The Frauds of Ilan Pappe

Ilan Pappe

Mr. Ilan Pappe — together with Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, and only very few others — occupies the very highest echelon of Jewish haters of Israel: characters straight out of Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question, totally oblivious, it would seem, to the comical side of their enterprise.

Now Mr. Pappe, as we learn from Wikipedia, “has been praised by Walid Khalidi, Richard Falk, Ella Shohat, Nur Masalha and John Pilger. Pilger describes Pappé as ‘Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.'”Pappe has also co-authored a book with Noam Chomsky. Mr. Jeff Halper has had him lecture to his own followers. And — what higher distinction can there be than this — he has been cited, with very strong approval, by that great maven of Jewish perfidy, Ms. Jennifer Peto of the University of Toronto.

But Mr. Pappe has made a mistake that cost him dearly. He has not contented himself, as have certain others, with being an “activist” against Israel. No, he has allowed himself the conceit that he still is the historian he once was, a scholar, and he has masked his current propaganda with the externalities of scholarship. And once he did this he invited the scrutiny of scholars, and these have shown little mercy in proving him a malicious fabricator.

In particular: Benny Morris, a (somewhat) leftist historian at Ben Gurion University, has written some blistering reviews of Pappe’s writings. The latest appears in The New Republic under date of April 11, 2011. I find this article to be a very substantial contribution to the understanding of the Jewish anti-Israel movement of our day: malice, willful ignorance, vanity. In the video below, Morris presents some of the material in a much condensed form.

Yet another Israeli professor has reviewed Pappe’s writings, with similar findings: Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi of Haifa University. See his review here.

Dear Jewish Sincere Friends of Peace: Have you Missed this little Detail ?

Poster of the (Israeli) Peace Now movement:
“Each flag needs a balcony”

Israeli public life has many very Sincere Friends of Peace. “Peace Now,” the Meretz Party, many members of Labor, the most influential Israeli newspaper (HaAretz), and many smaller groups, all compete with one another, year in year out, demanding that the Israeli government make more concessions to the Arabs so as to achieve peace. And as for Jews in the diaspora — the U.S., Britain, continental Europe — well, it seems that currently the loudest voices (though not necessarily the most numerous or the most thoughtful) chime in: peace now, make more concessions, abandon the settlers on the West Bank — peace now !

Even people like myself who are unaffiliated with such groups can rejoice in the colorful diversity that such organizations contribute to Israeli and Jewish society. Of course I do not rejoice in the ultras, those who work for the destruction of Israel, but, surely, those are a different kettle of fish altogether.

But to come back to the major “peace” groups. Anyone who has watched them for many decades, as I have, must have noticed a little detail that seems to have escaped them altogether. That detail consists of an absolute absence of any similar peace movement among the Arabs. Even allowing for the fact that there is very little of a functioning “civil society” in Arab societies that would allow for unofficial political movements, it is nevertheless true there is some variety among Arabs in their views concerning Israel. Insofar are we can judge from public opinion polls and expressions in Arab writings and speeches, this variety runs the gamut from the most extreme hostility (Hamas) to somewhat milder hostility.

But, whatever the details, the broad picture is evident. There is no “Peace Now” among Arabs. There is no “Arab Voice for Peace.” There are no “Arabs for a Just Peace.” There is no AStreet that would urge concessions to Israel. Nothing of the sort.

My dear Sincere Jewish Friends of Peace: can you detect a little problem here somewhere ?

National Public Radio, the New York Times, and the Jews

National Public Radio is not rabidly anti-Semitic. In this respect it is not like, say, Mr. David Duke or the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. But NPR has its own version of a gentleman’s polite anti-Semitism, something we ordinarily associate with upper-class clubs of England. And the New York Times isn’t anti-Semitic at all, it’s just not interested in the question.

Last week, in a sting operation, two of NPR’s top executives — Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley — were caught on tape in an expensive restaurant huddling with people they thought were rich Muslims about to give them $5 million. Many embarrassing things were said by Ms. Liley and especially by Mr. Schiller, and much of it was reported by mainline media. But Mr. Schiller’s anti-Semitic utterances were suppressed by most. A notable exception was ABC-TV, which came through in an honorable way. But not the NY Times ! It seems that where anti-Semitism is concerned, the Times likes to averts its eyes. Not fit to print in the NYT version of journalistic ethics.

Mr. Schiller has now been forced to resign from NPR as a result of these revelations. He violated the first law of gentlemanly anti-Semitism: do it, but don’t get caught. As for Ms. Liley, she is on some sort of administrative leave, but, at least for now, she’s still on board at NPR.

In the video that follows, note the genteel, self-satisfied, self-righteous, self-styled “liberal” mannerisms of Mr. S. And note his body language as he opines on this and that. No, no, no — he will not accuse Jews of dominating all the media, only the print media. As for Ms. Liley, she really comes to life when she exclaims “I like that” in response to the ostensible Islamist’s praise of NPR as “National Palestine Radio.”

