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Last week we had the visit, in São Paulo, Brazil, of the university Professor and Israeli Historian Ilan Pappé, invited by Sundermann Publisher.

With his most important book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (recently published in Portuguese by the Sundermann), Pappé became a reference for all those who defend or want to know the historical truth about the creation of the State of Israel, in 1948, and the tragic meaning of this for the Palestinian people.

By Alejandro Iturbe.

 

In his presentations, he explained how he discovered the truth as an Israeli Historian. He told that, against the Zionist tale, Israel was not created as “a land for a landless people” but as a result of a systematic plan of persecution and expelling of the immense majority of inhabitants of that territory (the Palestinian people of that region) through violent methods, including the destruction of villages and plantations, and massacres like Deir Yasin. He also explained that, as part of that plan, a minority of settlers stablished in only a few years appropriated of more than half Palestinian territory and expelled 800,000 Palestinians (half of the population of back then) giving origin to the diaspora and forced exile. All of it to serve the creation of a State whose essence is to be a colonial enclave serving imperialism. And all of this was endorsed and supported by the U.N. (with the support of Stalinist bureaucracy) in its resolutions of 1947.

The discovery of such reality changed his life: he began supporting the demands and vindications of the Palestinian people. His intellectual honesty and steadiness to defend his ideas meant for him to be harshly criticized by all Zionist currents, and he started suffering persecution: the Knesset (Israeli parliament) condemned his positions, he was separated from office as professor in the Haifa University, and he even received constant telephonic threats.

Finally, in 2007, he went to exile in England, where he currently teaches at the Exeter University, and he is the Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies. He is also an active supporter of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against the State of Israel and its crimes.

In Brazil, during his short visit, he followed a tight schedule of activities: talks at the USP [University of São Paulo], the PUC [Pontifical Catholic University] and Unicamp [Campinas University]. He also presented his book at the famous library Martin Fontes, and he participated of a fraternization dinner with representatives of the Palestinian community in São Paulo. During this dinner, the leader of the community saluted his presence with a speech in Arabic, and Pappé responded in the same language as a proof of his deep respect to this people and culture.

Along the several activities, Pappé was accompanied by Miguel Ibarlucía (representative of the Public Lecture Eduardo Said, University of Buenos Aires) and Soraya Misleh, from BDS Coordination in Brazil and militant of the PSTU.

We had the chance to know him in depth and get to know a humble, nice man of good humor (full of stories and jokes), which he kept along the intense activities schedule.

We had a many points of agreement with Pappé: the support to the Palestinian people, the defense of the truth about the creation of the State of Israel, and the meaning of the existence of this State; that most Jewish population of Israel is convinced there will not be peace for the region as long as the State of Israel exists; that the so-called “two states solution” is a false, unsustainable path, and the only possible solution is the creation of a secular, democratic Palestine in all its historical territory, where the expelled Palestinians and their families can go back and the Arabs and Jewish that accept this can live there at peace with them.

Now we have met the man who defends these ideas. We are proud of it, and proud of being part of his visit to Brazil.