Morning Star Online, December 29, 2010
Pappe left Israel for Britain after condemnation from the Israeli public and parliament for his work The Ethnic Cleansing Of Palestine, published in 2006.
Based upon his PhD thesis, The Ethnic Cleaning Of Palestine studies the history of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Using previously unseen documentation from the British and Israeli governments Pappe rewrote the historical zionist narrative to include the expulsion or flight of 700,000 Palestinians in the same year.
“We were not the ‘new historians’ as we were often called,” said Pappe. “We were the first historians – there was no detailed historiography before this. But emotionally and ideologically there was a history – every visit to a demolished Arab village tells the story of 1948.”
This intellectual piece of work cost Pappe his academic credibility in Israel and led him to fear for both his and his family’s safety. He recalled friends and acquaintances receiving phone calls from anonymous people in which they were warned that it was not good to be seen with him. Death threats by phone, e-mail and post became frequent.
The discovery of this new evidence fell upon deaf ears. In Israeli society still, no-one addressed the ethical values of zionism, the ideology upon which the state of Israel is founded.