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Ilan Pappe

Ilan Pappe

Dr. Ilan Pappe is a senior lecturer in the college of political sciences at the University of Haifa. He is also the head of the Emile Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies, Haifa. Dr. Pappe is considered one of the new Israeli historians.

For many years, the term al Nakba, the catastrophe, seemed a satisfactory term for both the events of 1948 in Palestine and their impact on our lives today. I think, it is time to use a different term, 'The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’.

The term Nakba does not directly imply any reference to who is behind the catastrophe – anything can cause the destruction of Palestine, even the Palestinians themselves.

For many years, the term al Nakba, the catastrophe, seemed a satisfactory term for both the events of 1948 in Palestine and their impact on our lives today. I think, it is time to use a different term, 'The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’.

The term Nakba does not directly imply any reference to who is behind the catastrophe – anything can cause the destruction of Palestine, even the Palestinians themselves.

Friday, 11 September 2009 13:08

The Nakba and the Peacemaking Process

There is a natural inclination among political scientists, as well as politicians, involved in peacemaking, to look at the past and memory as an obstacle for peace. Liberating oneself from the past is recommended by such people as prerequisite for peace. This view is entrenched in a wider context of reconciliation and mediation policies that emerged in the United States after WWII. This school of thought was based on a business like approach that treats the past as an irrelevant feature in the making of peace.

This means the peace makers consider only a contemporary situation – with its balance of power and realities on the ground – as a starting point for a reconciliation process. It also means that even when a blatant failure is registered in such a peace effort, the renewed effort restarts from a similar point of view; namely, one that neglects to take into account the lessons of previous failures. Noam Chomsky who noticed such a tendency in the Middle East peace process concluded that the result was a never-ending ‘peace process’ which was not meant to bring peace, but rather provided jobs and preoccupations for a large group of people belonging to the peace industry.

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