Ilan Pappe

Ilan Pappe is chair of the department of history at the University of Exeter and the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

In Upper Nazareth: ‘Judaisation’

Ilan Pappe, 10 September 2009

Officially, no Palestinians live in the ‘Jewish’ city of Upper Nazareth. The city’s elegant website appears only in Hebrew and in Russian. When I was there recently, I called a spokesperson to ask about numbers but he wouldn’t give me a straight answer. ‘I am standing in front of a house with “There is no power but in God” written in Quranic Arabic...

Israel’s Message: Gaza

Ilan Pappe, 1 January 2009

In 2004, the Israeli army began building a dummy Arab city in the Negev desert. It’s the size of a real city, with streets (all of them given names), mosques, public buildings and cars. Built at a cost of $45 million, this phantom city became a dummy Gaza in the winter of 2006, after Hizbullah fought Israel to a draw in the north, so that the IDF could prepare to fight a ‘better war’ against Hamas in the south.

Israel’s legal system – an important basis of its claim to be a liberal democracy – acts in concert with the government to support and enable the detention without trial of large numbers of Palestinians living in Israel and the Occupied Territories. As of January this year, according to figures provided by the Israel Defence Forces and the prison service (thanks to...

From left to right, the manifestos of all the Zionist parties during the recent Israeli election campaign contained policies which they claimed would counter the ‘demographic problem’ posed by the Palestinian presence in Israel. Ariel Sharon proposed the pull-out from Gaza as the best solution to it; the leaders of the Labour Party endorsed the wall because they believed it was the best way of limiting the number of Palestinians inside Israel. Extra-parliamentary groups, too, such as the Geneva Accord movement, Peace Now, the Council for Peace and Security, Ami Ayalon’s Census group and the Mizrachi Democratic Rainbow all claim to know how to tackle it.

Peretz, like the other members of the Eight, has become more ‘pragmatic’ – as we say in Israel – in an attempt to shift Israel’s Zionist politics towards the centre. In the 1990s, he chose the trade union congress, the Histadrut, as his main political arena and route to the top. In 1995 he became its chairman and in that capacity did nothing to limit the organisation’s extensive involvement in the occupation: in areas directly or indirectly controlled by Israel, the Histadrut granted the settlers union rights while denying them to Palestinians; as for Palestinian workers in industrial plants within the border zones (areas inside the Palestinian Territories under direct Israeli control), it ignored their situation entirely despite their having no basic human or workers’ rights.

Albert Aghazarian is a Palestinian, neither Arab nor Israeli, who lives in the eastern portion of Jerusalem annexed by Israel in 1967. His house stands within two sets of walls, those of the...

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