The wish fulfilled

With Jewish immigration to Germany now higher than to Israel – after all, moving to the Jewish state isn’t exactly appealing for the sanest minds – sad but predictable news from one of Israel’s finest thinkers:

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.”… 

More encouraging is the small but growing Jewish voices of dissent across the globe – a contribution to Murdoch’s Australian Literary Review this month is a key example – and suggests that the Zionist stranglehold over matters related to Israel/Palestine is coming to a close. They won’t go down without a fight, of course, but the facts are so damning, and Israel’s aggression and isolation so obvious, that blind, unrepentant and uncritical Zionism is revealed as its own worst enemy.