Ilan Pappe ('Israeli academia deserves to be boycotted', 03/10/2006) lives and writes in a fantasy unworthy of an academic, for whom adherence to the truth should be the first principle.
He speaks twice of 'mass killings' committed by Israel. Where exactly? If there's a genocide in Gaza or the West Bank as there is, for example, in Darfur, I would have thought the media over the years might have reported it. Have I, an Irish academic in Middle East affairs, missed something all these years?
He speaks of an apartheid 'wall' when he means a chain-link security fence that is for only 3% of its length a wall. He speaks of 'apartheid' when Israel has literally no laws or practices that remotely resemble apartheid. What is worse, he lives there and knows the truth, but refuses to tell it.
He writes that 'The Israeli academics risk nothing in criticising the policies of occupation and ethnic cleansing. And yet they are mute and the majority of them are supportive of it'.
Might this possibly be because they, unlike the egregious Mr Pappe, see their armed forces fighting naked aggression and terrorism, and understand the moral justification when a nation is forced, for nearly sixty years, to defend itself against enemies for whom its destruction is vastly more important than their people's lives?
Dr. Denis MacEoin
University of Newcastle on Tyne
Madam, - Ilan Pappe calls for a boycott of Israeli academia (Opinion, October 3rd), while still serving as a "senior lecturer in politics at the University of Haifa".
I would be more open to his call if he were to follow his own advice and resign his post. If not, he seems to be claiming a right to speak that he would deny to his colleagues.
Sauce for the goose, and so on. -
Department of Drama,
Trinity College, Dublin 2.