Ilan Pappé on the Apartheid Israeli Regime

Here’s the podcast of Ilan Pappé, interviewed by Geraldine Doogue on Radio National. Ilan is speaking at several engagements in Australia and appeared at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney. He also appeared on Q and A. Accurately, Ilan stated: “Israel wants to remain a racist state and a democratic state – this is an oxymoron.”

Ilan Pappé on the National Press Club 19/9/12

Celebrated Israeli historian, Ilan Pappé whose landmark publication, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” documented the planned removal of 700,000 Palestinians from their lands in 1948, has written a new book “The Forgotten Palestinians”.

In the book, and at this September 16 community meeting at Sydney University, Pappé reveals the situation for the Palestinians who still live within Israel’s borders.

This was the first event of Professor Pappé’s 2012 Australian lecture tour. It was hosted by the Sydney Peace Foundation at the University of Sydney with the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Leichhardt Friends of Hebron. Professor Pappé is in Australia as the guest of AFOPA to deliver the annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture at the University of Adelaide.

Ilan Pappé’s Melbourne address.

The two state solution is an hegemonic Israeli plan … to incorporate the West Bank. Its time has passed … Israel will ghettoise the West Bank. You have to decolonise the land, the people, to liberate them, it’s too early to talk about peace, you have to end oppression first. Only then can people can sit down and talk about what comes after the oppressive reality. The horse sees things differently from the rider, the rider does not see things in the same way.

The first but not the only way of convincing political elites that their way is the wrong way is pressure from the outside. BDS is part of what we should do, to send a political message that what Israel is doing is unacceptable. Constructive dialogue with Israeli Jews, educating them to see what life would be like after the oppression ends is important.

You need all ingredients to be in place, you won’t do it solely through BDS.

Oslo was oppression by other means.

UPDATE 28/9/12

Desegregating The Conflict: The History Of Collaborative Struggle In Palestine, Collaborative Struggle Conference, 24.09.2012 at the University of Woollongong

2012 ESML Presented By Ilan Pappe

Israel’s bravest historian

UPDATE 23/9/12

Notes from Middle East Reality Check on Ilan Pappé’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas address on the subject Israel Is an Apartheid State:

Is this a dangerous idea? Many Israelis wouldn’t think so. Nor South Africans. Nor many journalists and progressive folk in the West. Liberal Zionists though find it dangerous, and for many years have been trying to square the circle in an attempt to justify Israel’s apartheid policies. Jewish communities, of course, are allergic to the very idea. No, it’s not the recognition that Israel is an apartheid state that’s dangerous, it’s Israel itself that is dangerous; dangerous to Palestinians, dangerous to Jews in Israel and abroad, and dangerous to the world beyond.

Apartheid is a generic term for a legal, economic, social and political regime based on dispossession, discrimination and segregation on the basis of race, religion or nationality. The early Zionists, who were prolific diarists, described the Palestinians as dangerous aliens and usurpers. Their resistance to Zionist colonisation led the colonisers to develop apartheid policies of self-segregation and gated communities, which they forced on the native population once they’d become a ruling majority in 1948.

They institutionalised segregation, forcing on the Palestinian minority in Israel an invisible apartheid based on restricted living spaces, double standards in the courts and reduced access to state benefits. The Palestinian Israelis are confined to enclaves, with no new Arab towns being built since 1948. In contrast, hundreds of Jewish settlements have been constructed. In the West Bank, apartheid is starkly visible. Gaza of course is a world on its own, a large ghetto. How ironic that the people who most suffered from policies based on demography and population control in Europe should be dishing it out to others in Palestine.

Update 19/9/12:

Ilan Pappé on QandA

Ilan Pappe likens Israel’s invasion of Palestine to Aboriginal dispossession

The premise of Terra Nullius, in which European settlers viewed Australia as an unoccupied space, is similar to the idea that the Palestinians willingly gave up their land.

Understanding and accepting this premise is one of the keys to reconciliation and forging a peaceful future, Professor Pappe says.

“Building reconciliation on the basis of these acknowledgments, understanding what kind of privilege you’re going to lose if you accept you are the dispossessor, and so many other issues that are really comparable. If you are an average Australian who accepts the basic narrative of what happened in Australia, the comparison is very clear.

“It is a problem of not accepting indigeneity, and claiming that it was either settled or disappeared or can be handled, instead of accepting it. Settlers and native people always have a complex relationship but the first step is acknowledging that this is the basic paradigm, the basic reality.”

Another historical comparison is that of apartheid South Africa, Professor Pappe says. Invoking the word “apartheid” is highly provocative; the term has legal implications as well as emotive ones, but he is resolute that the name is justified.

The ideology of apartheid – of separation, of segregation – is not dissimilar in the two countries, he says, arguing that Archbishop Desmond Tutu has also drawn the comparison between the two situations. “I don’t think it’s too strong a term. As a scholar I would like to go deeply into the comparison and see the similarities as well as the dissimilarities. But from the general perspective of what kind of attitude Jews have towards non-Jews in the state of Israel, I don’t know of a better term in a legal realm in that respect.”

South Africa did manage eventually to overcome the bitter policy of apartheid, and so too can Israel, Professor Pappe believes, but it must involve what he describes as “the three As”: acknowledgement, acceptance and accountability. Israeli, Jewish and Western acknowledgement that ethnic cleansing has occurred and that refugees want to return to their homeland; Israeli accountability for what has happened in the past; and an acceptance in the Arab world and among Palestinians that the Jewish nation is part of the Middle East.

It is not a completely hopeless prospect, he says, but accepts that it is very difficult for those with established standpoints to move beyond those and make a fundamental shift about how they view the problem before a solution can be found. And a solution is fundamental for the two nations, the region and the rest of the world.

“The future of Palestine is not just the future of Jews and Palestinians who live there, it’s the future of the relationship of the Arab and Muslim worlds with the west,” he said in an earlier lecture.

ABC Radio Conversation Hour with Jon Faine, Claire Bowditch & Greg Jericho Tuesday 18 Sep 2012

Related Links

Ilan Pappe in Australia at Coalition for Justice & Peace in Palestine (CJPP)
Radio National Breakfast makes Palestinians peripheral to their own dispossession, and invites zionist Morris to respond to Pappé
Danby’s petulant criticism of the ABC having Pappé on QandA