Historia Inmediata

Intifada Palestina

Recibí de un colega (judío) activo en el movimiento en favor de la paz entre Israel y Palestina este mensaje acerca de un proceso para expulsar de la universidad al Dr. Pappe, un profesor de la Universida de Haifa, que hizo público su apoyo a la tesis de Katz sobre la matanza de Tantura en 1948. Se puede ver en esta amenaza un intento de silenciar a un académico que busca desde la universidad en difundir la verdad sobre la estrategia terrorista del estado de Israel en contra de los Palestinos. Hubo matanzas de miles de Palestinos y destrucción de otros 400 pueblos en 1947 y 1948 por el ejército israelí. Durante decenios los Israelis tuvieron aceso solámente a la versión heroíca de esa historia sangrienta. Es tiempo que la opinión israelí se percate de su responsabilidad en el inicio de la tragedía palestina. Los opositores a la tesis (MA, Haifa, 1998) de Katz tratan de discreditar la interpretación, negando que los testimonios de los sobrevientes palestinos fueran fidedignos!

Claude Morin
Université de Montréal
[email protected]



Date Sun, 12 May 2002 101306 +0100

From Ilan Pappe

Subject The expulsion of Pappe

Dear Friends,

I have received today an invitation to stand for a trial in my university, the university of Haifa. The prosecution, represented by Haifa Dean’s of humanities demands my expulsion from the university due to the positions I have taken on the Katz affair. It calls upon the court ‘to judge Dr. Pappe on the offences he has committed and to use to the full the court’s legal authority to expel him from the university". These offences are in a nutshell my past critique of the university’s conduct in the Katz affair, the MA student who discovered the Tantura massacre in 1948 and was disqualified for that. The reason the university waited so long is that now the time is ripe in Israel for any act of silencing academic freedom. My intent to teach a course on the Nakbah next year and my support for boycott on Israel has led the university to the conclusion that I can only be stopped by expulsion.

Judging by past procedures this is not a request, but already a verdict, given the position of the person in question in the university and the way things had been done in the past. The ostensible procedure of a ‘fair trial’ does not exist and hence I do not even intend to participate in a McCarthyist charade.

I do not appeal to you for my own sake. I ask you at this stage before a final decision has been taken to voice your opinion in whatever form you can and to whatever stage you have access to, not in order to prevent my expulsion (in many ways in the present atmosphere in Israel it will come now, and if not now later on, as the Israeli academia has deiced almost unanimously to support the government and to help silence any criticism). I ask those who are willing to do so, to take this case as part of your overall appreciation of, and attitude to, the preset situation in Israel. This should shed light also on the debate whether or not to boycott Israeli academia.

This is not, I stress, and an appeal for personal help ­ my situation is far better than that of my colleagues in the occupied territories living under the daily harassment and brutal abuses of the Israeli army. It is an opening gambit and many of colleagues, especially my Palestinian Israeli colleagues, can be next. A testimony to the tragic circumstances of my own university is that I know there is no use in distributing this letter on its internal web-site, as all of my colleagues in the past when it came to the crucial moment - for understandable reasons - felt they could do very little to help me, without risking their own position in the university.

I know many of you have access to world media and can help to expose the already dismal picture and false pretense of Israel of being the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’.


Ilan Pappe