Jews under attack at Centre for Palestine Studies as Ilan Pappe comes to SOAS.

Jews came under fire last night at the Centre for Palestine Studies, based at SOAS and under the chairmanship of Gilbert Achcar. It was irrelevant if you are a Jew in Israel, Scotland, Wales or England. Ilan Pappe, the CPS guest speaker, doesn’t discriminate.

Pappe, a lecturer at Exeter University, started by saying he wished “to answer the riddle of the growing gap between the image Israeli Jews have of themselves and the external image the world has of them”. In North Korea the gap between the view North Koreans have of themselves and that of them by outside world would not be much different, but in Israel there is “genuine difference”.

He said the Zionist movement in Israel should be credited for its marketing skills, particularly the way it marketed both Palestine as a land without a people for a people without a land and also Israel as a European country. This helped “absolve them from what they did to the native population”.

Israel, he said, therefore appeared to be a democracy while actually being an “ethnic racist state”. Israel had succeeded in “marketing an oppressive reality as a democratic one”.

Israel had marketed Zionism, he said, to include such enlightenment concepts as liberalism, capitalism and social democracy. And Zionism was far more successful than other ideas because it was “born after the failures of Nazism and fascism”.

Such branding and marketing, according to Pappe, had been done via academia and fiction.

Israeli academics, he said, undertook a “willing role to commodify the Zionist project on the basis of so-called scientific research”. And books and films like EXODUS showed Zionist figures looking like “Aryan Israelis”, while the Palestinians looked “like either Osama Bin Laden or ET”.

But, Pappe said, at one stage certain Israelis had an “epiphany”. Using the same methodology of books, articles and films they challenged these “truisms of Zionism by re-examining the Zionist project from the beginning”.

They showed Israel was a “settler colonial society, an aggressive society and a discriminatory society”. However, they got “cold feet” when challenged and apologised before disappearing without trace, some being forced to leave Israel.

However, this same methodology has now been adopted by people outside Israel which, according to Pappe, worries Israel. Israel can “stifle criticism and crush those who don’t toe the line from within” but cannot do the same to those outside Israel.

In response to this, Pappe said, the Israeli elite has re-adopted the Zionist dogma in a “neo-Zionist” form, which is far harsher and less flexible than the original. Such “neo-Zionism” being symbolised by the likes of Netanyahu, Bennett and Lieberman.

Pappe said he was worried how Israel would react to a new, even non-violent, Palestinian Intifada as “the Israel of 2014 is worse than the Israel of 1987 and 2ooo. It is a more ruthless Israel”.

“Neo-Zionism”, Pappe explained, attempts to combine liberal and theocratic ideas of how to live as Jews in the twentieth century and is a “lethal combination if you are the enemy”. Pappe said this is “not easy to sell as a liberal democracy”.

“Israeli society is neo-Zionist. Most (Jewish Israelis) want an ethnic racist state. There are no liberal Zionists anymore,” he said. He cited Peter Beinart, J Street and Ari Shavit as the last possible bastions of liberal Zionism.

Pappe said that in 2005 the Israeli government created Brand Israel Group (BIG), to target the Jewish community in America, despite already having America “in its pocket”. Israel, he said, is doubtful of their support in the future.

Pappe said his publisher, Verso, would neither allow him to show the fairly explicit posters in his new book that were used by Israel to “appeal to the Jewish homosexual community in New York City” nor those aimed at Jewish heterosexuals. The idea being, Pappe said, if you like this sexy woman you might like Israel’s occupation.

By 2010, however, this campaign was seen by Israel to have failed and so, Pappe said, Israel’s new policy was to distract the opposition. Instead of trying to win an argument about “apartheid and ethnic cleansing” activists were urged to say, for example, “But Israel invented chewing gum!”.

Pappe said Israel had also been successful in convincing Jews in other countries that Israel is their story as well. He said he was once confronted by Jews in Edinburgh and that he had told them in no uncertain terms that Israel was not their story.

Then at the end of last night’s event when I criticised his lecture he asked me in Hebrew if I speak Hebrew, presumably to imply that Israel is not my story either. Ironically, your typical SOAS audience member has absolutely no connection with the Palestinians and cannot speak Arabic.

The final irony is that the marketing and branding Pappe accuses Israel of doing is just what he does! For example, during his talk he urged his audience to use “settler colonialism”, “Israeli apartheid”, “regime change” and “ethnic cleansing” when discussing Israel.

(I have been banned by SOAS, under threat of legal action, from filming or taking photos at these events without permission. All my requests for permission have since been declined. Others are permitted to film and take photos.)

41 responses to “Jews under attack at Centre for Palestine Studies as Ilan Pappe comes to SOAS.

  1. So everything we can see in Israel every day, its functioning as a democracy, with free elections, press, justice, etc. is just a fiction and Pappe is the one who knows the truth.
    I’m quite happy for him!

