>Attached is a letter from historian, Dr. Ilan Pappe, of Haifa University.
>Dr. Pappe has played a central role in identifying and publicizing unknown
>sections of the history of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. He has long been
>a brave and outspoken critic of mainstream Zionist history and mainstream
>Zionist views. Haifa University is now attempting to discredit and silence
>The present climate in Israel is one of growing and increasingly
>heavy-handed repression of dissent. The hugely important work of journalists
>Amira Hass and Gideon Levy has been called into question under readers'
>pressure. The Minister of Education is calling for a police investigation of
>university faculty who openly support resistance to military service. A
>state employee of my acquaintance was threatened with dismissal from his job
>due to his refusal to serve reserve military duty in the Occupied
>Territories. A friend has been instructed to appear before the management of
>her workplace to explain her left-wing political views. Singer Yaffa Yarkoni
>was severely sanctioned by the performers' association, for publicly
>supporting refusers. And this is just a random selection.
>The successful silencing of each of these people means the successful
>silencing of our collective dissent. The struggle of each and every one of
>them is our own personal struggle.
>Please write urgent letters of protest to:
The Israeli Minister of Education, Ms Limor Livnat
and to the following office holders in the University of Haifa.
Professor Yehuda Hayuth, President [log in to unmask]
Professor Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, Rector [log in to unmask]
Professor Aharon Kellerman, Vice President [log in to unmask]
Ms Yael Metser, Vice President for PR & Resource Management
[log in to unmask]
Professor Yossi Ben-Artzi, Dean Faculty of Humanities (the "Prosecutor for
Pappe) [log in to unmask]
Professor Arye Rattner, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences
[log in to unmask]
Professor Moshe Zeidner, Dean of Research [log in to unmask]
Professor Gideon Fishman, Dean Graduate School [log in to unmask]
>I have received today an invitation to stand for a trial in my university,
>the university of Haifa. The prosecution, represented by Haifa Dean of
>humanities demands my expulsion from the university due to the positions I
>have taken on the Katz affair. It calls upon the court ˜to judge Dr. Pappe
>on the offences he has committed and to use to the full the court,s legal
>authority to expel him from the university. These offences are in a
>nutshell my past critique of the university,s conduct in the Katz affair,
>the MA student who discovered the Tantura massacre in 1948 and was
>disqualified for that. The reason the university waited so long is that now
>the time is ripe in Israel for any act of silencing academic freedom. My
>intent to teach a course on the Nakbah next year and my support for boycott
>on Israel has led the university to the conclusion that I can only be
>stopped by expulsion.
>Judging by past procedures this is not a request, but already a verdict,
>given the position of the person in question in the university and the way
>things had been done in the past. The ostensible procedure of a ˜fair
>trial" does not exist and hence I do not even intend to participate in a
>I do not appeal to you for my own sake. I ask you at this stage before a
>final decision has been taken to voice your opinion in whatever form you
>can and to whatever stage you have access to, not in order to prevent my
>expulsion (in many ways in the present atmosphere in Israel it will come
>now, and if not now later on, as the Israeli academia has deiced almost
>unanimously to support the government and to help silence any criticism). I
>ask those who are willing to do so, to take this case as part of your
>overall appreciation of, and attitude to, the preset situation in Israel.
>This should shed light also on the debate whether or not to boycott Israeli
>This is not, I stress, an appeal for personal help; my situation is far
>better than that of my colleagues in the occupied territories living under
>the daily harassment and brutal abuses of the Israeli army. It is an
>opening gambit and many colleagues, especially my Palestinian Israeli
>colleagues, can be next. A testimony to the tragic circumstances of my own
>university is that I know there is no use in distributing this letter on
>its internal web-site, as all of my colleagues in the past when it came to
>the crucial moment - for understandable reasons - felt they could do very
>little to help me, without risking their own position in the university.
>I know many of you have access to world media and can help to expose the
>already dismal picture and false pretense of Israel of being the ˜only
>democracy in the Middle East" .
Dr Ronit Lentin
MPhil in Ethnic and Racial Studies,
Department of Sociology, University of Dublin,
Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Tel: 353 1 6082766. Fax: 353 1 6771300.
Email: [log in to unmask]