The For­got­ten Pales­tini­ans: A His­to­ry of the Pales­tini­ans in Israel

Ilan Pap­pé
  • Review
By – February 10, 2012

This is a con­tro­ver­sial book by a con­tro­ver­sial author. The For­got­ten Pales­tini­ans push­es the enve­lope of the New His­to­ri­ans,” tread­ing where many New His­to­ri­ans will not even ven­ture.

Pap­pé asserts that he needs to re-write his­to­ry and tell the sto­ry of how there was a clear plan by those who estab­lished the State of Israel to dis­en­fran­chise and even expel Pales­tin­ian Arabs. He fur­ther asserts that the events that took place were not ad hoc but were, rather, a planned, sys­tem­at­ic pro­gram to make it impos­si­ble for any­one who was not a Jew to be an equal in Israel.

Pap­pé approach­es his­to­ry as an unapolo­getic ide­o­logue who has called for the boy­cott of Israeli uni­ver­si­ties and aca­d­e­mics. (His biog­ra­phy states, He pre­vi­ous­ly taught at Haifa Uni­ver­si­ty before leav­ing Israel for polit­i­cal rea­sons.”) In fact this work was hot­ly debat­ed in the media and in court when it was pub­lished in Israel. His work has been strong­ly crit­i­cized by Ben­ny Mor­ris, the founder of the New His­to­ri­ans, the group that wants to rewrite the his­to­ry of Israel to show that the found­ing of the mod­ern state was fraught with mis­steps, mis­takes, even uneth­i­cal deeds. Evi­dent­ly Pappé’s book goes beyond what even Mor­ris can accept. 

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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