The exaggerations of an exile 2

April 13, 2007

Illan Pappé is reported as being concerned that if Jewish students concentrate on defending Israel "they then risked drawing Muslim anger against the state of Israel upon themselves".

I do not see myself as defending Israel in the plethora of anti-Israel talks that are given on campus but merely putting Israel's point of view, one that is rarely raised by the many speakers.

The option of not letting an audience know that there is another narrative is anathema to me.

The only anger I have ever encountered is from members of the public who have come specifically for a talk, and after a talk I often engage with Muslim students in constructive and extremely polite debate about Israel/ Palestine.

Pappe need not worry about Muslim-Jewish relations on campus for, on mine anyway, they are excellent.

As for his recent appointment, I hope Pappé does not let his politics affect his overriding duty to his students to be objective. One must remember that as an anti-Zionist lecturer he precludes the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East, whereas a Zionist lecturer will never preclude a Palestinian one.

Richard Millett
School of Oriental and African StudiesUniversity of London

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