Haifa University: We Won't Fire Ilan Pappe

Haifa University is not planning to bring disciplinary action against Ilan Pappe despite his role in persuading Britain’s Association of University Teachers (AUT) to boycott the university, according to university president, Aaron Ben-Ze’ev.
Pappe published a letter in the British Guardian newspaper accusing Haifa University of discriminating against him because of his outspoken pro-Palestinian opinions. He called on the AUT to boycott the university as a tactic to ensure pro-Palestinian views continue to be expressed.
“A very precise and focused policy of pressure on the university allowed me, albeit under restriction and systematic harassment, to purse my classes and research,” Pappe wrote, adding that many Arab students at the university do not feel safe to express their own support for the Palestinians.
However, Ben-Ze’ev told the Jerusalem Post that Pappe’s moral stance was “gravely disturbing” and strongly denied Pappe’s claims that the university planned to dismiss him for defending Teddy Katz, a student accused of misrepresenting facts in a controversial thesis three years ago. Katz accused Israel of massacring Arab villagers in Tantura in 1948. His thesis was rejected, however, after an independent committee concluded Katz had distorted quotes from taped interviews and failed to substantiate the accusations.
“I think that a person who calls to boycott his university should join the boycott and resign immediately from the university,” Ben-Ze’ev said. “It is difficult to describe a greater moral injury to academic freedom than the behavior of someone who has been bullying his colleagues and calling to boycott them. It is bizarre that he has chosen to attack the very same university that has exercised such a policy of tolerance towards him.”

6 thoughts on “Haifa University: We Won't Fire Ilan Pappe

  1. If they don’t protect themselves Haifa University then deserves what is coming to them.
    Anybody who slanders should be punished – adn itf you don’t punish them tehn when their slander takes hold you can blame yourself.

  2. Indeed. At most universities there are regulations that stipulate that, above all else, faculty must preserve the integrity of the university’s reputation. A professor, even one of tenure, might find themselves without a job at many other venerable institutions for attempting to publically humiliate their employer.
    Therefore, this entire debacle only demonstrates how academically tolerant Haifa U is, and only serves to further highlight the hypocracy of the AUT.
    Further, his academic dishonesty at willfully ignoring the easily demonstratable factual errors of the student’s thesis only serves as a warning to how truth and understanding can take a back seat to blind ideology.

  3. I;m usually pretty left. I’ve read some of Pappe’s work, and I generally think its pretty good. But, he’s really f’ed this up. It seems like he is biting the hand that feeds him. If there were good reason (Haifa U is supplying technology for the occupation, is employing Palestinian slave labor, whatever) it would be a different story, but since its over a contested thesis it really makes Pappe, and the left in general, look pretty stupid and petty. Oy. Once again the left shoots itself in the foot. For some interesting commentary on this whole boycott thing, including a piece by Baruch Kimmerling and a response weighing how anti-occupation Jews can respond to this mess, check out JVP.

  4. Yes, I want to be party to the following:
    (1) The singling out of Israel again and only Israel.
    (2) I agree and support further incitement, criticism and censorship against Israel and Israel alone.
    (3) I believe that this singling out of Israeli academics for academic boycott is perfectly justified because it is not a singling out of Israeli academics but merely an application of a policy that is consistent and applied equally to all other nations.
    (4) I believe that those bringing this motion have also carefully considered the policies of, for example, the following non-exhaustive list of sovereign governments and sincerely believe that it is not necessary for academics of those countries, including those living outside of those countries, to sign a statement disavowing those policies:
    Algeria and her Berber minorities.
    Sudan and her Darfuris and Dinka minorities.
    Morocco and her subjugation of the Sahawis people.
    China and her occupation of Tibet.
    Iran and her Kurdish, Bahais minorities.
    Turkey and its Kurdish minority.
    (5) I believe that it is not necessary for academics of Arab countries, including those who reside with their families outside of their countries, to sign a statement disavowing those policies of their Arab governments (most notably, Saudi Arabia) towards non Muslims and women.
    (6) I believe that only Islam and Arabs have legitimacy and historical rights in the Middle East to the total exclusion of all other peoples, nations, religions and creeds.
    (7) I believe that Israel is a colonial entity deserving of everlasting criticism and censorship because the Jewish people, Judaism and Hebrew are imports from Antartica without any Middle Eastern connections whatsoever. I do not believe that Islam and Christianity have their roots in Judaism, do not accept that both Islam and Christianity make reference to Judaism and believe that Jesus was a Buddhist.
    Similarly, I do not believe that the USA, Canada, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and all of South America are colonialist entities because I truly believe that their indigenous languages are English / Spanish or Portuguese, that their indigenous religions are Christian based and that the white man is the legitimate owner of these lands.
    (8) I am proud to be part of this vilification and persecution of one grouping and one grouping alone, namely Israel, because everybody else behaves far more humanely than they do.
    I am especially incensed by the Israeli army policy of targeted killings of Palestinian militants because it is as discriminatory as you can possibly get in killing those who want to kill you whilst keeping civilian casualties to an absolute minimum. I strongly recommend that Israel adopt the policies of the following armies in dealing with militants:
    Russia, Algeria, Congo, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Morocco, Turkey, Syria and Egypt to name but a few.
    (9) I believe that the entire cause of all conflict and poverty in the Middle East is a direct result of the Israeli occupation of Arab land. I believe that the land known for the last 30 years as the West Bank can only belong to the Arabs and that it was incorrectly referred to for the last two thousand years as Judea and Samaria. I do not believe that the word Judea (Yehuda) and Jew (Yehudi) are linked in any way whatsoever.
    I believe that creating an additional Arab state in the West Bank / Gaza also known as Judea and Samaria will bring peace, stability, growth and good government to the entire Middle East and Arab World.
    (10) For the above 9no reasons I vote in favour of blacklisting Israeli academics and Israeli academics alone.

  5. Excellent comment, Talkman.
    Oh, and Yusul, Pappe is not very good and is a very ideological scholar. It’s very difficult to be a good and objective scholar when you are busy adhering to an agenda. Ask David Irving.

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