Ilan Pappe on the western awakening and what it means for Israel/Palestine

US Politics
on 100 Comments

Ilan Pappe has lately published a new book of dialogues with Noam Chomsky, and edited by Frank Barat, called On Palestine. Pappe is the director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies and the author of many books, notably The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Born in Israel 60 years ago, he left the University of Haifa in 2007 to take up a position at the University of Exeter in England after he called for boycott of Israel and the school president pressed him to resign, while others threatened him personally. I interviewed Pappe by phone in April. The last four questions I sent to him by email, and he responded in kind.

Q. One of the paradoxes you cite at the beginning of the book is the gap between world opinion of the situation in Israel/Palestine, which is with it, and elite opinion, which doesn’t budge. Explain this.

I think I became aware of this paradox once I was aware of how significant the shift in civil society or in public opinion was. In other words, the moment you understand that the new attitude toward Israel is not marginal or esoteric you suddenly encounter it everywhere– among people who are in the know, among people who have only partial information, and– it sounds simplistic– but almost any decent person you meet in the west has a clear view of Israel/Palestine with varying degrees of knowledge or commitment. There is a sense of a significant shift, and you would expect that this shift would manifest itself in mainstream media or politics, if not for genuine reasons, then for political reasons, because it is an important issue for your voters.

To my great surprise, and even after the three horrific attacks on Gaza, 2008-2009, 2012, and culminating with the attack in the summer, the cumulative effect has still left the mainstream politics in the same place they were in 20 years ago. I find that bewildering to say the least.

Q. How long has this process taken in public opinion?

I’ve observed public opinion shift more or less since the second Lebanon war, in 2006. I’m a historian, so I am aware that these processes take time to mature. And really it’s not so important to find out when they germinate, it’s more important to find out when they become significant.

It has been maturing a long time. Surely after the first intifada in ’87, some of the demonization of the Palestinians was removed. Also the true nature of the Israeli criminality was revealed as we entered the age of internet, and therefore after 2006 the shift was obvious and visible though still not affecting the mainstream elites.

Ilan Pappe (by Anja Meulenbelt)

Ilan Pappe (by Anja Meulenbelt)

Q. How subjective are you?

Well I can be subjective, but I’m not just leaving it to my intuition. I have really tried to include it as part of my research, I’m really using my [European] Centre for Palestine Studies, established in 2007, to follow these things with the help of my students. So I don’t think I’m falling into the trap of wishful thinking…. It’s very very clear, especially if you decide to live within a western community.

Q. Public opinion in Europe is ahead of the U.S., though, right?

With a modicum of caution here—because both are continents, and generalizations overlook nuance—generally speaking we are talking about one public opinion which is better informed, the European one, and feels much more engaged with events not only in Palestine but in the Middle East as part of their immediate environment. And certainly senses something absent from the American public opinion, and this is guilt. The American public opinion is not as informed, even among those Americans who have shifted; the sense of urgency is not as great as in Europe; there is not the geographic proximity; and there is less of a guilt complex.

And in the end you have to break down both communities on vertical or horizontal lines. The pace of change in Europe is faster, the pace in the US is more important.

Q. How has the elite edifice been maintained?

One of the major means is all sorts of lobbying. I use the term lobby in the most general definition possible and not in the more familiar and narrow American reference to lobbying and therefore it can take a different form in Europe and for that matter in places such as Africa, China and India. A good example is Australia where the Jewish community is only 1 percent of the population and it lobbies relentlessly for Israel. It is a rich community and hence it used financial contribution, in equal measure, to each of the two big parties. The dividend is clear. When the previous Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was elected I was not surprised to hear that in her inaugural speech, she included Australian support for Israel as one of the four pillars of Australia’s foreign and security policies. So for the government in Canberra –miles away from Israel, of all the places the Jewish state is prime security concern. This shows the solidity of the edifice. It is an edifice built on financial investment, bribes, threats and disinformation.

I think another factor is Islamophobia, of the kind that is now raging in certain quarters in the west. Islamophobia does not seem to affect greatly, or trouble, the Western civil society, but is preoccupying, genuinely or cynically, the political elites. One good example of this is the military arms industry, which of course needs the war of terror to reinvigorate its line of production, invention, sales, and its place in the world. Islamophobia counterbalances any inhibitions or restraints the more sensible, and who knows less cynical, captains of this industry may respond to – surely in the case of Gaza some of them would have had second thoughts but were convincing themselves that they provided arms to defeat the worst kind of fanatic Islamism, and not, as was the case, for a genocide.

Finally, in the context of atrocities that are enveloping us, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt– the nature of Israeli atrocity, the Palestinian suffering can be dwarfed, in the minds of people involved in policy making and informing public opinion. They say, No one can get a handle on everything, they have to have priorities. And I can appreciate why an editor of a leading Western newspaper or news bulletin would ignore the killing of two Palestinian kids and prefer to pay attention to far worse atrocities in Iraq or Syria. Nonetheless I would have like to convince this editor that the one does not exclude the other. Both should be reported and connected.

Q. Well what do you say to them?

I will try and convince them for two main reasons why they should give events in Palestine a central role. There is a direct link between the century of Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians and the eruption of violence in the Middle East. Even the worst of the violence is rooted in the Western colonial past of which the foundation of a Jewish state instead of Palestine was the worst crime in the eyes of generations to come. What is challenged violently today is the post-world-war-one colonialist structure build by European powers. A central pillar of this building was the Judaziation of Palestine. You can not argue easily for human rights without being blamed for being too westernized and you can not recruit people to sport purist Islamist notions without stressing their anti-Western essence. Even the Shite-Sunni divisions, or the attacks of Christian and minorities are associated with the edifice built by the West, based on divide and rule, and incorporating the minorities in the colonialist, and post-colonialist, political structure. The epitome of this attitude was the unconditional support to Zionism at the expense of the Palestinians. So Palestinian suffering is the outcome of the original sin of the West after the first world war as are the other horrific scenes elsewhere in the Middle East.

There is a need to understand that if you want to engage, and at least on the face of it as an editor, cover things not just because they are interesting to people, but because of people’s suffering, in order to end that suffering, or so as to add your voice against it—and more generally if the west through its media, politicians, and human rights NGOs, if it wants to be engaged in the conversation at the heart of these atrocities– it cannot be admitted as a genuine partner in that conversation unless it seizes on the exceptional status it granted Israel in this conversation.

Q. You’re talking about root causes. Media don’t often address them. You want them to speak of Zionism as a root cause of this conflict. Why?

Two issues are very important. The easier one is to treat Zionism as we treated the apartheid ideology in South Africa, and to ask oneself, would we engage with apartheid in South Africa without engaging the ideology of the regime. Could we have focused on only the policies of the government and ignored the source of the policies? If you go back and look at when South Africa became a pariah state, if you look at the media, they were isolating South Africa by attacking the ideology of supremacy, exclusion, and apartheid.

What is very clear in this case is that the western media does not allow itself, maybe because of self-censorship, maybe because of pressure—it does not allow itself to do the same for Israel. Even the worst atrocity is taken out of its ideological context. When the journalist spans a narrative of why that atrocity happened, they describe it as an Israeli retaliation against Palestinian violence. You would have liked journalists to understand by now that Israel does not retaliate against Palestinians and create unbearable situations for them in anticipation of some reaction to the oppression – be it a house demolition, arrest without trial, confiscation of land and more often than not, assassination. Violence for Israel is not a retaliatory means of responding to Palestinian resistance, no, it is the principal means by which the Zionist vision of having as much of Palestine as possible, with as few Palestinians in it as possible, has been implemented over the years.

Perceptive journalists should detect the difference between destroying houses because they endanger the security of the soldiers, and destroying the houses as a way of reducing the number of Palestinians as part of a mega plan for the region. If you are dealing with an ideology, you have an obligation to see through the pretext and not copy the causal narrative that Israel provides.

So that is one issue.

The second reason why Zionism has to be at the center of the media coverage, and that core historical issues have to be discussed is that we are still in that history – it is not a closed chapter that should only interest historians. We are in this paradoxical situation where Israel is both a colonialist and post colonialist state. Recently academics defined Israel as a settler colonial state – which explains why it was a colonialist project in the past, but one that still continues today as the project is incomplete. So as a journalist you are watching the same historical chapter that began in the late 19th century and continues today. There is no closure yet in this colonialist history. More classical colonialist chapters, such as the British Raj in India, should be discussed in the cultural annexes of the papers or in special historical programs on TV and one would understand journalists covering India today focusing on the here and now. These are closed chapters of history. The Zionist Raj is still there and unlike the British Raj, it does not intend to dismantle the colony and go back home, it wants the colony to be cleansed of its native people.

