Controversial historian to quit Israel for UK

Ilan Pappe: 'Many Israelis also believe that I am working as a mercenary for the Arabs.'

By JONNY PAUL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
April 1, 2007 20:20
2 minute read.
Controversial historian to quit Israel for UK

Ilan Pappe.88. (photo credit: courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Ilan Pappe, a senior lecturer in the University of Haifa's Department of Political Science, says he is moving to the UK because it is "increasingly difficult to live in Israel" with his "unwelcome views and convictions." In an interview in The Peninsula, Qatar's leading English-language daily, during a visit last week to Doha as a guest of the Qatar Foundation, Pappe said: "I was boycotted in my university and there had been attempts to expel me from my job. I am getting threatening calls from people every day. I am not being viewed as a threat to the Israeli society but my people think that I am either insane or my views are irrelevant. Many Israelis also believe that I am working as a mercenary for the Arabs." Pappe is to join the History Department at Exeter University, in southwest England. He is active in anti-Israel academic boycott efforts. Referred to in the Peninsula article as "the only Jewish academic in Israel who is vehemently critical of Zionism," Pappe said the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the creation of a single state, shared by Jews, Arabs and others. He said that two independent states cannot coexist in "the land of Palestine." He also said there was "no immediate solution to the crisis and only international pressure can force Israel to end the occupation and the continuing atrocities against the Palestinians." "Over the past six years, the Israeli government has become more oppressive, thanks to the strong support from the Bush administration. They now feel that they can do anything they want," he said. The interviewer in Qatar admitted to being "a bit surprised" by Pappe's support for Hamas. "A bit surprisingly," the paper wrote, Pappe said: "I support Hamas in its resistance against the Israeli occupation, though I disagree with their political ideology. I am for separating state from religion." Pappe also questioned Israeli democracy: "Any state that perpetrates occupation cannot be called a democratic state," he said, adding that Israeli democracy was meant "only for Jews" and there is "no space for other communities." The interview then looks at what has shaped Pappe's opinions: "Pappe's transformation from a 'typical Jew' to a strong critic of Zionism started in the 1980s while studying in the UK," it wrote. "I reexamined the events of 1948, which changed my perceptions, and I realized how the Israeli state was formed at the expense of the Palestinians. I don't subscribe to the view that a community which has a claim to a land that goes back thousands of years had the right to occupy it by dispossessing indigenous communities," Pappe said. Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "After taking full advantage of all the freedoms accorded to him in Israel, a country he has so shamelessly attacked, Pappe has decided to set up shop here. Whilst this provides the opportunity for academics here to challenge him on his revisionist agenda, the uncomfortable fact is that in the lecture theaters and seminar rooms at Exeter, many impressionable young minds will be exposed to his partial and biased views." Mitch Simmons, campaign director of the Union of Jewish Students, said: "We not angry or frustrated that he's coming to the UK. What is of concern is that he may use his position to vocalize support for the boycott of Israeli academics."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF