Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Israelis who seek to deligitimize and destroy Israel

I've written several times before about Israeli academics who spend their lives attempting to deligitimize and destroy Israel.

Prominent among these in the UK are Avi Shlaim (Oxford) and Ilan Pappe (Exeter). Although their revisionist work has been widely discredited by genuine experts, they continue to be idolised by leftists and all anti-Zionists. Moroever, because they are keen to emphasize their "Israeli" backgrounds the main stream media often uses them, bizarrely, to "put the Israeli viewpoint" across in a debate (this gives you a feel of just how ignorant/biased the producers/editors are). This explains why you often see a "debate" involving an Arab and an "Israeli" in which the only actual disagreement is about whether Israel is a Nazi state or a fascist state.

Typically, Avi Shlaim is in the news today for playing a prominent role in the scandalous decision to 'disinvite' Jewish academic Professor Geoffrey Alderman from a panel debate at Queens University Belfast about ‘Conflict in the Middle East’. Heaven fordbid that an academic on the panel would not be a Hamas supporter.

But, more concerning to me, is the following example: A few weeks ago I came across a children's textbook in our local library, which I think was called "The Arab Israeli Conflict" (I think it is this one by Debra Miller). Flicking through it was clear that the book provided (exclusively) the Palestinian narrative in which, for example, the only 'terrorists' in the history of the conflict were Jews at Deir Yassin etc. When I looked at the back cover I discovered that the "Israeli consultant" on the book was none other than Avi Shlaim. It may well be that the author was a perfectly reasonable person who felt that by getting Shlaim's input she was getting a 'balance' against the "Arab consultant". The effect was that a standard textbook for 12-15 year-olds is indoctrinating a new generation to believe that Israel - and only Israel - is the root of all evil in the Middle East.

It would be nice if the likes of Shlaim and Pappe could simply be just laughed at or, even better, ignored. In many ways the publicity about Shlaim's role in the Belfast panel fiasco makes it more likely for him to be laughed at. But while this enables a handful of Israel supporters who follow the story to take the moral high ground, it is nothing compared to the real damage he continues to reap on thousands of school children (not to mention his students at Oxford and everybody else fed the lie that he somehow represents Israeli opinion).

p.s. How about this for another example: while searching on Amazon for the above book I was presented - by Amazon - with a list called "The best books about the Middle East" - you can see the list and the heading here. And guess which books are numbers 1 and 2 on this list? The first is by Avi Shlaim (The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World) and the second is by Ilan Pappe (A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples). For good measure the rest of the list is filled almost entirely with anti-Israel writers too (Edward Said, Robert Fisk, David Hirst, Greg Philo, Charles Smith and two by Baruch Kimmerling). The 'exception' is Benny Morris, but the book listed is one written before he rejected his (until then) revisionist views.

1 comment:

Juniper in the Desert said...

Unfortunately, it does not come as a surprise! When doing my own research, I found a Cambridge University GCSE, syllabus and exam paper on "humanities", that concentrates on Gaza (for 15-16 year olds??) and again takes a totally partisan, arab viewpoint. The truth does not get a look in!!