Finally, dealing with the core issue, especially in the case of European Media, forces us to understand the more hidden layers of the Zionist project and its immunity in the West. When I say we are still in the same chapter of colonialism in Palestine that began in the late 19th century, I do not only mean that the colonization and dispossession of the native people continues with the same vigor and intent as in the past. I also mean by this that the presence of Jews in Palestine, was and still is, the European solution for its Jewish Question. The Jews were nearly destroyed in Europe during the second world war and instead of openly re-integrating them into Europe, the idea of sending them of Palestine, with the Zionist blessing, absolved Europe from dealing with what had been done not only to Jews but to other minorities as well in the second world war. When you have no closure on the place of Jews in Europe, you have no idea how to deal with the place of Muslims in Europe. Will they be looking now for a Muslim state somewhere away from Europe instead of accepting multiculturalism and diversity as a way of life?

The other side of this coin is that Israel and Palestine is a place where Jewish settlers rule over native Palestinians instead of living alongside them. So when Israel still propagates the notion that it is the homeland of all the Jews, it responds both to the anti-Semitic wish to purify Christian societies from Jewish presence and at the same time denies the rights of the Palestinians to Palestine or the rights of anyone who came or is in Palestine and is not Jewish. In the day of Independence, in the main ceremony, the diplomatic corps honors this idea in public and for the whole world to see – more out of ignorance than menace, one would think.

Finally, Zionism creates new problems for Jewish communities today, because the present Israeli regime declares clearly, something the Labor Zionist were careful not to do, that it represents the Jews wherever they are. So when this regime commits atrocities against the Palestinians, and Jews around the world do not challenge its claim to represent them, they are seen as supporting these atrocities. This line of thinking is totally absent from the Western media.

Q. I relate to that as an American interest type, and a Jew. The Iraq war and the neoconservatives were a big problem for me personally after my brother told me his Jewish newspaper said this war would be good for Israel.

Well this may be changing. Recently I met a group of liberal Zionists in the UK who were very concerned about this dilemma.

Q. When?

Two or 3 months ago. They’d never invited me before. I wondered why they were seeking a contact now. What I understand is that they were less worried about the Palestinians and far more about the possibility that their alliance, connection and commitment to their home country, which they genuinely feel, will be doubted and challenged. They used to regard themselves as an organic and integral part of the society and the new form of Zionism preached by Israel casts doubts on this role. I was impressed it bothers them more than Islamic radicalism which Israel claims is their main concern. They understand that if Netanyahu calls upon them to come to Israel because a synagogue in London was assaulted, even it was by angry Muslims, and they say nothing in response, they can been as accepting this logic, and if they oppose it, they will be regarded as anti Zionists.

Q. You think that some of these people will become active anti-Zionists?

Absolutely. As long as you had the more clever political elite in Israel, the labor Zionists, they were far more sophisticated and clever, and they would never have called on Jews to leave and come to Israel.

Q. Yes Ben-Gurion reached that understanding back in 1950 or so.

I think that the decision of the center and the right in Israel to focus on neo-Zionism, reinvigorating what they see as the Zionist ideology and value system, and putting into focus not just the fate of Jews in Israel, but of all the Jews in the world, created a monster. They manufactured a non-existent threat for Jewish life in Europe, which does not exist, and now they believe it themselves. Part of the story they concocted is that a desperate attack by a North African immigrant in France on a religious Jew and the Hamas war for survival are part of a new global anti Semitic campaign to destroy Jews (with support by the Left).

Last week on Shoah day, you saw some of the most important scholars in the country bringing to television and radio a kind of structural explanation for what they call the ‘new anti-Semitism’: fusing together classical European anti-Semitism, centered on the Church, Nazism, Islamic terrorism and the BDS movement. They are not only working together, they are all part of the same historical chapter that probably dates back to Christ himself. Waves after waves all directed against Jews, and this just another wave.

Q. Scholars really say that?

Yes. So these Jews will have to say something. They will have to get out of the box and say– Are you really saying there’s going to be a second holocaust in London that will be brought about by Omar Barghouti, Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), David Irving, neo-Nazis in Germany and the Amir of the Islamic State? It will not be easy for these Jews to challenge this fabricated war mongering – it is produced by an ideological state, which is a nuclear power, a high tech empire and one that possess the strongest army in the Middle East. This is a dangerous situation when such a powerful state makes such accusations. If this hysteria is produced by a nutty professor in an Ivy league university this is one thing, but if it’s spread by people with access to a red button that can launch another bombardment of Gaza or even against Teheran, then we should be terrified by this scenario, much more than any scenario we have predicted for the future plans of Iran or North Korea.

Q. You’re saying they went along with a lot of liberal Zionism in the past, and stood up for Israel, but this has changed things.

Yes they’re understanding what a terrifying a place Israel became. For many many years, they really were able to shut their eyes and close their ears, like the famous three monkeys, and say to themselves, this is something that we Jews deserve, we deserve not just our place here but also a Jewish homeland. Maybe they bought into the insurance model – if something bad happens, there’s a place we can go to. However, when they are now being told by the insurance company your house is already burned, while they still peacefully live in it – they realize their future and fate is in the had of nutty and fanatic insurers

Q. And the stakes are too large.

Absolutely

Q. You say in your book that this moment is a liberal Zionist wake up call. Why are they important?

They are a very important part of the elite edifice. They are the ones who have provided the moral justification for the victimization of the Palestinians and their suffering. They are the ones who branded the Israeli atrocities as acts of self defense, forced upon the reluctant Israelis (as Golda Meir said, we will never forgive the Palestinians for what they forced us to do to them). They are the ‘civilized’ ‘enlightened’ shield for the barbarism on the ground. And now there are cracks in the shield, and we need cracks in the shield, that’s very important. We are beginning to see the cracks, because this is the age of information and you can see through the cracks the true reality, and that reality is that Israel can not be both a Jewish and a democratic state, you cannot be both an enlightened occupier and and occupier at same time. Maybe they realize what they were helping to hide and are facing a moment of truth.

Q. Where do you see a crack?

Something interesting that happened in last attack on Gaza was that liberal Zionists were willing to say, whatever Hamas is doing, what Israel is doing is not justified. I am using Haaretz as the main venue for these relatively new doubts because it was adopted by the editorial board as well as the main conversation in the summer (not just by the usual suspects such as Gideon Levy or Amira Hass). This was an agenda also adopted by the few thousands who demonstrated during the assault in the last summer in the name of the suffering of both sides. It was a far cry from what I would have liked them to demonstrate against, but it was very different from their previous support to the atrocious policies against Gaza. As if they lost the verbal elasticity and juggling that enabled them to be both humanly concerned and Zionist patriots. Their verbal ability failed them. They could not produce, as in the past, a text that explain how Israel is still a democracy given what it’s doing not only in Gaza, but given the way it treats the asylum seekers, given the racist legislation since 2000 and the brutality not only against the Palestinians, but against them themselves, the liberals.

Moreover, it seems that the political forces in power, the nationalists and religious forces, have no need for them any more. Their previous leaders such as Begin and Sharon both thought they needed them, and Netanyahu did once, he wanted Shimon Peres to represent the more sane face of Israel, while doing what he wished to do on the ground. Some of them may not even want to be used as a shield anymore as they were in the past. This is certainly true about liberal Zionist outside of Israel (see J-Street) and will be true about them inside Israel. I want to add in Israel there are not many of them so their importance in widening the cracks is less locally and far more significant outside of Israel.

Q. In terms of building a movement, do you favor outreach and diplomacy with these turning Zionists, to allow them to save face?

Let me explain. I have a litmus paper, I have a yardstick, with which I judge my willingness at all to engage. I don’t mind if they tell me, for instance, that they object to an idea of boycott of Israel, and I say to them, That’s OK, I do support the boycott of Israel. In the past this position has stopped the dialogue on the spot. This was the main reason for my expulsion from the University of Haifa, and the end of discussion with many liberal Zionists including my father in law, because boycott is a red line they won’t cross. But this is no longer the red line. So it’s very interesting. As if they brush the shoulders of those who will be proved right in the end of the day (like all the Whites today in South Africa who claims they were always closet ANC supporters). In the West, they are seeking now a dialogue with the pro-Palestinian activists (as can be seen from the creation of a new offshoot of the Hillel organization and the changing nature of some of the Jewish societies in the British campuses).

