky to enter the country and to speak at Birzeit. While his remarks do indeed arouse revulsion, we must fight for his right to express them. Israeli democracy is more enlightened than the democracy in whose name Prof. Chomsky tried to prevent my speech in Boston."