Friday, April 9, 2010

I am beginning to worry about their sanity

By them I mean the Obama Administration, its Secretary of State and, last but not least, the State Departmen. Roger Simon writes that the last has denied visas to perfectly respectable Israeli nuclear scientists although the people in question have nothing that could speak against them. This comes after repeated hectoring from the President and the Secretary of State, not to mention obviously insulting behaviour on the part of POTUS during Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit (though, given the man's behaviour to other people, that can be put down to just boorishness).

Why exactly are Israeli scientists not welcome? At the height of the Cold War any Soviet scientist or academic who was given exit visa was welcome in the West, though he or she came from a state that proclaimed its intention "to bury the West". Yet scientists from America's ally and the only democratic country in the Middle East are not welcome.

Mr Simon also mentions that Tariq Ramadan of dubious political integrity has been given a visa. I fear it would be hard for me to make comments about that since the soi-disant professor is not only a welcome inhabitant of this country (I would not wish it to be otherwise though I would prefer it that people who praise him for his moderation would make a slight effort to find out what he says in French and Arabic) but also a Fellow of my own old college in Oxford. Now that I object to, not least because he has no real academic qualifications to be a Fellow in an Oxford college.

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