Q. They need the Palestinian-solidarity community? Why?

They do because they know very well however much they bought into the antisemitic line about criticism of Israel, one thing about the Palestinian solidarity community is, it’s not anti-Semitic, it’s not anti-Jewish. One, because many of the activists are Jews and were always expunging anti-semitic elements from their ranks, and two, they are universally opposed to racism wherever it appears.

Q. But I don’t think they are comfortable with us.

I think we’re seeing a Kosherizing of the BDS movement. That in fact the world sees the mushrooming of crazy people and crazy ideologies. This is happening, no doubt: the people being burned alive, and beheaded. In this world, the BDS pro Palestinian solidarity movement is a group of civilized people, simple people who believe in humanity, decent people who believe in the rights of human beings.

You could not wish for better partners with whom to build a better world.

Q. Why was a dialogue with Noam Chomsky important? A lot of folks in the Palestinian solidarity community are likely to regard him as somewhat irrelevant to the question given his dismissal of the one state idea and his piece in the Nation that was critical of BDS.

I feel Noam is still a compass for many activists and committed academics in the West, and probably beyond. The tension between his universal radical views on world order, the USA and power and knowledge in general on the one hand, and his more guarded position on Palestine, always intrigued me, and not only me. I even know of people who are writing a whole book on his position on Palestine. Clarifying these positions was first important for me because he has been such an influence on my work and thinking. But I also thought the differences of opinions we have reflect a more general debate within the solidarity movement with the Palestinians, and from what I can tell, this debate is also now taking place in the Palestinian society itself.

Q. You say in the book that coming to your understanding has been a long journey, one that opposes you to your society and your family at times. Can you elaborate on this personally? Are there people in your family who don’t speak to you anymore? How long did you censor yourself?  And don’t these social bonds act as mental fetters for many many Jews, and by what process can they be loosened?

Yes of course. I see it as a journey with no return ticket – a trip across the Rubicon, if you want. And I do not recall exactly when, but there was a point in the early 1990s where I felt suddenly liberated from Zionism as an ideology that governed every deed, or writing or articulation I had about Israel and Palestine. And when it became bitterly clear to me that I do not want any share in it, and later on, when I felt committed to struggle against it, I have become a pariah in distant and close circles of colleagues, friend and family.

To appreciate it you have to understand that back in the 1990s, the regime was not worried about anti-Zionist Jews (as it was for instance in the days of Mazpen in the early 1970s). It relied on the society to persecute and punish. In my case it took two forms: death threats on me and my family intensively and viciously and an expulsion from my university by my peers (encouraged by the minister of education at the time). So part of my colleagues and family do not speak to me today.

As for your more direct question: the distance between realising what was going on and articulating it – namely a process you call self-censorship, continued for almost a decade (in the case of most liberal Zionists they can do it for a lifetime which must cause them enormous medical problems). The only way of trying to convince them is first by not underestimating the difficulty of giving up a prestigious position and secondly repeatedly tell them about the sense of liberation and relief one has, when you are out of the frame of mind. You need to believe of course that despite years of dehumanising the Palestinians, there is still left in them a modicum of decency – I do believe this.

Q. You say in the book that partition is “immoral.” And that we must tell our Palestinian friends who support two states why they are wrong to do so. What about the bloody rollercoaster/Algeria argument against one state as a goal? Aren’t Palestinians allowed to fear the problems of Syria and Egypt? And, if Palestinians want a Palestinian state — and even Haneen Zoabi can imagine there being two democratic states — why not let em?

I think actually Algeria is a historical case study that shows that no native people would have agreed to partition their country with settlers and this was the right position for the FLN to take and the Palestinians. But I understand what you mean, there are plenty of examples also outside the Middle East that on the face of it would support partition, such as ex-Yugoslavia.

But I think people confuse nationalism with ethnicity. The Arab nation states collapse because the political structure built by the colonialist powers for them – and which their political elites after the second world war did not challenge – all they want is to be the rulers themselves of these political structures — were based on two flimsy foundations. First, lack of any respect to human and civil rights and indifference to the power of regional and ethnic affiliations. So either a dynasty or an oppressive secular regime was imposed, disregarding both sensitivities.

In Palestine, the structure that was suggested by the colonial power was very different. It allowed Zionism to colonise and dispossess Palestine. Now what is the solution, to allow colonisation and dispossession in only eighty percent of the land? It will never end the conflict. Once it is decolonised both sensitivities would have to be respected within the political structure (and possibly the Jewish settlers, as Azmi Bishara says, became an ethnic group themselves).

Q. What is the meaning of the statement I often hear: Jewish Israelis will not accept the dissolution of the Jewish state, they are committed to it; and one must address these Israelis if you are to find a solution to the conflict? I think Chomsky believes this to some degree. Certainly Norman Finkelstein does. Does this concern ever restrain you? So how do you change Israeli minds? Would a shift in opinion on the part of diaspora Jews play a role in unconvincing the Israelis?

What it means is that the Jewish society will not easily give up the privileged position it has – concealing the real motive for their stubbornness with national rhetoric of survival. So our problem, to add to what I said just now, is to find a way of creating a new political structure that only redistributes the land, resources and powers in a new state.  They do not have be convinced that they will disappear– this is a discourse of doomsday Zionist leaders use easily for anything that they want to keep in their hands– but that only that keeping the privileges will leave them in a perpetual state of conflict which they will not always win. Even with their military successes so far – young people, with resources, see no reason to stay in this modern day Prussia or Sparta.

So there are two approaches here. We need to save the Palestinian from further destruction and for that we do not have the luxury to wait until we transform the Israeli Jewish mindset. This can only be achieved thorough means of the BDS and resistance, hopefully popular and non-violent, on the ground. And we need a longer process of deprogramming a third generation of settlers who see themselves that they are not leading an ideal life, even if all the power is in their hands.  The Jewish community abroad’s role is to help divorce Zionism from Judaism so that a spade – colonialism- can be called a spade.

100 Responses

  1. Krauss
    May 11, 2015, 11:19 am

    Great interview! I missed these longform interviews, they used to be more prevalent on site in 2010-2011(maybe just my memory). The great thing about independent journalism is that you can precisely choose which people to interview without worrying about attacks from the lobby/establishment “respectability” and you’re not constrained by space for advertisements in the same way that the major corporate organs.

    I hope we get more of these similar interviews. As Israel is irrevocably moving into total isolation, there’s a lot of people in Pappé’s age that I think have valuable perspectives. These are the people who grew up from within the system and as such their insights are important. In a few decades time there won’t be any of them left, so the more we can gather from them before that moment, the better. They have much to share.

  2. just
    May 11, 2015, 11:30 am

    Thanks for this very generous gift of your exchange with the fearless moral giant, Ilan Pappé.

    I went back to cut and paste some of my favorites to remark on and realized that it was futile because it is all awesome. I’ll try, though:

    “The Jewish community abroad’s role is to help divorce Zionism from Judaism so that a spade – colonialism- can be called spade.”

    I agree with that, but I also think that it is up to all good people everywhere to engage with that “divorce”.

    Amira Hass somewht echoed the Professor in her article yesterday:

    “In the justices’ consent to the demolition of Sussia and Umm al-Hiran, they have drawn a direct line linking 1948 to today. They have confirmed what Israel’s most virulent critics say about the country – that it is a colonialist, dispossessing entity. The justices have parroted what the state has been screaming all along: It’s my right to dispossess, my right to expel, my right to demolish and crowd people into pens. I have demolished and will continue to do so. I have expelled and will continue to expel. I have crowded people in and will continue to do so. I never gave a damn and never will do.”

    link to haaretz.com

    • bintbiba
      May 11, 2015, 1:01 pm

      Phil, Thank you and thank you Professor Ilan Pappé for your generosity, morality, courage and humanity .

      Only good can come from your heroic efforts…although it may take a generation or so.
      But “the cracks are widening ” !! and that can’t be stopped or altered.

      What an honour it is for me have read your books, Professor Pappé.