    • That’s usually how paranoid schizophrenics operate, Jose.
      He really, really should see a professional.

    3rd paragraph from the end, Pappe says:
    ” ‘We do [historiography] because of ideological reasons, not because we are truth seekers.’

  3. ‘The final irony is that the marketing and branding Pappe accuses Israel of doing is just what he does! For example, during his talk he urged his audience to use “settler colonialism”, “Israeli apartheid”, “regime change” and “ethnic cleansing” when discussing Israel.’

    Exactly! *All* regimes, nations and causes engage in lobbying, branding, spinning and work on PR. Yet when Israel does it some present that as peculiar and sinister.


  4. Well, guess Herzl saw it correctly since what is the solution for a Jew that does not wish to stay in the ghetto or be a Halachic person ?….Must it be all or nothing? Israel offers a solution since you are a billiard ball that probably won’t be knocked off the table but will feel the bumpers..
    Israel it seems has no choice but to rely on itself since the real battle remains between universalism and parochialism and a world that seeks to de legitimize Jews connection to the ancient Jewish homeland.
    Even “if” Israel is a self created Jewish myth I would wager that even if indeed Israel was created in Africa these days we would still hear calls for her destruction. History is still showing the Jews need a haven…somewhere…

  5. Israel is not ‘marketing’, it is rebuffing the lies that the haters such as Pappe vomit out every time they open their mouths. If all who surround you put you down, you have the right to speak out.

    The liars call Israel an apartheid state – obviously it is not and we say so. Israel’s neighbours operate sexual, gender, racial, religious and political intolerance. Israel doesn’t so why does Pappe think it wrong to say so?

    It is totally outrageous that Richard has been banned by SOAS from filming and recording on campus, while others are permitted to do so. It illustrates not just the discrimination of the University, but the way its administration has caved in to the demands of people who demand to be treated differently and better than others.

    Not for nothing is SOAS known by some as the School Of Anti Semitism.

    • Richard needs an ally to do the filming he is barred from doing.

      Socialist, Islamofascist CENSORSHIP is a moral and ethical crime.

      • Richard needs an ally to do the filming
        Or more than one, from different places in the room.

  6. Pappe said :”And Zionism was far more successful than other ideas because it was “born after the failures of Nazism and fascism”.”

    I thought he was suppose to be an historion. No wonder he tells so many lies being such a bad historion.

    • Naziism was defeated in 1945, but fascism in Islamofascist regimes and socialist entities is alive. See Greece, Hungary, fascist Iran.

  7. I don’t speak Yiddish. Does that mean I have no connection to my family who lived (and some died) in Poland, or for that matter, my own grandfather? I don’t speak Hebrew, does that mean I don’t have any connection with that same family who made it to Israel after 1948?

  8. Pat Condell has uploaded another gem.

  9. Ironic, isn’t it, that the London universities, founded in the 1820s to award degrees to non-Anglicans, mainly Jews, who could not graduate from Oxford or Cambridge for religious reasons, are now hotbeds of antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism?

  10. Richard, do they have a legal leg to stand on allowing some to film and forbidding under threat, one particular person?

    • richardmillett

      The excuse they are giving me is that the event organisers have the right to film their own events. Meanwhile, the soas event i was at tonight many were taking photos on their camera phones. I do not understand why they are stopping me. Well, I do understand really. They seem to have been leant on.

      • Solution is to get there with an friend to do it. I doubt there could be any copyright to a public event.

  11. Benny Morris on Pappe: “At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest. In truth, he probably merits a place somewhere between the two “

    • Actually, Pappe could be both the sloppiest and dishonest simultaneously.

      What would be the chances of Pappe agreeing to debate Morris, or of SOAS inviting the two to debate? (None, I imagine, as Morris would make a complete fool of Pappe.)

  12. I challenged him once after a panel discussion, and asked him how it was that Muslim refugees from Darfur spurned all the Arab/Muslim states and trekked a thousand miles to seek sanctuary in the world’s only Jewish state.

    He was furious, had no answer, pulled his silly knitted hat over his ears and turned away.

  13. i was listening to this guy and realised he was mentioned in your blog post, ‘jeff halper’

    listen to this, especially where he talks about isreal creating a super race out of robots to take over the way.

    i also saw illan pappe on abc tv here totally delegitimising israel without anyone to counter argue or debate his lies, and the audience hung onto every word because he is israeli.

    with these idiots representing israel it’s hard to imagine how the cause of israel can gain any ground at all.

  14. henry schachter

    TRAITORS exist in every society he is the epitome of this phenomenon.

  15. You do a great job for Jews and Israel, Richard Millett. What a dangerous and volatile situation exists now internationally for Jews; it’s remindful of the 1930s in many ways, however being conducted differently and not as transparently., with use of euphemism, lies and distorted facts. We need the likes of Richard.

