Monday, April 06, 2009

Israel's Professor Haw-Haw

1. Israel's Professor Haw-Haw

By Steven Plaut

( a shorter version of this review appears in Middle East Quarterly,
Spring, 2009)

Ilan Pappe is probably the most widely known Israeli seeking the
annihilation of his own country. He currently on the faculty of the
University of Exeter in the UK, having left the University of Haifa in
Israel under pressure. Pappe.s career has been devoted almost exclusively
to turning out articles and books that demonize Israel and Zionism, and
one of his ex-colleagues in Haifa has dismissed him as Israel's Lord Haw
Haw. Pappe's newest "book," [Ilan Pappe (editor) 'The Israel/Palestine
Question: A Reader' (2nd edition), Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2007, 292
is a collection of anti-Israel articles written by a balanced set of Arab
haters of Israel and Israeli-Jewish haters of Israel. The book is
designed to be adopted by the sort of Middle East Studies professor who
never wants his students exposed to a dissenting pro-Zionist opinion.

Significantly, the book belongs to the Routledge 'Rewriting History
Series,' a hodgepodge of leftist 'anti-colonialist' volumes, and historic
revisionism (meaning 'New History') is what every chapter of Pappe's book
is about. The second edition of the book differs in some interesting ways
from the first, which was published in 1999. Benny Morris, an erstwhile
'New Historian' who now denounces anti-Zionist New Historians while
endorsing the 'Zionist Narrative,' no longer appears as a contributor. He
had written the centerpiece of the first edition.

Every chapter in the book but one is a reprint from material that has
appeared elsewhere. The exception is a piece by As'ad Ghanem, a radically
anti-Israel Arab political scientist from Pappe.s old department of
political science at the University of Haifa. Ghanem's contribution is
supposed to be about 'Israeli Palestinians,' the new code name by
anti-Zionists for Israeli Arabs, whom Ghanem claims are living under
Israeli 'ethnocracy.' That is Newspeak for apartheid. (Ghanem is on
record as favoring a so-called 'one-state solution,' in which Israel will
cease to exist, as are most of the other contributors in the book.)

From the raving reviews of the book at Al-Ahram, and at the
PLO-controlled Journal of Palestine Studies, it should be obvious that
objectivity is the last thing to be found in it. To help obfuscate the
fact that the book is propaganda and not scholarship, it does not contain
anywhere bios about the contributors, and readers cannot place them into

Among the Jews in the book insisting that Israel is guilty of just
about everything is Avi Shlaim, the anti-Israel expatriate who turns out
volumes of bash-Israel publicist writings, from Oxford University, Uri
Ram, a notorious 'Post-Zionist' sociologist from Ben Gurion University,
whose chapter in the book is devoted to proving that Israel is a
'colonialist' anachronism whose existence is unfortunate, and Gershon
Shafir, a communist sociologist at the University of California in San

Then, for balance, the book includes an article by Walid Khalidi, the
author of 'All that Remains' and works at the Institute of Palestine
Studies, whose chapter is devoted to demanding that the 1947 UN
resolution creating Israel now be retroactively revoked. He is joined by
Beshara Doumani, in the news in recent days for claiming that a Zionist
cabal suppresses freedom of speech in American academia, Butrus
Abu-Manneh, a retired Middle East historian from the University of Haifa
whose contribution is an esoteric chapter about Ottoman history that
should be of interest to at least four historians in Ankara, and Nur
Massalha, a 'philosopher' from St. Mary's College in the UK who was an
initiator of attempts there to boycott Israel, and whose chapter
celebrates Arab 'resistance' against Jews.

Pappe's own centerpiece contribution in the book is a long-winded
'revisionist' (meaning, largely false) retelling of his own adventures in
inventing the imaginary 'massacre' of Arabs in Tantura. This .massacre.
is one that Pappe and his MA student Teddy Katz decided took place in 1948
near Haifa just before Israeli independence was declared. The evidence
for the existence of such a massacre? None. One is just expected to take
Pappe's word for it. Katz's "research" was funded by the PLO.

There is no documentary or physical evidence (like bones) that any
such massacre took place (although a battle did), and journalists who were
present at the battle of Tantura (including Arab journalists) witnessed no
massacre. For more than 50 years no one, not even Arab propagandists,
alleged there had been one. The Pappe-Katz 'evidence' that there was a
massacre consists of taped interviews with Arabs who had been children at
the time of the battle, and, when the tapes were reviewed by others, turn
out never even to claim there was any massacre. Instead, they describe
memories of the Jews helping the villagers after the battle.

Katz later admitted in an Israeli court where he was being sued for
libel and with his lawyer present that the whole massacre story was a
fabrication. Undeterred if nonplussed, Pappe sticks to his earlier line
in the book. Pappe has long insisted that facts just do not matter when
it comes to the urgent task of inventing a 'Palestinian narrative.'
Meyrav Wurmser, among others, has debunked Pappe's entire fabrication.
Pappe largely regurgitates his previous Tantura claims in his own chapter,
citing as new 'evidence' the fact that other anti-Zionists have endorsed
his own claims about Tantura.

None of the authoritative Israeli historians of the conflict, even
those from the Left, are even mentioned in the book anywhere. Instead,
you will find almost every pseudo-scholar who has made a career out of
bashing Israel cited as a serious researcher.

The jihadis by the way are wetting themselves with joy at Pappe's "book":
A review of Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

2. NPR's Pogromchik:

3. Nazi Norman's Stormtroopers threaten Phyllis Chesler:

4. Jews drinking Gentile Blood, scream the Hamasniks -

As for those who want "talks" with the Hamas:

5. Get your chocolate gotkes in Damascus:,7340,L-3681500,00.html

6. Jacoby on Lieberphobia (my term . use it!):

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