  3. pabelmont
    May 11, 2015, 11:56 am

    Pappe sees the disconnect between knowledgeable people and the political elites. And doesn’t quite understand it, although he does know about political money (in Australia).

    In my view, on this topic (governmental paralysis I/P) as also on the topic of governmental paralysis on climate change, what appears to me is that our (USA and maybe all Anglophone countries) have chosen to make politicians, in effect — in real effect — quasi if not actual psychopaths. That is to say, our politicians put short-term advantages to themselves ahead of all other concerns, and far ahead of any kind of moral concerns and ahead of any concerns whatever for the lives of people, whether in existence or in future. And the reason they have so transformed themselves is that the big-money-in-politics has made them subservient to the controllers of big-money-in-global-business, the CEOs that I call our “oligarchs”. The oligarchs pull the strings on all government matters that matter to them, usually money matters but also Zionism (as we so well know), and weapons-to-the-people (NRA as front for gun manufacturers). And the politicians have grown so used to kao-tao-ing to the money that they not only don’t think twice about it but are in fact chosen by the big-money-boys as candidates in the pre-primaries according to their readiness to act the part, to act as a psychopath if they are not one in fact. and the oligarchs have none but short-term financial interests themselves (apart from Big-Zion perhaps, which has a single-issue concentration which shuts out humanity as surely s money-concentration does). So the oligarchs meet my definition (perhaps not the usual one) of psychopath, and seek their own short-term gain though the heavens fall, and this is particularly noticeable in their putting the kibosh on action to mitigate climate change, where the USA has been monumentally indifferent to future calamity.

    Pappe should not be in doubt about the inaction of the politicians despite the progress of opinion of the citizenry. The system is built to make the opinion of the public effectively irrelevant.

  4. David Doppler
    May 11, 2015, 12:51 pm

    Great piece, Phil, both on an intellectual level and a personal level.

    “I think we’re seeing a Kosherizing of the BDS movement. That in fact the world sees the mushrooming of crazy people and crazy ideologies. This is happening, no doubt: the people being burned alive, and beheaded. In this world, the BDS pro Palestinian solidarity movement is a group of civilized people, simple people who believe in humanity, decent people who believe in the rights of human beings.

    “You could not wish for better partners with whom to build a better world.”

    So much follows from how you choose to define your community.

    • Citizen
      May 11, 2015, 1:33 pm

      “So much follows from how you choose to define your community.”

      Israel has just announced its second version of the Taglit Birthright program, inviting American Christian youth to visit the “real people” of Israel just as young American Jews may do–except it will cost the Gentile kids or their parents or church $500 each. The new program comes with invite to “Rabbi Jesus.” Besides Israel, two Christian organizations cosponsor this new communal event:

      link to israelnationalnews.com

  5. Jackdaw
    May 11, 2015, 1:44 pm

    Q. How subjective are you?

    Too subjective. Pappe is an activist, masquerading as a historian.

    “I am not as interested in what happened as in how people see what’s happened. (“An Interview of Ilan Pappé,” Baudouin Loos, Le Soir [Bruxelles],Nov. 29, 1999)

    “I admit that my ideology influences my historical writing…”(Ibid)

    “Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truth seekers”. (Ibid)

    “My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the ‘truth’ when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers.”–A History of Modern Palestine.

    • amigo
      May 11, 2015, 3:21 pm

      “My bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the ‘truth’ when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers.”

      You , I suppose jackdaw have compassion for occupiers and none for their victims.

      Do you believe in heaven .I know that,s a superfluous question.

      “Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts. Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truth seekers”. (Ibid

      Obviously he is referring to zionist trolls and the warmongers they support.

    • Kris
      May 11, 2015, 3:30 pm

      “I am not as interested in what happened as in how people see what’s happened. “–Ilan Pappe.

      Isn’t this the guiding philosophy in Jewish Israel, which is all about covering up “what happened” and trying to manage “how people see what’s happened”?

    • talknic
      May 11, 2015, 4:12 pm

      @ Jackdaw May 11, 2015, 1:44 pm

      //Q. How subjective are you?//

      “Too subjective. Pappe is an activist, masquerading as a historian”

      Sez you … a qualified … er … bird?

      //“I am not as interested in what happened as in how people see what’s happened.”//

      What happened cannot be changed. How people see what’s happened can be and IS being changed.

      For example: Israel proclaimed its boundaries. Cannot be changed. Of course as a good little propagandist, you can choose to keep living in denial, lying or attempting to otherwise justify Israel’s illegal activities in non-Israeli territory, however the flow on from that undeniable proclamation opens the floodgate on everything in the Israeli propaganda kit

  6. Steve Grover
    May 11, 2015, 2:37 pm

    Congratulations to Ilan Pappe for dealing with his life long suffering for being born a Jew in Israel. He is now living happily and in with favor on the continent that figured out how to and accomplished the murder of one third of the Jewish population in the world. At least those one third and their potential descendents aren’t around to annoy him.

    • just
      May 11, 2015, 2:45 pm

      SG– I wonder how you get your hateful screed/trolling published anywhere!

      • Mooser
        May 11, 2015, 9:43 pm

        “just” I’ve sensed a hardening in the Moderation. They used to give these guys some kind of a chance, but now they seemingly just grit their teeth and say: ‘Okay, pal, if that’s the way you wish to present yourself and your views, go right on ahead’ They seem to have lost all sympathy for them.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 11, 2015, 9:59 pm

        yep, someone else has been doing lots of moderation.

      • Mooser
        May 12, 2015, 2:57 pm

        “yep, someone else has been doing lots of moderation.”

        Well, I’ll say it; who, or whomsoever (pace, RoHa!) it is has a heart of stone.
        Annie, you used to give them a chance to try again, and even explain what was wrong, or at least a decent amount of time before publishing to e-mail and ask for a deletion, but now, there’s no pity.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 12, 2015, 3:56 pm

        ;)

        whoever it is i am appreciative tho. it’s time consuming!

      • Mooser
        May 13, 2015, 3:22 pm

        “whoever it is i am appreciative tho. it’s time consuming! “

        I guess it depends on how you do it. I’ve surmised that the position offers no immunity to criticism, or even downright attempted interference. First you’re told your antizionism or criticism of Zionism springs from “bad faith” and antisemitism, or something which can’t be named which is a lot like it! And then before long somebody is excoriating you for not having enough of it! All in a days work for a Mondo Moderator.
        But wasn’t it worth it all just to see Mr. Outreach’s attempt at an ethnic end-run? That was something, a memory I can keep in case I run out of ipecac
        It was, indeed, a fine piece of work. And perhaps it has had an effect!

    • eljay
      May 11, 2015, 2:51 pm

      || Steve Grover: Congratulations to Ilan Pappe … He is now living happily and in with favor on the continent that figured out how to and accomplished the murder of one third of the Jewish population in the world. ||

      Not that you or anyone else should be proud of this, but Jews managed to exterminate 100% of the Amalekites.

    • Bumblebye
      May 11, 2015, 3:14 pm

      @Grover
      have you got a clue how disgustingly racist your comment is?
      Just sweepingly blame the people of the whole continent, not the ideology or the quarter from where the war came. Just pathetically stupid and ignorant.

      • amigo
        May 11, 2015, 3:30 pm

        @Grover
        have you got a clue how disgustingly racist your comment is? Bumblebye

        Grover is seeking attention and does not care what depths he has to plumb to get it.

        Low self esteem , I should think and an (un ) healthy dose of bigotry.

      • Mooser
        May 11, 2015, 9:47 pm

        “have you got a clue how disgustingly racist your comment is?”

        Methinks he’s been hitting the ol’ slivovich. He’s farshnoshket.

    • Steve Grover
      May 11, 2015, 3:58 pm

      @amigo,
      Your stab at psychoanalysis intrigues me. Therefore, I am going to say Pappé is egotistical. In light of this he would be happy if the BDS movement aimed towards Israel would henceforth be know as #PappéSmear.

      • Mooser
        May 11, 2015, 9:49 pm

        Yup, the Moderators hearts have turned to stone.

      • Steve Grover
        May 12, 2015, 12:05 am

        @mooser

      • RobertHenryEller
        May 12, 2015, 9:38 am

        Congratulations, Grover, you’re on to something here. A pap smear is a medical test for cervical cancer. And cervical cancer is an excellent double metaphor for your particular brand of zombie zionist psychosis. You should sit for the Pappé Smear yourself. Sooner than later. You might save a life. Or at least your soul.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 12, 2015, 10:39 am

        what creative thinking robert.