  16. Rich
    You should add that Pappe mentioned he maintains a second home in Israel . If he finds Israel so unbearable why doesn’t he sever the umbilical cord completely . He’s in the same league as Barghouti who studies for a Masters at Tel Aviv University while working for the destruction of the Jewish state that allows him the right of freedom of speech . It’s hard to imagine two bigger hypocrites .

  17. The fact remains he’s a third rate historian and a first rate polemicist .
    If he wasn’t so obviously thick skinned he would have been embarrassed by the fact his audience consisted of a motley bunch of undergrads , BDS campaigners , and a few wrinkly ‘ stoppers ‘ rather than an audience comprising academics and historians .

    • Why is anyone, other than the useless ‘university’ of Exeter, even call him a ‘historian’ at all? He isn’t.

  18. Arab countries are “ethnic racist states” because they all – except Lebanon – have a constitutional clause like the former Irish Art 3 that establishes a privileged position in the history, culture, administration and politics of the said states. Further Arab countries have imposed Arabic on their minority Aramaic speakers in the Levant, Kurds in the North of the Fertile Crescent and Berbers in North Africa; and have harried non-Moslem Jewish and Christian communities to leave: Egypt, ex-French N. Africa, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
    As for Israel being “neo” anything, that is funny about one of the oldest nations on Earth. Sticking “neo” on an epithet shows a lack of any new analysis to add to the discussion. Finally societies get the Jews they deserve even as the bosses get the trade-unions they deserve. If the Arabs like the erstwhile European imperialists had cut their losses before 1967 (or even in 1967 when Israel offered to return to the Green Line for a peace treaty) and got on with the rest of their lives instead of harassing Israel they would not have driven her to the political right to survive.

  19. henry schachter

    Sorry, forgot. you can add that Finklestein mumser to the list of Moosers!

  20. Pingback: Bibi declared “most dangerous political world leader today” at Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS. | RichardMillett's Blog

  21. “absolve them from what they did to the native population”

    This is triplespeak nonsense of the highest order. Israel is routinely bashed by BDSM precisely because they presume it to be a “European” country that should know better how to treat the “native” population because of Europe’s post-war Anti-Imperialist “enlightenment”.

    • Like saying the Holocaust did not exist, that the Jews should know better than to Holocaust the “Palestinians” and that the Jews are responsible for what happened to them in WW II?

  22. Pappe is a breathtaking liar. This video proves it irrefutably through giant world headlines of the 1948 Arab invasion – an event Pappe denies happened. (He says the “Nakba” was the work of a Jewish “cabal” – his word.)

    And when Pappe goes off on “colonialism,” someone really needs to ask him whether it was gold, diamonds, or big game hunting his parents were after when they left Nazi Germany.

    • I wish pappe and his fellow regressive progressive reactionaries a

      Happy and ETERNAL NAKBA!

  23. The same old broken record being played yet again…..these people really believe their own lies!

    • They are clinically disturbed.

      • Definitely. It’s what we get from the BDS every week when Sussex Friends of Israel stage their counter-demonstration outside EcoStream in Brighton. What the BDS don’t realise is that a boycott will only harm the Palestinian workers employed there and that they work alongside Israelis. An Apartheid state? Please!! Do me a favour!!

  24. The denial on here is very telling! Apartheid due to its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and de facto expropriation of their land. I can go on for days! Why waste time on the deluded zionists in denial though!

    • The Apartheid is due to Arab antisemitism, Arab misoginy, Arab xenophobia, Arab anti-gay laws etc.
      There is absolutely no Apartheid in Israel as anyone having spent time there knows.

    • Flake, Your denial is very telling!

      Islamist Apartheid due to systematic Islamist oppression of girls, gays, Infidels, the wrong kind of Muslim and the de facto expropriation of other peoples land. I can go on for days!

      Why do Regressive “Progressives” back people who stone girls to death over “family honor”, execute gay teens, use poison gas (a WMD) in Syria, execute opponents and drag their bodies through the street, hijack passenger planes, bomb passenger planes like Pan Am 103, bomb the Boston Marathon, murder hundreds in Mumbai India, Nairobi Kenya, murder 135,000+ in Syria, praise socialist hitler, celebrate the 9/11 attacks (
      andy choudry and his “magnificent 19” event, behead people like Daniel Pearl and Lee Rigby, provide a safe haven for osama bin laden?

  25. gary aka captain mission

    edward i don’t think you will get an answer so allow me to answer for you.
    it’s simply this, we are currently living in a zombie apocalypse, it’s not quite like the ones we see on the movies but similar. the zombie hordes are brainwashed and almost indifferent to logic, reason or understanding, the only thing they can do is follow the basic program while the united nations pull their strings, they are impervious to comprehending their own condition. the solution is simple, like all zombie movies, aim for the head (metaphorically) speaking.