ILAN PAPPE is a hero
of violation of UN resolutions (242)...
ANALYSIS: Chapel bringing in anti-Israel speaker
By MICHAEL C. DUKE
• Thu, Nov 25, 2010
A partisan revisionist historian is returning to Houston for a program
on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The Rothko Chapel is hosting a lecture by Ilan Pappé, titled "Gaza in
Crisis," on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.
Pappé is author, along with Noam Chomsky, of the new book, "Gaza in
Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians." Other
titles by Pappé include "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" (2006) and
"The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-1951" (1994).
Rothko's upcoming speaker is regarded as a "new historian," whose aim
is to debunk the purported "Zionist narrative" of Israeli history,
specifically of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The "new historians" depict
Zionism as the "original sin" underlying the Mideast region's recent
Pappé's contributions to this effort include portraying the State of
Israel as a colonial usurper that deliberately and premeditatedly
disinherited the indigenous population from its land.
He accuses Israel of committing repeated massacres of Palestinians.
Other claims include arguing that, through collusion, Israel's 1948
War of Independence had a predetermined outcome. His views on Gaza are
consistent with his other writings.
Pappé has publicly supported boycotts against Israel and has advocated
for the destruction of Israel through calls for a "one-state solution"
and a "right of return" of Palestinians.
Agenda over facts
A political science professor and historian by profession, Pappé has
self-identified as a "relativist." In a 1999 interview, he explained:
"I am not as interested in what happened as in how people see what
He went further by professing to be an ideologue. "I admit that my
ideology influences my historical writings," he said. "Indeed, the
struggle is about ideology, not about facts."
Pappé has earned praise from like-minded colleagues and political
circles. Journalist John Pilger, for example, called Pappé "Israel's
bravest, most principled, most incisive historian."
Pappé twice (1996 and '99) ran failed bids for the Israeli Knesset as
a member of Hadash, a socialist-Marxist, non-Zionist party whose
platform includes backing a Palestinian "right of return" and whose
appeal includes Arab nationalists.
Observers have noted that Pappé's popularity, in part, is due to the
fact that he's Israeli Jewish-born.
Rothko Chapel has hosted presentations in the past by other Jewish
anti-Israel advocates, like Baylor University's Marc Ellis, along with
anti-Israel advocates who are not Jewish, like Rice University's
Ussama Makdisi and Columbia University's Rashid Khalidi. Rothko hosted
a follow-up program to Ellis' lecture by an outside request.
The Chapel's Israel-related programming has been narrow, with
presenters, in varying degrees, depicting Israel as an illegal entity;
a pariah; a colonial, racist and/or apartheid state; one that is
guilty of ethnic cleansing and war crimes; and one that bears
responsibility for the region's conflicts.
Mainstream scholars largely ignore or dismiss Pappé's work.
King's College London professor Efraim Karsh, for example, has
published detailed books and papers showing where and how the "new
historians," Pappé included, have fabricated and/or distorted Israeli
history as part of a political agenda.
In "Fabricating Israeli History: The 'New Historians'" (1997), Karsh
writes of Pappé and his colleagues: "[T]he self-styled 'new
historians' are neither new nor true historians, but partisans seeking
to provide academic respectability to long-standing misconceptions and
prejudices relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict. They are scarcely
'new' since most of their 'factual discoveries,' and some of their
interpretations, are effectively nothing more than an attempt to
reinvent the wheel; and they are anything but historians, because,
taking in vain the name of the archives, they violate all tenets of
bona fide research in their endeavor to rewrite Israeli history in an
image of their own devising."
Karsh's latest book, "Palestine Betrayed" (2010), includes an appendix
in which the author calculates the number of Palestinian refugees on a
village-to-village basis, using British, Jewish and Arab population
figures, and the reasons for their departure. These figures alone
rebut Pappé's "ethnic cleansing" thesis.
Even some "new historians" have been critical of Pappé's claims. Benny
Morris, for example, reviewed Pappé's 2004 book, "A History of Modern
Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples," and called the work "appalling."
Other critics of Pappé's, like the Committee for Accuracy in Middle
East Reporting in America and StandWithUs, find that while Pappé
attacks what he views as the "Zionist narrative," he uncritically
accepts the Palestinian narrative.
Pappé left a teaching post at the University of Haifa amid a 2000
scandal involving a disqualified thesis. Pappé's student, Theodore
Katz, was found to have falsified testimony "gravely and severely" in
his work. Pappé reportedly faced discipline for not meeting academic
standards and yet continued to back Katz's claims, which Katz,
himself, later revised. Pappé now teaches at the University of Exeter
in the U.K.
Pappé has lectured in Houston before. In February 2006, Rice's Makdisi
organized a Pappé presentation titled, "The Peace Charadein Palestine
and Israel." This program was one in a controversial multi-part series
that eventually lost a sponsor due to its biased agenda.
Pappé fits into Rothko Chapel's 'human rights' mission, director says
The JH-V contacted Rothko Chapel regarding Ilan Pappé's Dec. 9 "Gaza
in Crisis"" lecture.
Questions pertained to how this program was organized and vetted, how
it is funded and how it fits into the Chapel's mission. The JH-V also
asked if the Chapel is interested in pursuing more balanced Israel
Emilee Dawn Whitehurst, the organization's executive director, replied
with the following statement (in full):
"The Rothko Chapel is a sacred space dedicated to art, spirituality
and human rights. As an interfaith space, the Chapel is alive with
ceremonies and spiritual practices led by members of the world's major
religious traditions. It was the conviction of the founders, John and
Dominique de Menil, that from deep and thoughtful faith comes
attention to the betterment of humanity, thus the Chapel also
functions as a forum to address matters of worldwide concern.
"As concerns human rights, the Chapel has a long tradition of
presenting well-respected scholars, public intellectuals, journalists
and advocates who investigate injustice. In keeping with that
practice, the Chapel will present scholar Ilan Pappé, who was born in
Haifa, Israel, to German-Jewish parents who fled Nazi persecution and
is professor of history at the University of Exeter, to discuss
universal human rights concerns as they relate to the particular
challenges facing residents of Gaza.
"Funding is provided, in part, by the Lannan Foundation, as well as
individual contributions. No public funding is involved.
"Programming decisions at the Chapel are handled by a committee of the
board of directors. The Chapel regularly presents programs in
collaboration with other organizations and individuals and welcomes
suggestions for speakers and programs in keeping with its mission."
OK, sorry for the hate-speech reading exercise... here
is a video by Pappe... may the facts prevail