The winds of change are sweeping across the Middle East. Decrepit and sclerotic regimes are crumbling. A constant however is the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Will the broader political upheavals in the region help bring about a solution? Perhaps. But round after round of U.S.-led failed peace talks and a simultaneous huge increase in illegal Israeli settlements have left Palestinians desperate. Maybe Ariel Sharon’s prediction of some years back has come true. He said, “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich out of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years’ time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”
Ilan Pappé is professor of history at the University of Exeter. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa and chair of the Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa. He is the author of many books including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, On Palestine with Noam Chomsky and The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories. His work contextualizes the history of Palestine into a larger global context of settler colonialism. He challenges the dominant Israeli narrative. He writes, “Standing idle while the American-Israeli vision of strangling the Gaza Strip to death, cleansing half of the West Bank from its indigenous population and threatening the rest of the Palestinians—inside Israel and in the other parts of the West Bank—with transfer, is not an option. It is tantamount to ‘decent’ people’s silence during the Holocaust.”
Bob in Albuquerque –
I had never heard him before. Thanks for getting me tuned in to him. I like the way your questions got him into the state vs land with myth, religion, ideology and culture. That is a jewel, imo. He is the best on pulling it all together.