Arab Attitudes toward Jews (WARNING: graphic images)

Yehoshafat Harkabi,author of Arab Attitudes to Israel,Jerusalem,1972
born 1921, died 1994

Anti-Jewish sentiments are almost universal in the three Arab nations surveyed – 95% or more in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt say they have an unfavorable opinion of Jews. 2008 Pew Report

In my previous posting I described the newest manifestations of Jew-hatred in the Egypt of today, and also the conspiracy of silence in the Western press when faced with this inconvenient set of facts. The deep-seated hatred of Jews among Arabs is not new and has often been documented. Perhaps the most thorough of these descriptions is that of Y.Harkabi (“Arab Attitudes to Israel,” Jerusalem, 1972). Now almost forty years old, this classic, indispensable work consists of a content analysis of the Arab press and literature throughout the Middle East. When Harkabi first wrote the book as a dissertation at the Hebrew University in 1967, direct studies of Arab public opinion (opinion polls) were unavailable. Now that they are, for instance in the form of Pew poll data, we are faced with the sad realization that what Harkabi reported in the Arab literature of his day is still with us, and not only as written words, and that the details he gives are descriptive, by and large, of what goes on today.

Before we go to expressions of Arab opinion, much of it consisting of verbal violence, here is the Wikipedia report on an incident in which this verbal violence was acted out in deeds — the lynching of Israeli soldiers during the 2000 Intifada. (And to those who say that Harkabi’s work is so outdated: this incident took place thirty-three years after he wrote.)

The 2000 Ramallah lynching was a violent incident in October 2000 at the beginning of the Second Intifada in which a Palestinian mob lynched two Israel Defense Forces reservists, Vadim Nurzhitz (sometimes spelled as Norzhich) and Yossi Avrahami (or Yosef Avrahami),[1] who had accidentally entered the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Ramallah in the West Bank. The brutality of the event, captured in a photo of a Palestinian rioter proudly waving his blood-stained hands to the crowd below, sparked international outrage and further intensified the ongoing conflict between Israeli and Palestinian forces.

Aziz Salha, one of the lynchers, waving his blood-stained hands from the police station window. Salha was later arrested by Israel and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Harkabi devotes separate sections to various themes in the Arab treatment of Israel and the Jews. Here are a few of his section headings: the vileness of Zionism; Zionism and Nazism; the vileness of the Jews; Judaism as conspiracy for world domination; scurrility, absurdity, and falsehood in the Arab statements; the Islamization of Jew-hatred. He also notes the frequent use of the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

One element of current Arab anti-Semitism that was not found in Harkaby’s materials is Holocaust-denial. This aspect of Arab anti-Semitism is relatively new, reaching great prominence only in the 21st century. There is a good description of it in Robert Wistrich’s very important recent A Lethal Obsession, pages 646-661.

Harkabi lists 182 Arab sources, all of which he analyzed in their original language. (Just wondering here: how many Arab books have been studied by Mr. Jimmy Carter, in their original language ? Or by the telling-Israel-what-to-do crowd at J Street ?) Here is a quotation from the Arab writer Nashashibi, who visited Jerusalem before the unification of 1967, and looked over the wall at the Jews of West Jerusalem:

…. a collection of the world’s hooligans and its garbage …. Dogs, robbers, clear out to your own countries !

(We recently heard an echo of that one from Ms. Helen Thomas.) Nashashibi continues somewhat later:

an international dung-heap in which the squalor of the whole world has been collected.

And then there is a quotation from an academic publication, the Egyptian Political Science Review, by the author Fathi Uthman al-Mahlawi (Jan.-March, 1959), among many other such quotations in Harkabi’s book:

And thus Britain wanted to exhaust the strength of the Arabs and divide them, and at one and the same time to get rid of the Zionist plague in her country; she assembled these thousands of vagabonds and aliens, blood-suckers and pimps, and said to them: Take for yourselves a national home called Israel. Thus the dregs of the nations were collected in the Holy Land.

It bears emphasis that these Arab writings, like everything else in Harkabi’s book, date from before the 1967 war. The reason that this needs emphasis is that we hear so often from the חכמים (Wise Men) of J Street, etc., that if only Israel were to go back to its 1967 borders, the Arabs would make peace post-haste. Fat chance !

Current Arab anti-Semitism is regularly reported by Memri and Palestine Media Watch, and there is plenty to report, week in week out: Holocaust denial, description of Jews as descendants of pigs and dogs; allegations that Jews murder gentile children; description of Israel as being similar to Nazi Germany; incitement to hatred in Arab schools and mosques; etc. etc. What we cannot know from such reports is how typical they are of the Arab population. The Pew Report, cited above, is not reassuring in this respect. Moreover, of course, we do not know what the future will bring. Harkabi himself believed that anti-Semitism is not very deeply rooted in Arab culture, and he was cautiously optimistic about prospects for an eventual accommodation between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

But whatever the prospects for the future, we cannot afford to be in denial of the current deep, pervasive hatred of Jews in what is known as the “Arab street,” among the Palestinians and among their brethren in all the neighboring countries.