      • amigo
        May 12, 2015, 11:18 am

        “Your stab at psychoanalysis intrigues me” SG.

        MW is fertile ground for the study of psychotic behaviour.

        Thanks for your contribution.

    • talknic
      May 11, 2015, 4:22 pm

      @ Steve Grover “He is now living happily and in with favor on the continent that figured out how to and accomplished the murder of one third of the Jewish population in the world.”

      You’re full of sh*te. A) Nazi Germany wasn’t Europe. B) He isn’t the only Jew living in Europe. C) Half the population of the Jewish world are living happily in countries that did nothing to alleviate Jewish suffering under Nazi Germany.

    • RoHa
      May 11, 2015, 10:06 pm

      “Ilan Pappe … is now living happily and in with favor on the continent that figured out how to and accomplished the murder of one third of the Jewish population in the world”

      Let us be precise here.

      Pappe is not living on the continent.

      He is living in Britain. He works at the University of Exeter.

      Britain is the country that led the fight against the Nazis. The country that, over a period of six years, spent all its wealth, used all the resource of its empire, and gave up the lives of its people from throughout that empire, in the fight against the Nazis.

      If you go to Exeter, you will see (as you will see in many British cities) that the city centre has some very old buildings, but also, mixed among them, a large number of buildings in late 1950s and early 1960s styles. These buildings were built to replace the buildings destroyed by German bombs.

      • Steve Grover
        May 11, 2015, 11:58 pm

        @RoHa
        Thanks for clearing this up for me because all this time I thought Britain got into the war because Weinstein Churchill was Jewish.

    • talknic
      May 12, 2015, 1:58 am

      @ Steve Grover

      ” He is now living happily and in with favor on the continent that figured out how to and accomplished the murder of one third of the Jewish population in the world. At least those one third and their potential descendents aren’t around to annoy him”

      You’re one sick little puppy pal. Ilan Pappe’s parents survived the Holocaust by fleeing the Nazis. They took advantage of the opportunities the LoN Mandate for Palestine offered Jews. The same opportunities the Zionist Federation screwed up by demanding a separate Jewish state. They’ve never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity!

      Meanwhile it seems Israel is quite happy to associate with that part of the ‘continent’!

      You’re wailing at the wrong people pal.

      • Mooser
        May 12, 2015, 3:11 pm

        ” I thought Britain got into the war because Weinstein Churchill was Jewish.” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        Grover has every right to be upset. Now I’m seeing, not just hardheartedness, but downright cruelty on the part of the Mods.
        How can they treat an inebriated, bitter old man in this fashion? Oh well, perhaps the Mods think Grover is more to be pitied than censored.

      • gamal
        May 14, 2015, 6:48 pm

        “How can they treat an inebriated, bitter old man in this fashion”

        oh now steady on that cut me to the quick, the mods have no mercy on me, though i am censored, but only when i deserve it.

      • gamal
        May 14, 2015, 6:58 pm

        and if may I point out, with the mods discretion, many of you seem to be young professionals, you attend meetings, in Africa they have revolutionized the meeting, to the eternal benefit of all young academics and all employees, I guess they should get Nebraska (no one is using it right now) at a minimum, I have my eyes on Manhattan, but am a degenerate with no social capital to expend, I promise I wouldn’t waste it, even just a bit of it would do.

        link to youtu.be

    • Brewer
      March 5, 2016, 5:43 pm

      @Grover
      How disgustingly dishonest can you get?
      “He is now living happily and in with favor on the continent that figured out how to and accomplished the murder of one third of the Jewish population”
      Need one remind you that Pappe lives in England and that she and her allies lost 14,276,800 souls in the conflict that ended the slaughter of Jews.
      The self-absorption and willingness to indulge in lies and calumny of Zionists such as yourself is sufficient explanation for the on-going atrocity that Zionism has become.

  7. ritzl
    May 11, 2015, 3:52 pm

    Great interview.

    This observation was particularly crystallizing:

    The second reason why Zionism has to be at the center of the media coverage, and that core historical issues have to be discussed is that we are still in that history – it is not a closed chapter that should only interest historians. …

  8. DaBakr
    May 11, 2015, 4:23 pm

    oh wow. its the dynamic-duo of self-righteous Zionist-hating
    Just like Batman and his sidekick Robin.

    And who does pappe think he’s kidding talking about the “elite” not budging on their stance towards israel? What elite is that exactly…bankers? European universities and parliaments are chock full of Left-wing elitists that guide or even set public discourse on many topics that are polar opposites of the smaller group of right leaning academics.

    • Mooser
      May 11, 2015, 9:50 pm

      “European universities and parliaments are chock full of Left-wing elitists that guide or even set public discourse on many topics that are polar opposites of the smaller group of right leaning academics”

      Glad to hear it, Dabakr. That’s nice to know.

  9. ivri
    May 11, 2015, 4:52 pm

    The first reason, Pappe claims, that this conflict should remain central is that it is at the roots of all the upheaval in the region. One can dispute that but even if true there is still a basic logical flaw in the conclusion of Pappe. Clearly what followed has taken life of its own and is already moving independently of that alleged cause and if so why should leaders whose concern is what happens in the present (or will happen in the future) place such an emphasis on the I/P conflict given that its extent and impact are already dwarfed by other troubles in the region?

    • Mooser
      May 11, 2015, 9:54 pm

      So there you go, “Ivri”. You admit that the Zionist project has ignited a conflagration which is engulfing the entire region. You must be so proud of what the light among nations has brought to the region.

      Wow, you guys are weird.

      • ivri
        May 12, 2015, 2:52 am

        @mooser
        I don`t really buy that argument of Pappe (that Israel is behind it all) – it`s too far-fetched. But perhaps Israel was a catalyst in the process partly due by its perceived own survival needs and partly due to what Arab leaders did in their continual struggle with Israel, which indirectly (or as a secondary effect) caused that – and if so that was a big price to pay for Arab countries for their stubborn refusal to accept Israel as another country in the region. The good news: the latter shows signs of changing, mainly in improved ties with some pro-Western Arab countries in the region (out of common interest), which to one degree or another are out of the mayhem.

      • eljay
        May 12, 2015, 9:17 am

        || ivri: … But perhaps Israel was a catalyst in the process partly due by its perceived own survival needs and partly due to what Arab leaders did in their continual struggle with Israel … ||

        Or perhaps Israel was a catalyst because:
        – it was established by means of terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population from their homes and lands; after which,
        – it proceeded to steal, occupy and colonize land outside of its (Partition) borders.

      • Mooser
        May 12, 2015, 3:51 pm

        “I don`t really buy….”

        Put a sock in it, “ivri”. Heard that shit, and plenty more like it, my whole life. You mo…. ah, Zionist fellows have done nothing but fuck up for the over sixty years I’ve been around.

    • talknic
      May 12, 2015, 2:11 am

      ivri’s logic = THE REST OF THE CAR IS BURNING SO KEEP DRIVING ON THE FLAT TYRE!

  10. Landie_C
    May 11, 2015, 5:31 pm

    Apropos this interview, Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin has just posted an op-ed at The Forward entitled, “How American Jews can fight the Academic Intifada”

    His assessment? “This is nothing less than an ethnic and class war.”

    link to forward.com

    • Mooser
      May 11, 2015, 10:00 pm

      Holy Mackeral, that article in the Forward is sad. It’s like they are trying as hard as possible to drive Jewish kids away.

      • just
        May 11, 2015, 10:41 pm

      • bryan
        May 12, 2015, 2:56 am

        Yes, Mooser, the article was sad, but judging from the bulk of the readers’ comments the audience realised was nonsense was being presented.

      • Philip Munger
        May 12, 2015, 3:48 am

        From the comments at the Forward article:

        The current tactic of the Netanyahu cabal and its American lackeys is to align being pro-Israel with being pro-Republican. This is a sure way to work against Israel on American college campuses. The campuses where most Jewish kids go tend to be liberal and pro-civil rights. Telling them that the likes of Sheldon Adelson and John Boehner and Ted Cruz are the saviors of the Jewish people is like telling them to join BDS. In the US, as in Israel, the right-wing is the single biggest enemy of Jewish and Israeli interests. So, even if your only concern in the whole world is the well-being of the State of Israel, and even if you’re a died-in-the-wool Likudnik, you should encourage the opening of mainstream organizations to progressive Zionist voices and organizations. This is the only way, the only way, to try to stem the tide of anti-Israel activism on campuses. Only when Jewish kids see that you can be Zionist and still oppose racism and militarism will the majority of them be anything other than apathetic or actively hostile to Israel.

