Ilan Pappé, an anti-Zionist Israeli historian and professor at the University of Exeter in England, recently faced criticism for his guest lectures at the California State Universities in Northridge, San Luis Obispo, and Fresno, the Algemeiner reported.
Pappé, an infamous “New Historian,” is a proponent of the belief that Zionism is more perilous to the Middle East than Islamic militancy. He advocates on behalf of the One-State Solution, a policy that would ultimately translate into the end of a Jewish majority in Israel. He frequently argues that the ‘ethnic cleansing; of the ‘Palestinian’ people was an inherent part of the state’s founding and his book entitled,” The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," endorsed an academic boycott of Israel.
His lectures, two of which were entitled “The False Paradigm of Parity and Partition: Revisiting 1967,” and "Arab Spring and Palestine- Israel 'Peace Process,'” sought to vilify Israel and cast the Jewish state as being solely responsible for the failure of the peace process.
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Hebrew lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz and co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative, a California- based Zionist organization that seeks to protect the interests of Jewish students said that the event are “essentially state-sponsored anti-Semitism."
AMCHA sent a letter to the presidents of the three schools declaring, “There is a serious misuse of taxpayer money to promote virulently anti-Israel activity on three California State University campuses.”
“In organizing the talks by Ilan Pappé on their campuses, these three CSU employees are clearly using their university positions and taxpayer-supported university resources to promote their own personal political assault against the Jewish state,” she continued.
In response to the criticism, the presidents of the three schools issued a letter that stated that the “universities do not endorse any particular position, but emphatically support the rights of people to express and hear all points of view. There is no danger to a free society in allowing opposing views to be heard. The danger, instead, is in censoring them.”
"Universities are places where debate, discussion and the free exchange of ideas are welcome and encouraged. As such, it is a university's responsibility to tolerate a wide range of views on issues, even if they are unpopular or minority opinions,” the letter continued.
Yet, as Algemeiner states, “[o]pponents still question the value of free speech when it cultivates such strong hostility towards a country and a group of people.”