Israel: Then and now

World renowned historian Ilan Pappé is to join an online event hosted by the Hastings and Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign (HRPSC) later this month to discuss the issue of Palestinian expulsion.

The meeting, open and free to all members of the public, will take place on January 20 and the speakers include Pappé as well as academic and author Ghada Karmi for the talk titled: Expulsion without Return? The Palestinian Experience.

The one-hour discussion, hosted by HRPSC Chair Katy Colley, will ask what form has expulsion taken historically, what it looks like today, as well as asking what return would mean for the seven million Palestinian refugees around the world.

Katy said: ‘We’re honoured to be hosting these important academics who have done so much to bring understanding and enlightenment to this subject. Despite all the constrictions of lockdown we are finding that we are still able to reach a great many in our community through our online events. I’m certain that this talk will shed light on some of the vital issues regarding the framing of the Israel/Palestine narrative, as well as bring a deeper awareness of the Palestinian experience.’

Forced to flee their homes

In 1948 Ghada and her family were forced to flee their home in Jerusalem during the Nakba, or ‘catastrophe’, brought about by the creation of the state of Israel, when 720,000 Palestinians were expelled by Israeli forces. The family moved to England where Ghada was brought up.

She worked for many years as a doctor, specialising in the health of refugees and migrants, and later held a number of academic posts in Middle Eastern politics and culture. In 2005 Ghada returned to Palestine as a consultant to the Palestinian Authority where she gained some insight into the troubles Palestinians faced in their homeland, as well as the intrinsic difficulties of governance under occupation.

Ilan Pappé is a history professor at the University of Exeter and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies. He was born and brought up in Haifa, Israel, and is one of the most prominent historians challenging the historical narrative of Israel’s creation.

Basing his work on extensive archival research Ilan argues that far from leaving of their own accord, Palestinians were ‘ethnically cleansed’ between 1947 and 1949, with over 400 Palestinian villages deliberately destroyed, civilians massacred, and around a million men, women, and children expelled from their homes at gunpoint. Today, many argue that expulsion is a live, ongoing policy of the Israeli state, supported by the judiciary, military and settler organisations.

For more information of the event on 20 January at 7pm visit:

To join, please register your interest by emailing

Image Credits: Hastings & Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign .

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  1. Well done Katy we look forward to the event. I read its own respected human rights body (B’Tselem) has condemned Israel, labeling it an apartheid regime. And some of its young people have started to refuse army national service now; in protest at what they are being asked to do in the occupied territories.


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