Author Archives: Stephen Shenfield

About Stephen Shenfield

Stephen Shenfield is a British-born writer. After several years as a government statistician, he entered the field of Soviet Studies. He was active in the nuclear disarmament movement. Later he came to the U.S. and taught International Relations at Brown University. He is the author of Russian Fascism: Traditions, Tendencies, Movements (M.E. Sharpe, 2001). He now works as an independent researcher and translator. He is a member of the World Socialist Movement. A collection of his writings is on his new website at

Perpetrators of the Nakba

While the testimony of survivors plays a vital role in establishing the facts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, an approach that focuses on perpetrators can tell us much more about why such events occur. Many studies have examined perpetration at the level of ideology and top-level power politics. Studies of perpetrators at lower levels – the people whose violent acts directly accomplish genocide and ethnic cleansing – are rarer, though studies of this type also yield valuable insights.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Nakba | 30 Comments

The day the general came (and the lobby tried to get me fired)

In August 1997, while a research associate at the Watson Institute of International Studies, Brown University (Providence, RI), I was asked whether I would be willing to host an Israeli general named Baruch Spiegel who was coming to the United States on an official propaganda tour. As my views were well known, I was surprised to be asked and the colleague who asked me was surprised that I said yes. I was curious. I wanted to see what an Israeli general was like, and hoped to learn something from observing such a creature at close quarters.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation | 23 Comments

How I discovered the Nakba

Stephen Shenfield grew up in a Jewish family in the North London suburb of Muswell Hill. This is the story of how his family rejected Zionism and how he discovered the truth about the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland – the Nakba (although he was not to learn the word itself until much later).

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Nakba | 16 Comments