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May 19, 2002
Al-Awda Condemns Efforts to Expel Haifa University Professor



Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, unequivocally condems the effort at Haifa University in Israel to expel Professor Ilan Pappe and calls on all academics to join the growing demand for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Pappe is a well known historian who has challenged Israel's version of its establishment. He is also a strong advocate of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands from which they were expelled in 1948 and thereafter. In his writings, Pappe provided evidence of the systematic massacres and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Zionist/Israeli forces in 1947-48. The dean of humanities at Haifa university is demanding Dr. Pappe's expulsion due to positions he has taken. Dr. Pappe wrote that it is "an opening gambit and many of colleagues, especially my Palestinian Israeli colleagues, can be next."

Pappe had also criticized Haifa University's handling of the Katz affair, the masters student who, as part of thesis research, reported findings concerning the massacre of Palestinians committed by Israeli forces at Tantura, a suburb of Haifa. Mr. Katz was subsequently disqualified by the university for his research. Yet his research reflects reality as witnessed by Palestinians and others. Mr. Jawdat Al-Hindi who witnessed the atrocity and now lives in North Carolina said that he saw "execution of men in rows of 8-10 who were then burried in mass graves."

Dr. Jess Ghannam, San Francisco representative to Al-Awda's coordinating committee commented "This is yet another blatant example of the lack of academic freedom within Israel and an attempt to silence the growing world-wide condemnation of Israeli racist tactics against Palestinians". Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, coordinator of Al-Awda's Media Committee added: "the dismal record of academic freedoms coupled with direct support of Israeli academic instutions to Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing clearly contradict the notion of democracy and justify our call of boycott of Israeli academic instiutions and collaborative research."

Members of the press may contact Professor Ilan Pappe in Haifa at: 011 972-4-9534684
Mr. Jawadat Al-Hindi may be reached in North Carolina at: 919-790-1138

For additional comment from Al-Awda, please contact:
Drs. Jess Ghannam (Jess@al-awda.org cell phone 415-726 3951 )
and Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh (mazin@al-awda.org, cell phone 203-676-2986)

To participate in the Boycott Israeli academia campaign please see www.BoycottIsraeliGoods.org under action items. Over 450 academicians and researchers already signed the petition.

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition is the largest network of grassroots activists dedicated to Palestinian human rights.

Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition
P.O. Box 1172
Orange, CT 06477
Fax: (717) 832-1123
WWW: al-awda.org
Press Room: al-awda.org/pressroom.htm

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