Special Column (No title: Attack on Pappe for Supporting Boycott)
From the www.monabaker.com archive (legacy material)
Ben-Dror Yemini (translated from Hebrew original) | Ma’ariv | 29 April 2005
Who was the author of the following: “Transfer is the official policy of an Israeli academic institution… transfer appeared as a proposed strategy submitted to the government by senior Labour Party ministers… transfer is openly supported by professors and media commentators. Few in Israel dare to condemn transfer.”
Needless to say there is no academic institution that submitted a proposal of transfer, there are no Labour Party ministers who submitted a transfer proposal to the government and there is not one known commentator in the leading Israeli papers who supports transfer. And needless to add that there is an overwhelming majority in the academia, the media as well as the general public who oppose transfer.
However, there is one academic who has made it a central occupation to disseminate libels against Israel with the declared aim of annihilating it. This man is so addicted to his own lies that he will not allow facts to confuse him. These words of incitement – and there are many more such – he published in the Egyptian Al-Aharam paper. Demonization of the Jews is the well known method of the old antisemites. Demonization of Israel is the expanding method of the new antisemites.
Doctor Ilan Pappe, who wrote these things, is one of the senior new antisemites. Not every criticism of Israel is antisemitic. Israel deserves to be criticized. But libel is not criticism. It certainly does not come under “freedom of academic expression”, just as a blood-libel published by a Saudi professor does not. Pappe may be the most internationally sought after Israeli academic. His merchandise has avid purchasers. And this vile man has built a career from this antisemitism paraded as “mere” anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism.
Pappe does not struggle against the occupation. He struggles against the very existence of the state of Israel. Likewise the initiators and supporters of the boycott. The problem is no longer Ilan Pappe. The trouble is the dozens of academics who back him. They speak of “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by Israel, a term that brings to the European mind the Nazi regime. They speak of “genocide”, that never happened.
Whoever thought that the influence of this handful – and they are a peripheral minority in Israeli academia – is as meager as their numbers, was last week proven wrong. It is a minority that has brought about an academic boycott upon Israel. The harm is done. Those elements in the Arab Palestinian world, who know Israel cannot be annihilated by force of arms know that the way of doing it is demonization. We should not underestimate them. The battle is waged on television screens, in the press and the campuses. It is conducted by means of indoctrination that presents Israel as the perpetrator of all the wrongs of the world. Only a few weeks ago Pappe published an article along these lines. He is galloping.
The academic boycott is a step in the stage by stage strategy of annihilating the state of Israel. Every academic, every research institution that will collaborate with the English, would be declaring his assent to the boycott. It is just like going into a restaurant with a “blacks not allowed” sign on the door.
Doctor Gadi Taub published a call, in English, to boycott the boycotters. Until the sign is pulled down this is the right path to follow. This is the test of Israeli academics. Do not collaborate with Ilan Pappe. Do not cooperate with the hypocritical haters of Israel. Now is your, our, time of trial. You, we, had better stand it.