Editor, Daily Nexus,
I attended Thursday’s lecture by Ilan Pappe (an event from the Center for Middle East Studies) and I am dismayed and disgusted that an academic department at my university would bring this self-proclaimed ideologue to campus. Pappe began his speech by stating that Israeli revisionist historians, among whom he counts himself, have “a dim line between their activism on one hand, and their academics on the other.”
His accusations were completely unfounded. He said that most Israelis don’t speak Arabic, when in fact all Israeli schoolchildren are required to learn Arabic. He said that “most Israelis believe the only way to survive is to eliminate the Palestinians,” when in fact polls over the past 30 years have consistently shown that most Israelis support the idea of a Palestinian state. He said that during the Oslo Accords, Israel offered only 18 to 20 percent of Palestinian land demands, when Israel actually offered 95 percent of Palestinian land demands, including a share in Jerusalem. This was an unprecedented concession in world history. No other country has ever offered a piece of its capital city in peace negotiations. Yasser Arafat walked away from the negotiating table without a counteroffer.
When questioned about the need to present a balanced perspective, Pappe replied, “I don’t think my presentation is balanced.” Mr. Pappe, I don’t think your presentation is balanced either. And I’m not impressed by it. As long as we continue to accept and legitimize this kind of false propaganda, there will be no hope for a just peace in the Middle East.