Tag Archives: exeter university

Ghada Karmi calls for “the end of a Jewish state in our region”.

Shabbat Shalom from the Neturei Karta's Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss at PRC.

Shabbat Shalom from the Neturei Karta's Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss at PRC.

Ghada Karmi, an Exeter University lecturer, yesterday called for “the end of a Jewish state in our region” at the Palestinian Return Conference held at SOAS, London.

Israel claims that the PRC is affiliated with Hamas.

Karmi describes herself as Palestinian eventhough she has spent most of her life in Britain. The title of her talk was Ending the Naqba.

She said she regretted that so few people were at the conference (200 in an auditorium that holds about 450).

But instead of taking this as proof that people are not interested in giving up a Saturday to hear lies she insisted that until more people were engaged it would be difficult to change the situation for the Palestinians.

She blamed Israel’s crimes on the West: “The Zionist project would never have succeeded without Western complicity. Criminals might want to rob you, kill you, rape your daughters but normally they do not get away with it. Israel’s total impunity is so unusual today.”

She thought that a two state solution was impossible and was therefore disappointed that the Palestinian Authority is now calling for a Palestinian state to be recognised on the West Bank.

Instead she suggested going back to the roots of the conflict, which involved “dispossession and theft of a whole country. That a thief is allowed to get away with it and is still thieving and stealing is the basis of the conflict. The only way to reverse that is on the basis of rights and justice; that is the right of return of the refugees and the dispossessed and the exiles back to their homeland. If that were to happen we know very well that that would be the end of a Jewish state in our region.”

Karmi: “end of a Jewish state in our region” (at 20 mins 30 secs.)

This induced a rant (see clip below) from Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta. Farcically, Weiss refused to use the microphone as it was Shabbat although he was freely producing business cards from his satchel.

You can see Weiss telling Karmi not to confuse “Jewish” with “Zionist”. Karmi tried to wriggle out of it claiming that she had nothing against Jews or Judaism and that she had meant “Zionist state”, but that it was Israel’s fault for defining itself as “Jewish” in the first place.

Karmi: “I have nothing against Jews or Judaism” (at 4 mins.)

But Israel is a Jewish state!

After carefully trying to build an argument that the Palestinians had been wronged in 1948 it was finally clear that, for Karmi, the basis of the conflict is that there is “a Jewish state in our region”.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, who is the author of Atlas of Palestine, spoke on the Mechanisms of Expulsion.

He referred to the “original sin” as being the Balfour Declaration and constantly compared the Israelis to the Nazis. He described how during the 1948 War Palestinians were made to dig their own graves before being shot dead. Others were shoved into concentration camps, which were referred to as “POW camps”.

He referred to all kibbutzim as “semi-military structures” and claimed that the reason for Israel’s existence was not to accommodate people but to create “the largest military base in the world” and if only these bases were removed then the Palestinians could return to their old homes.

He said that the people of Gaza are just “throwing projectiles” into southern Israel as a message to the people there to get out of their old homes.

He concluded that in this age of the internet no one can say they didn’t know about the “racism and apartheid” practised by Israel and, therefore, silence is tantamount to complicity with these crimes.

This farce was played out in front of the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Dr. Manuel Hassassian.

Full speech of Dr. Salman Abua Sitta at PRC.

Ilan Pappe: “You’re all just brainwashed”

It is one thing being abused by the audience, which I am regularly, but it is another thing being abused by the actual speaker at an Israel hate-fest.

At these meetings it is with trepidation that one raises an arm to ask a question or put Israel’s side of the case. The hatred is like no other I have felt before in any other place.

I have recently been called a “Holocaust denier”, “scum” and even , horror of horror, “from the Zionist Federation”.

But after listening to Ilan Pappe and Ronnie Kasrils speak at Parliament on Wednesday on Opposing Apartheid: Palestine and the experience of South Africa I approached Pappe.

Professor Pappe is an anti-Zionist Israeli who used to lecture at Haifa University. He claims that his views were so anathema to Israeli academia that he was hounded out of the country and now he is Professor of History at Exeter University.

I have read a lot of his work and have found him interesting on nationalism and identity so I wanted to ask him why he felt that there should be no Jewish state when there have always been Jews living in the area of what is now Israel, West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.

“Jews made up just 1% of the population and even they weren’t Zionist,” was his answer.

This bemused me especially as arch anti-Zionist Ben White quotes a Jewish population figure of 5%.

I told Pappe that I couldn’t understand the relevance of whether these Jews were Zionist or not. Surely, their mere presence as Jews was proof enough of uninterrupted Jewish lineage in the area. And it wasn’t as if the 500,000 Arabs there considered themselves “Palestinian”.

I asked Pappe where he got the “1%” statistic from and he referred me to Ottoman records. I questioned how he was sure they were accurate but he’d had enough and said “You’re all just brainwashed”.

Imagine you are a student with a £20,000 loan and you ask Pappe a simple question like that in class but get told you are “brainwashed”.

Pappe is also a prolific writer on how Jews “ethnically cleansed ” the Palestinians.

I would be shocked and amazed if he ever offered an alternative view to his history students about the complex events on the Israeli-Arab war that took place between 1947-1949. For Pappe there is only one view: It was Zionist policy to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians.

But would he, for example, recommend his students to read Benny Morris who has a much more nuanced view of what took place in 1947-1949?

But one of Pappe’s most undesirable comments was reserved for Jewish students in the UK. Just after leaving Israel for the UK he gave an interview to the Times Higher Education Supplement of 6 April 2007:

“By concentrating their efforts on defending Israel, Jewish student groups were exacerbating this perception. They then risked drawing Muslim anger against the state of Israel upon themselves.”

His insinuation was that if Jewish students support Israel they only have themselves to blame if something dreadful happens to them. It was his warning for Jewish students to just shut up.

I did a Masters at SOAS and came across no problems from any Muslim students or Muslims in general when Israel/Palestine was discussed on campus.

The only insults came from middle-aged hard-lefties consumed with rage that the Jews can have state.

Yet, now Pappe comes here trying to stir up trouble and silence Jewish students.

Is this the sort of person who should be lecturing our students?

Really, Exeter University seems to be doing itself no credit by giving Pappe tenure.