      • Mooser
        May 12, 2015, 3:17 pm

        “Only when Jewish kids see that you can be Zionist and still oppose racism and militarism will the majority of them be anything other than apathetic or actively hostile to Israel.”

        That ought to happen any day now. But just as a precaution, I won’t hold my breath.

      • Landie_C
        May 12, 2015, 6:02 pm

        Sad, or outrageous, take your pick. I do think that both the articles and the reader comments have merit insofar as they help me stay abreast of trends and “moods” in the Jewish community.

        Seems that Kosmin’s “findings” are being used as crutches to prove that Jews in America are under siege. But if you go to the source, you’ll find that the methodology was suspect. How were the respondents chosen, how was “anti-Semitic incident” defined, etc. Kosmin doesn’t say. I used to think he was a pretty decent scholar until I read his study and the interview he gave the NYT about it.

        Equally sketchy are UCLA and Stanford incidents Salkin uses to prove that irrational hatred of Jews is behind BDS. Though full of ambiguity and gaping holes, these anecdotes make good copy for those who are eager to cast themselves in the role of victim.

        The solution according to Salkin? Disseminate the correct political catechisms to the poor benighted students. Re-shape and “re-brand” the hasbara. Interesting choice of words, because would seem to imply that Bibi et al have driven the Israeli brand right into the toilet.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 12, 2015, 6:25 pm

        Disseminate the correct political catechisms to the poor benighted students.

        one problem from my perspective is these kids are smart. stanford, berkeley, the whole UC system. i don’t think they’ll get far convincing these kids pro palestinian advocacy is anti semitic. it’s just same ol same ol and this sort of hasbara (accusations of AS when people criticize israel) has been around for a long long time. it’s just not a compelling argument.

      • Mooser
        May 14, 2015, 6:26 pm

        Well, if parents are serious about preventing anti-zionism, in its many forms, in their children, they will have to take stringent measures.

    • just
      May 12, 2015, 8:16 am

      Salkin is dead wrong, and most people with a normal brain know that.

      He writes”Anti-Semitism has become politically correct — even chic.
      Just in the last few weeks:”

      and goes on to cite 3 “examples”, 2 of which happened in February and one that happened in April. What’s a “few weeks” anyway? It might be nitpicking, but…

  11. Bornajoo
    May 11, 2015, 5:41 pm

    Thank you Professor Pappe and many thanks Phil. Really terrific interview. I hope it gets the attention it deserves

    I’m absolutely not surprised to learn that professor Pappe received numerous death threats and that many former colleagues, friends and even family no longer speak with him. To be a truth teller in israel requires huge courage and carries great risks

  12. Neil Schipper
    May 11, 2015, 5:55 pm

    If a tree falls in the… Wait! An even better question:

    If a group of Marxists repeat to one another many times daily that their position on Israel-Palestine is based on a commitment to human rights, freedom, equality, opposition to land-grabbing and social justice, does this render false the existence in the region of an ongoing widely shared sacralized naqba-preceding and continually reinforced commitment to eliminate through force of arms the Zionists from the river to the sea?

    • echinococcus
      May 12, 2015, 1:51 am

      My, Heer Schipper, that would have been exactly the right answer to the Zionist invasion!
      That’s how peoples throughout the ages responded to the invasions. Not all were successful, of course, but there seem to be very few cases of inaction.

      I always knew you were good and honest deep down, and that you would see the light. Yes! The only right idea is, of course, to send the invaders back to their own countries.

      Now, after so many years and untold suffering inflicted by the invaders (upon a population comprising 7% of Arab Jews, by the way) it may be a good thing if the owners of the land and of the right to sovereignty concede citizenship to those born locally (considering that they may well legally decide otherwise, too) in exchange for abandoning Zionism. Once the illegal hostile immigrants leave, that shouldn’t leave any Zionist to eliminate.

      • Neil Schipper
        May 12, 2015, 3:58 pm

        I believe it was not 7% but 4% prior to the onset (1880’s) of European Jewish immigration (no source for that offhand).

        Of greater relevance: by 1947, there would have been a small number of 4th generation progeny from the earliest immigrants, a larger number of 3rd generation progeny, etc. (The math is not hard.)

        Of even greater relevance: You champion a position that, given realities on the street and in the region, is likely to result in many Arabs remaining stateless and in refugee camps for generations.

      • echinococcus
        May 12, 2015, 11:55 pm

        Sounding off course, Schipper. I took a figure in the upper range, from a 4-8% estimate based on Ottoman records. Now, that being said, this 4-8% and offspring are at home (those who haven’t been beaten by the Zionists and run out of the country, that is.) All other illegal immigrants and their offspring have a major problem waiting to know on what principles the owners of the land are going to recognize citizenship. As for your remarks, not so very smart: the Zionist invaders never gave any concession to anything, ever, no matter how many times and how deep one genuflects or pulls down the pants for them, no matter how abject the collabo-traitors are, no matter how many people even here try to pacify them with ‘generous offers’. Because it’s in the Zionists’ program: the only thing that will satisfy them is that the non-Jews die or go, leaving Greater Israel to them. Period.
        Given this, making more concessions is absurd. The world is round and war is something we haven’t been able to get rid of. Things will change, remember the grandstanding about Algeria. The Zionists will be made to pay more and more for every day of delay.

        P.S. It’s not “Arabs”, you racialomanic so-and-so. They are Palestinians, owners of Palestine and the sovereignty over it.

    • talknic
      May 12, 2015, 9:01 am

      @ Neil Schipper “If a group of Marxists repeat to one another many times daily that their position on Israel-Palestine is based on a commitment to human rights, freedom, equality, opposition to land-grabbing and social justice, does this render false the existence in the region of an ongoing widely shared sacralized naqba-preceding and continually reinforced commitment to eliminate through force of arms the Zionists from the river to the sea>”

      No, it renders you a stupid person for repeating drivel, you stupid person. Palestine long ago offered to forgo 78% of its rightful territories for peace with Israel . The offers were made in front of the world at the UN. Israel’s answer was to build more illegal settlements.

      By withdrawing from all Egyptian territory Israel got a peace treaty. Simple get the &*ck out of other folks territories ….

      • echinococcus
        May 13, 2015, 9:11 pm

        Palestine long ago offered to forgo 78% of its rightful territories for peace with Israel

        Who is “Palestine” here, talknic? I see historically some offers, mainly by Saudis, other sheiks and other USIsrael allies, and collabo-traitors, like Abbas and predecessors who may have been thinking they were acting for the best, whatever… all of them racing to make more and more concessions –no matter what concessions achieve with Zionists, as even babes in arms know by now.
        Remind me when we have seen an entirely representative Palestinian organism?
        The Oslo traitors?
        It sure isn’t up to anyone on an American web site to give away the farm, don’t you think?
        Just repeat it enough times until everyone is convinced that it’s a done deal, eh? When not even an inch of Israel has been legitimated yet.
        I am not questioning your subjective feeling on why you are doing this. Not that of what looks like a majority on this site, either. I’m sure it’s honorable. The results are horrible, though. The effect is propaganda that the Zionists, even the Zionists, could hardly pay for: even school children asking you “why, wasn’t ‘Israel’ approved by the Palestinians on the land?”

      • talknic
        May 14, 2015, 1:56 am

        @ echinococcus “Who is “Palestine” here, talknic?”

        Abbas was the spokesperson for Palestine at the UN.

      • echinococcus
        May 14, 2015, 4:58 am

        Abbas was the spokesperson for Palestine at the UN.

        Precisely. The Israeli traitor-collaborator. In 1941, the German newspapers were also saying “France gave us 50% of its territory”

        Looks like the Palestinian people have way too many friends.

  13. benedict
    May 11, 2015, 6:09 pm

    Pape keeps repeating the claim that Israel is a “European colonial project”. However 80% of Israeli Jews are either Israeli born or from Arab countries. Only 20% where born in Europe/USA. Israel is a middle eastern “project”.

