WATCH: Ilan Pappé — ‘Dehistoricizing Oct. 7’

The Israeli historian explains the history essential to understanding the current attacks on Gaza and the danger of suppressing that history. He spoke last Thursday at UC Berkeley.

Video courtesy of Hatem Bazian is also a professor in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ilan Pappé is the author of many books, including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, in which he documents that ethnic cleansing was a long-standing Zionist goal that was planned in detail by David Ben-Gurion in the Red House headquarters outside Tel Aviv. It included a much greater number of atrocities against Palestinians in the establishment of Israel in the late 1940s than Western establishments acknowledge.

Pappé says it was the start of a process of ethnic cleansing that continues until today, especially in what what is happening today in Gaza. (Israel expelled 36 villages between 1948 and 1967 inside Israel, Pappé says.) He says that some of the kibbutzim that Hamas occupied on Oct. 7 were built over the ruins of former Palestinian villages, many of whose inhabitants were expelled to Gaza. 

About the The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Publisher’s Weekly wrote:

“Denied for almost six decades, had it happened today it could only have been called ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Decisively debunking the myth that the Palestinian population left of their own accord in the course of this war, Ilan Pappé offers impressive archival evidence to demonstrate that, from its very inception, a central plank in Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population. Indispensable for anyone interested in the current crisis in the Middle East.”

Ilan Pappé speaking to UC Berkeley audience last week. (YouTube Screenshot/Hatem Bazian)

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18 comments for “WATCH: Ilan Pappé — ‘Dehistoricizing Oct. 7’

  1. Drew Hunkins
    October 25, 2023 at 00:43

    Washington is owned and controlled by the Zionist power configuration. For a few decades now, these sadistic hegemonic paranoid pro-Israel zealots have wanted nothing more than for the U.S. to go to war against Iran.

    Tel Aviv’s mad dog strategy is currently in play; we are now witnessing it bombing and murdering everything in sight: Syrian airports, Lebanese territory, and thousands of desperate and beleaguered Palestinian women and children, all with impunity.

    One of the only nation-states in the region with the military strength to stop this carnage and mayhem is Iran. Israel is attempting to lure Tehran into a justified response to stop the massive and grotesque Zionist bloodletting that shows no signs of abating.

    Tel Aviv understands that due to its stranglehold on Washington via campaign donations across all political parties and creepy blackmail operations, it’ll be able to possibly dragoon Washington into an insane war against the Persian state.
    The American working people must understand that a war against Iran is not our fight, it’s not in our interests whatsoever. A war between Iran and Washington would be a global catastrophe of epic proportions.

    Most establishment media outlets are totally dominated by shrieking pro-Israel militarists who will try and browbeat, propagandize, and bully the American public into assenting to a potentially horrendous war with Iran. Let’s not allow this to happen. And while we’re at it, let’s put an immediate stop to the horrific ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people we’re all seeing in real-time.

  2. Vera Gottlieb
    October 24, 2023 at 11:07

    And WHERE has god been while all this is happening? WHERE???

  3. John M. Morgan
    October 24, 2023 at 10:33

    Superb presentation of the historical context and significance!

  4. Cindy
    October 24, 2023 at 10:12

    Don’t forget the more recent history as well. The Empire of Lies wants everyone to believe that this was a shocking attack that came out of nowhere. As always, they lie about how wars begin. They omit the Israeli settlers who in large crowds were pushing their way into the mosque in Jerusalem, with a large police protective force. This has long been known to be a flashpoint, and the last round of fighting two years ago began after similar Israeli actions. If you dare to listen to the Empire of Lies, notice how they omit the deliberate actions that sparked the fighting.

    History is important. For one thing, knowing history helps to spot the blatant lies. It is of course very difficult to make modern lies fit seemlessly into history. The liars can at times come close, but that takes great skill that they apparently no longer develop. Today they just insist on rewriting history as blatantly as if they took a chisel to Michealangelo’s David and made him PG-rated, and then painted him to a modernly-accepted skin color.

  5. Steve
    October 24, 2023 at 07:53

    A unified ME would mean that the USA/West loses its leverage over the area: Oil, Minerals and the ability to surveil and place offensive weapons on the borders of China, Russia would be lost. To ensure this doesn’t happen you need instability, dividing and conquering, factional wars. Israel is the rabid dog introduced into the area to ensure there will never be stability. The USA and its western poodles will never allow stability. Of course for the people of Israel this also means they will never have a stable, normal existence – Israel is just a patsy much like Ukraine is.

    • Rafael
      October 24, 2023 at 20:08

      I agree. The aims of the US and the role of Israel are exactly as you say.

      There is however one difference between Ukraine and Israel. Ukraine was forced into its role by a violent regime-change operation against its elected government, the 2014 coup. The Israeli leadership accepted their role voluntarily, by all indications.

  6. Robert
    October 23, 2023 at 16:59

    Obviously after 75 years of on and off war any sane person of good faith would ask himself what part of settlement negotiations need to change. And to me the first and most important change is that the United States needs to step out and the United Nations to step in. Additionally, there is only one clout heavy neutral party available in the world to step in and that is China, and only China.

    So step one change the outside negotiating team. Require the US to keep their mouths shut. Come up with a last offer that neither Israel nor Palestinians like but are informed that it is accepted or the western world and the Arab world are walking permanently away.

    Israel is nothing without the support of western governments. Palestine/Hamas is nothing without the support of the Arab world. Maybe just maybe there are enough people in both groups to realize what they have wanted for 75 years is NEVER going to happen and survival depends on success at the negotiating table.

