NGO demands University of Haifa cancel event featuring BDS activist

“We are demanding that the University of Haifa declare explicitly that there is no place for a BDS activist such as Pappé and will not permit him to enter the university,” the Zionist organization stated.

By World Israel News Staff

The University of Haifa is holding a conference on the discredited research of the so-called ‘Tantura Massacre’ produced by Teddy Katz, Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu said in a press release Tuesday.

Former Haifa University professor and BDS activist Ilan Pappé was invited to speak at the event.

Pappé is a BDS activist who regularly writes articles in English accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” and “genocide, the Zionist organization said.

“At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest” is how renowned historian Benny Morris describes Pappé, Im Tirtzu notes.

As for researcher Katz, in his Master’s thesis for the University of Haifa in the 1990s, he claimed that in 1948, after the establishment of the Jewish state, Israeli soldiers from the Alexandroni Brigade murdered over 200 unarmed men in the Arab coastal village of Tantura, located between Haifa and Tel Aviv.

After being sued for defamation, Katz apologized and signed a statement saying that in fact there was no massacre at all. Yet he later retracted his apology.

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Recently, Israeli filmmaker Alon Schwarz directed a documentary titled Tantura, based on Katz’s version of the events. The ‘Nakba’ film will be showing in Israeli theaters this summer.

“That we acknowledge what happened in ’48 is a necessity for our own society, which has nothing to do with giving back land to Palestinians. The movie is about that Israeli society can’t mature, unable to look in the mirror,” Schwarz told The Jerusalem Post in an interview last month.

Alon Schwartzer, head of the research division in Im Tirtzu, wrote a letter to the university demanding the conference be cancelled.

“Let us remind you that Katz signed a letter of apology and admitted that there was not a massacre of the village by our forces after the village had surrendered. Katz has tried to recant his apology to the Supreme Court and has been denied his claim and has been forced to pay damages. Unfortunately, the university has decided to host a ceremony that appears to honor Katz.

“The university has also invited at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer Professor Ilan Pappé. Pappé is a passionate supporter of the BDS movement and supports the general boycott of Israel in addition to a boycott of Israeli academia. There are no words to describe how a publicly funded university gives a platform and, as it appears, financial support to a notorious BDS activist.

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“Considering this information, we are requesting that the university act immediately to cancel the conference and to deny legitimacy to this blood libel against the Alexandroni Brigade. The least the university can do is  to announce that it is not connected with, and will not give the conference its stamp of legitimacy.

“In addition, we are demanding that the University of Haifa declare explicitly that there is no place for a BDS activist such as Pappé and will not permit him to enter the university. Since we have seen recently that Israeli universities are willing to block the entrance of Israeli citizens with an Israeli flag, we are sure that the University of Haifa could block entrance to a notorious BDS activist onto the campus.”