    • Neil Schipper
      May 11, 2015, 8:05 pm

      Pap[p]e keeps repeating the claim that Israel is a “European colonial project”.

      And the State of Utah is an “upstate New York colonial project”.

      And the upscale real estate market ($20 million+ condos) in London are a “Russia-China oligarch colonial project”.

      And repetition creates truth.

      Marxists have a lot of trouble understanding that shit happens in the world — good shit, bad shit — outside the confines of their brittle ideologies.

  14. just
    May 11, 2015, 6:45 pm

    I surely wish that there would be a “western awakening” among those in governments:

    “Israeli, German presidents meet in Berlin to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties
    On first day of official state visit, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin says ‘good relations built on foundation of shared values and deep faith in human dignity and freedom.'”

    link to haaretz.com

    While state dinners are being consumed, there’s this:

    “Defense Minister Ya’alon: Israel received 4 Patriot batteries from Germany
    Earlier, the Defense Ministry announced a deal with Germany for four missile boats to protect offshore gas.”

    link to haaretz.com

    • just
      May 12, 2015, 9:33 am

      “Germany has a “special obligation to support Israel,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday in defense of her country’s weapons sales to the Jewish State, Bloomberg reported.

      Merkel was speaking to students at a Berlin school a day after Israel announced plans to buy four German-build Saar 6 vessels to patrol its offshore gas fields. Later on Tuesday, she met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who is on a three-day trip to Germany. She was expected to raise Germany’s support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians with Rivlin, who opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, Bloomberg reported.

      “We sell weapons to Israel because we believe that Israel must defend itself and is often attacked. We also believe that Germany has a special obligation to support Israel,” said Merkel in response to a student’s question about German arms sales to Israel.”

      link to haaretz.com

      So Merkel rewards the ethnic cleansers of Palestine and the covertly armed nuclear state. I guess she’s only following the US lead. That’s some thin ice she’s on. Rubbish on the “often attacked”, too. Doesn’t she know about Israel’s daily violations of the ‘ceasefire’?

      • just
        May 12, 2015, 4:58 pm

        Shazbot!

        …”Each of the four ships in question is about 90 meters long, smaller than a destroyer, highly maneuverable and weighing about 2,000 tons. Once they arrive in Israel, they will be outfitted for the navy by Israeli defense firms with various special weapons systems. The new ships will be deployed hundreds of kilometers from shore.

        The purchase of the vessels is being funded through a special budget that is not part of Israel’s general defense budget. The agreement states that the German government will underwrite just over one-quarter of the purchase price through a 115-million-euro grant. In addition, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, the company building the ships as well as a total of six Dolphin submarines for the Israel Navy, has committed to invest about 700 million shekels ($180 million) in future procurement of Israeli equipment and in Israeli research and development.”…

        link to haaretz.com

        Can anyone say armed with nuclear weapons?

      • lysias
        May 12, 2015, 5:15 pm

        The Wikipedia article Dolphin-class submarines talks a lot about the Israeli submarines being nuclear-armed.

        One does wonder what the military utility is of having more than the four Dolphin submarines that Israel already has.

      • oldgeezer
        May 12, 2015, 5:41 pm

        Deployed hundreds of km from shore? Israel has d Germany that these ships will be used to protect their offshore oil production. Where the heck are Israeli resources hundreds of km from shore?

      • just
        May 12, 2015, 5:46 pm

        Iran?

        It’s entirely crazy.

      • Marnie
        May 13, 2015, 4:14 am

        “special obligation to support Israel?” Sounds more like something else –

        link to youtube.com

  15. JLewisDickerson
    May 11, 2015, 8:14 pm

    RE: “And now there are cracks in the shield, and we need cracks in the shield, that’s very important. We are beginning to see the cracks, because this is the age of information and you can see through the cracks the true reality, and that reality is that Israel can not be both a Jewish and a democratic state . . .” ~ Ilan Pappe

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    The birds they sang
    at the break of day
    Start again
    I heard them say
    Don’t dwell on what
    has passed away
    or what is yet to be.
    Ah the wars they will
    be fought again
    The holy dove
    She will be caught again
    bought and sold
    and bought again
    the dove is never free.
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in. . .

    ~ from “Anthem” on ‘The Future’ album by Leonard Cohen

    ● Anthem, Leonard Cohen [VIDEO, 09:33] – link to youtube.com

    P.S. Ziocaine™ is a registered trademark of The Mooser Corporation, U.S.A

    P.P.S. FROM SongMeanings.net:

    The line “a crack in everything” seems to come from a book by Jack Kornfield on buddhism. The story is that a young man who had lost his leg came to a buddhist monastary thing, and he was extremely angry at life, and always drew these pictures of cracked vases and damaged thing[s], because he felt damaged. Over time, he found inner peace, and changed his outllook, but still drew broken vases. His master asked him one day: “Why do you still draw a crack in the vases you draw, are you not whole?” And he replied “yes, and so are the vases. The crack is how the light gets in” ~ neptune235, 04-17-2005

    SOURCE – link to songmeanings.net

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 11, 2015, 8:32 pm

      P.P.P.S. PROPAGANDHI LYRICS (“Cognitive Suicide”):

      You were a flash of light across a sky of total dark.
      You saw their shocked and gaping jaws then it all returned to black.
      There was a brief surge of panic, their eyes pressed tight.
      You brought a swarm of confusion to their bleak but simple lives.

      Cognitive suicide. Insular, pathetic minds
      try to cut you off at the knees so they won’t be left behind.
      If everything is bland and unambiguous,
      maybe they can understand how they fit into this place.

      Every time they fail they seek a victim for their spite.
      Some dismal need to crush someone beneath their feet.
      All their acrid words can’t ease their wounded hearts.
      Despite their claims they have no maps, no keys to any gates.

      Cognitive suicide. Insecure, regressive minds
      try to cut you off at the knees so they won’t be left behind.

      Petrified, frozen to imaginary times.
      Pay no mind, I hope they pass you by.
      Live your life and don’t apologize
      to the cowards of this world, they’re a waste of time.

      Everything’s in between.

      Are they terrified of unobscured and brilliant colours?
      Perhaps you cracked the door to their own forbidden worlds.

      Everything’s in between.
      Everything’s in between.
      Everything’s in between.

      ~ “Cognitive Suicide” by Propagandhi from the CD ‘Failed States’

      PROPAGHANDI – link to en.wikipedia.org

      LYRICS SOURCE – link to plyrics.com

      Propagandhi – Cognitive Suicide @ Tolmin Punk Rock Holiday 1.3 2013 live [VIDEO, 03:25] – link to youtube.com

      • niass2
        May 12, 2015, 12:59 am

        That is a bunch of nonsense? What does it mean. I like the actual article, and yes, elite opinion is changing. My so called marxist multi millionaire parents have been impressed by Israel’s savage behavior. They are Marxist Zionists who actually have values, and my dad told me last week that he is proud to be a Socialist and is glad we are European Jews, i.e,. have nothing to do with Israel. he has never been there, doesn’t want to go there, doesn’t like apartheid, and yes we are Democratic Marxists, kind of like Bernie Sanders. Whatever, Palestine will be, and Israel looks very small indeed. Even my buddies in the carpenters Union know that Israel is wrong and is a very nasty place. And they are catholic Republicans, not Marxists. They say it must be like Ireland, and they know what that means.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 12, 2015, 1:14 am

        My so called marxist multi millionaire parents have been impressed by Israel’s savage behavior. They are Marxist Zionists who actually have values, and my dad told me last week that he is proud to be a Socialist and is glad we are European Jews,

        oy vey oh my

      • amigo
        May 12, 2015, 12:30 pm

        “Even my buddies in the carpenters Union know that Israel is wrong and is a very nasty place. And they are catholic Republicans, not Marxists. They say it must be like Ireland, and they know what that means. niass2

        Care to elaborate?.

        From where I sit , (in Ireland) , Ireland is not in anyway like Israel.Ireland is not a Catholic nation.It is the Nation of the Irish People which includes Catholic/Protestants/Moslems/Hindus/and Jews and a fair smathering of atheists.

