Expulsion without Return? The Palestinian Experience with Ilan Pappé and Ghada Karmi

Our press release distributed prior to the meeting:

Expulsion without Return? The Palestinian Experience with Ilan Pappé and Ghada Karmi

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 7.00 pm / 19.00 hours

You are invited to join renowned historian Ilan Pappé and academic and author Ghada Karmi for this illuminating discussion on Palestinian expulsion from 1948 to today and the question of return.

What form has expulsion taken historically? What does it look like today? What would 'return' mean for the 7 million Palestinian refugees around the world? And how would it change the Israeli state?

We explore these vital issues in our one-hour discussion panel, hosted by HRPSC Chair Katy Colley.

Ghada Karmi and Ellen Siegel in front of the Israeli embassy in 1973.

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.

Throughout her life, Ghada has campaigned extensively for Palestinian rights, working for many years as a doctor, specialising in the health of refugees and migrants, and later holding 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 a deeper insight into 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 narrative of Israel's creation.

Ilan argues that between 1947 and 1949, Palestine was ethnically cleansed, a crime against humanity for which it has never faced justice.

This, he states, was both an objective of the Zionist movement and a must for the desired character of the Jewish State.

Today, it could be argued that the expulsion of Palestinians is an ongoing policy of the Israeli state, supported by the judiciary, military and settler organisations. This takes many forms: military exercises in the Jordan Valley which displace communities, settler attacks, civil processes that deny citizenship status, a sweeping ban on development within Palestinian communities, the demolition of homes and municipal buildings, military harassment and ever-expanding settlements.

How will expulsion end and what will be needed to bring about return for Palestinians in the future?