    • gcw919
      October 23, 2023 at 19:35

      Well said. It should be more than apparent by now to anyone with a pulse that this endless cycle of violence and destruction only breeds more violence and destruction. There needs to be serious negotiation to stop the killing now, and to seek a just solution for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians driven off their land. Absent this, we can only look forward to more carnage, and the very real risk that this could escalate into a regional war, and beyond.

      • October 24, 2023 at 12:45

        Sadly, you won’t find any desire stop the violence in our government. Not amongst the Democrats and not amongst the Republicans. They have nearly all bought into the ethnic cleansing program.

    • Cindy
      October 24, 2023 at 09:43

      We’ve seen consistently over the last few years that the “UN” is an American sock puppet. Their agencies issue rigged reports, like UN’s OPCW in Syria. The UN has consistently leaned pro-Ukrainian during that war, with the supposedly neutral Secretary General acting like the US PR rep concerning the ‘Grain deal’ among many other things.

      Trusting in the UN these days is hopeless. Its rigged. Ever since the UN’s IAEA embarrassed the Cheney Democrats in the lead-up to the Iraq War, the USA has made sure to keep the UN on a tight leash. One only has to look at today’s UN and one can see a dog on a chain that is fearful that its owner will yank it again.

  7. Miggs
    October 23, 2023 at 15:52

    One must look beyond the current historical basis in the present conflict. That’s too small a prism. One must look at the bigger picture and see why the intention are to expand it.

    As the US has far bigger objectives than the present manufactured crises. It’s manufactured as Israel’s security system was too airtight for what occurred to have happened.

    The neo-cons in the US and elsewhere want to to see an expanded war so that both the US and Israel take on and defeat Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

    It’s why President Biden is proposing that Congress allocate $40 billion to Israel as that sum is needed for an expanding war against Iran. Syria and Hezbollah.

    Biden is either wittingly or unwittingly doing the Neo-cons bidding.

    It’s also why the US opposes on the UN a ceasefire. For a ceasefire would make a larger war less likely. The US wants Israel to increase their aggressiveness to the points that other parties enter the conflict.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      October 23, 2023 at 18:00

      Biden is a neocon himself.

    • Valerie
      October 23, 2023 at 19:01

      “One must look beyond the current historical basis in the present conflict. That’s too small a prism. One must look at the bigger picture and see why the intention are to expand it.”

      Well many things are “suspect” here. So many unknowns. So many contradictions. So many speculations. And so few confirmations. But yes, the intention to expand is very much apparent with the “visits” of the western forces to Israel and their continuing support; emotionally and monetarily. Just like their “visits” to the Ukraine (which has now died a sudden death in the MSM) in which we witnessed the same bear-hugs, hand shakes smiling faces, flower arrangements etc. However, this is a completely different ball game. The ME is nothing like Europe. They may have bitten off more than they can chew.

    • Cindy
      October 24, 2023 at 09:48

      Joe Biden has been ‘wittingly’ doing the neo-cons bidding for many decades now. So long that it is impossible to even imagine the man once known as “The Senator from MasterCard” doing anything else. He of course voted for the Cheney-Democrat’s Iraq war, among many, many other things. I don’t think he’s ever opposed a war or a larger ‘defense’ budget. Mentioning the word ‘peace’ would make Biden make a screwed up face like he had a horrible taste in his mouth. He’d fall over trying to get to some water to wash it out of his mouth. The man has never opposed, war, the military and his number is on the Neocons ‘speed dial’ under “if you ever need a job, call the Big Guy”.

    • Piotr Berman
      October 24, 2023 at 22:45

      I read that Biden’s request for additional aid to Israel is 14 billion, four times smaller than for Ukraine. Israel has a “robust” and augmented defense budget, so it is rather unclear why it needs THAT MUCH. Whatever you think about Hamas, how much smaller are Hamas resources compared to Russia? 100 times? I even read a suspicion that Israel will use aid in part for its universal health care that Americans lack, but it was a comment with unclear intention. So implicit unfriendly attitude could be explain is at least two ways:

      A Israel opposes American values by having universal health care, and additional welfare payments for Bible studies. Why should we subsidize opposition to our values. BTW, similar transfer of aid to welfare and health care occurs in Ukraine. Those my not my personal objections, but to GOP voters and representatives this may be serious. In particular, their attitude so far was that while it is OK to fund military with sketchy analysis, social spending should be minutely examined and cut whenever possible. Thus we need a detailed audit of the monies spend so far and a detailed analysis of further spending on Ukraine and Israel.

      B We should have universal healthcare, but instead we are throwing money to other countries.

  8. Valerie
    October 23, 2023 at 15:05

    Profound insight and history as usual from Mr. Pappé. I fear we will never rid ourselves of this ethnic/religious/colonial mindset as long as things like this exist:

    “Huge billboards depicting leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah looking beaten and bound as Israeli soldiers stand over them, line the main thoroughfares in the coastal city of Tel Aviv. The words: “We love you, we trust you,” directed at the Israeli army and: “Never again,” are printed big and bold. The graphic AI-generated imagery has elicited different responses from the Israeli public; some find the campaign repugnant, many others have welcomed it.”
    (Guardian 23 October)

    To resort to “Hollywood”style billboards in an attempt to promote/advertise an ethnic cleansing is beyond contempt. May Godzilla have mercy on their souls.

  9. susan
    October 23, 2023 at 14:33

    Yes, reminds me of how we took “America” away from the Native Americans and still won’t acknowledge our genocide of them…

    • Cal Lash
      October 24, 2023 at 00:43


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