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The Window Dressers: The Signatories of Israel’s Proclamation of Independence

Author: Ilan Pappe
January-March 2015
Volume 48 , Issue 1
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About This Issue

In discussing Israel’s upcoming elections this March, Amos Yadlin, Israel’s former chief of defense intelligence, was  quoted in The New York Times as saying that Israel’s political center needs to run on the core values of its founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. That is, it needs to run   on building “a state that has a Jewish majority, a state that is democratic where all its citizens are equal.”

Ah, but there’s the rub: Can the Jewish state be both   Jewish and democratic?

For the answer to that question, our feature writer Ilan Pappe goes back to May 14, 1948, back to David Ben-Gurion, and back to the signers of Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

Pappe, an Israeli historian, currently teaches at Exeter  University in England, where he directs the European Center for Palestine Studies, and co-directs the Center for Ethno-Political Studies.

Before he went to Exeter in 2008, he had been teaching at the University of Haifa, where his endorsement of the boycott of Israeli universities led to the call for his resignation by the university’s president. It also led to his condemnation in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and to several death threats.

  This is Pappe’s third article for The Link.  His first, our Jan.-March, 1998 issue “What Really Happened Fifty Years Ago?,” was followed by our April-May, 2008 issue “State of Denial: Israel, 1948-2008.”

    On page 15, we list several books and videos relevant to our present topic, including Pappe’s signature work “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.”

    We also invite our readers to visit our redesigned website: There you will find every Link issue going back to 1968, as well as rare monographs, such as Dr.  Fayez Sayegh’s critical analysis of the Camp David Accords. All are easily downloadable in pdf format. The site also contains a listing of books for sale at discount prices, many now out-of-print.  Also, there is a short, animated video presentation of the  Palestinian-Israeli question, prepared by Jewish Voice for Peace.

--John F. Mahoney, Executive Director

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