      • Mooser
        May 12, 2015, 3:34 pm

        “They are Marxist Zionists who actually have values, and my dad told me last week that he is proud to be a Socialist and is glad we are European Jews,”

        I understand how those kinds of Father-Son talks can be very inspiring, and shape a boy into the man he becomes. My own father, who survived much prosecution, once purposely caused me to tumble off the mantle-piece onto my head because he was worried about Prohibition coming back!

      • Mooser
        May 12, 2015, 3:39 pm

        It is the Nation of the Irish People which includes Catholic/Protestants/Moslems/Hindus/and Jews and a fair smathering of atheists.

        A Nation of Erin go bragh, or bra-less, as they prefer.

      • amigo
        May 12, 2015, 5:27 pm

        “A Nation of Erin go bragh, or bra-less, as they prefer.” Mooser.

        Two points for paying attention Mooser.

      • Mooser
        May 13, 2015, 3:40 pm

        “two points”
        The ‘joke’ (if it indeed rises to that level) was based on a silly word-conflation, and the absurdity of bringing the Ireland argument into it and does not reflect any perceived or actual lack of modesty among Irish women.

  16. John O
    May 12, 2015, 3:17 am

    Wow! These guys really, really hate Ilan Pappé. What was it about “a prophet is without honour in his own land”?

    • Walid
      May 12, 2015, 7:40 am

      That was J-C; he used it twice, once in referring to Elijah that performed a miracle on the Syrian at Sidon and another time in talking about himself.

  17. Rodneywatts
    May 12, 2015, 3:48 pm

    This excellent piece with Ilan Pappé has come at a time when many of us in the UK are coming to terms with an election result, far from that expected. Whilst economic concerns and the standing of the National Health Service (which I actively campaigned for) were uppermost in the public’s mind, I/P was in truth all but absent. However, Labour and other parties that would have repealed the current Health and Social Welfare Act 2012, would also have been the ones to voice strong criticism of Israel’s actions, for sure.

    Picking up with Ilan’s observation of the momentum of public opinion going in favour of justice in I/P, whilst the ‘elite’ lag behind because of ‘lobbies, ..financial investment, bribes, threats and disinformation’ which all happened to one degree or another during our election, it is clearly our duty to keep our lobby going. Just as I know there are many conservatives who believe in the NHS there are many who are not so pro-Israel as David Cameron appears to be. We just have to keep pointing out that a secure Israel depends on a secure Palestine free of apartheid, and all the criminal Israeli activities.

    Of course the last part of the preceding paragraph would not accord with some of our zio- supremacist contributors who have made such ignorant and terrible comments above.
    Ilan has found a home in Exeter which is the capital of my home County of Devon, and 45 miles from the village of Braunton where a kindly family fostered my father, who in WWII was amongst those fought and was wounded at Dunkirk. Some fathers paid the ultimate sacrifice so that Jews of all persuasions and of course goyim could live in freedom. BTW Exeter is home to the third oldest synagogue (1763) in the UK http://www.exetersynagogue.org.uk

    • RoHa
      May 12, 2015, 8:03 pm

      “my father, who in WWII was amongst those fought and was wounded at Dunkirk. Some fathers paid the ultimate sacrifice so that Jews of all persuasions and of course goyim could live in freedom. BTW Exeter is home to the third oldest synagogue (1763) in the UK”

      Doesn’t count. Still on “the continent that figured out how to and accomplished the murder of one third of the Jewish population in the world.”

      (Though not quite as much on that continent as Denmark, whose fishermen risked their lives smuggling Jews to Sweden. Not that that counts, either.)

      • Rodneywatts
        May 13, 2015, 6:06 am

        Hey RoHa, you are absolutely right! You just have to wonder, with some people, if there is any ability to differentiate attitudes and actions within regions and populace, as Ilan has pointed out above. Let’s face it, there were brave Germans who died for opposing Hitler, and now in Israel we see fascism.

        BTW, thank you for your comment above about the war damage to Exeter, and which I remember from visiting as a young kid after the war, and then the reconstruction. I did live in Exeter for 3 years in the 80’s –a really lovely place. Kind regards, Rodney

  18. amigo
    May 12, 2015, 5:32 pm

    Where is seafoid ???.

    • just
      May 12, 2015, 5:35 pm

      That is so freaky, amigo!!!

      I was on the brink of asking that very question right after thanking lysias for his comment and link @ 5:15 pm! Does anyone know where seafoid is?

      • bintbiba
        May 12, 2015, 6:01 pm

        Freaky’s the word, Just , amigo !
        I was on another website and thought of seafoid …came on here to ask…. and saw your and amigo’s very same question! Very weird!

        Where is the great seafoid?
        I hope he is well and happy …maybe having some time off from us miseryguts.

  19. NickJOCW
    May 12, 2015, 11:43 pm

    A very impressive exchange. It turns up the light making hitherto isolated observations come together. His bedrock message is the increasing public consciousness of Zionism as a dangerous element in the world despite most media lagging behind, and his exposition of that perception with his own arrival at it mirrors the process itself. A piece in Der Spiegel some days back is in line with it. link to m.spiegel.de . Of late I had begun to despair but having read this I feel better. I envy the students who study with him

    • Rodneywatts
      May 13, 2015, 8:18 am

      Thanks NickJOCW for link to online Der Spiegel, which I find you have referenced elsewhere. This is, indeed, not only in line with the record above, but is exceedingly important in its own right. It appears we are, at last, seeing guilt or over-compensation being replaced by common reason and humanity.

      I remember as a 14yr old in 1955 going on an anglo-german exchange, and staying on a farm owned by the widow of one of Hitler’s bodyguards, but worked by the family, whose son I exchanged with. The farm had one of its boundaries right on the DDR Grenze (border) with the towers and guards etc. active. Even though I was young, the general situation and conversations plus a few specific incidents made me aware of community tensions between those who held nazi sympathies and others. The added dimension was of course provided by the refugees from the DDR, one of whom was living in a ‘room’ above a barn, and worked on the farm.

      The Holocaust, of course, has been an enduring factor, but also there has remained a small but significant rightwing. In 1961/2 while I was assistant to my lecturer in German for scientists, an Austrian Jew, on a group visit to Frankfurt, confirmed my suspicions of two officials having nazi leanings. My late brother also became aware of it after being seconded from the RAF in the 70’s to the German Air Force in Wunstorf as Air Traffic Controller, and being billeted in private lodgings. His landlord and friends were fairly open with their sympathies. So, in a way, a degree of guilt felt by the majority and tolerance of Israel’s criminality may well have been prolonged as compensation for the continuing existence of the right–and manifested to this day, However, it appears that liberated Germany is coming of age, if the Spiegel report is true.

  20. a blah chick
    May 13, 2015, 7:44 am

    Marnie said : “What it means is that the Jewish society will not easily give up the privileged position it has – concealing the real motive for their stubbornness with national rhetoric of survival.”

    That puts me in mind of Judge Taney, when he ruled on the Dred Scott case: “…they (blacks) had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” At this point most Israeli Jews will not except equality with non Jews.

  21. Kathleen
    May 13, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Read once. Going to read again. Great interview. What a man of integrity. Very brave and moral. Hope folks are sharing, linking this piece where ever they can

  22. CitizenC
    May 14, 2015, 7:24 am

    Pappe is on the right track, the narrowness of Chomsky’s arguments over Palestine and the need to broaden them. Even if he doesn’t go far enough. The general argument is “the end of modern Jewish history”, my argument and others’ though my take is more critical.

    link to questionofpalestine.net

    It’s the same with BDS. The response to Chomsky’s attack on BDS in The Nation last summer shows that people realize how retrograde and out of touch he is. My arguments about his views on BDS ran much deeper than the Nation responders’, though I used some of their themes.

    link to questionofpalestine.net

  23. mcohen.
    May 17, 2015, 8:08 am

    mooser says sweetly

    But wasn’t it worth it all just to see Mr. Outreach’s attempt at an ethnic end-run? That was something, a memory I can keep in case I run out of ipecac It was, indeed, a fine piece of work. And perhaps it has had an effect!

    outreach is the cause…..overreach is the effect……..like gorging on power and then that sudden need for ipecac…….great word i/p e cac

    herzog was so close,and then just like that a whiff of sulphur brought all to there senses

    ah the disappointment ……it has been palpable but never mind because a better outcome has been reached

    hands tied with the 5 sided knot will bring about compromises a lot quicker and who knows

    Progress shall be made

    feel free to moderate

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