At his book launch in London in early June 2024 Ilan Pappe delivered a speech which went to the crux of the Palestine-Israel situation.

He suggested that the movement around the catalyst of Palestine is a precursor to mighty change.

The upsurge of support throughout the world in rejection of the Gaza attack is the front line of the rejection of injustice, of ecocide, of racism and militarisation.

In the Jewish community there is a growing rejection of Zionism and young Jews are not just separating from that ideology but are proclaiming that it is their Jewish identity which impels them to support Palestinian rights.

The Lobby has proven itself most effective in influencing elites, from Tories to socialists.

Social democrats, pillars of socialism, opponents of South African apartheid, have been influenced into accepting the oppression of the Palestinian people.

But The Lobby’s great weakness according to him is that it has been unable to influence civil society.

It does not know how to handle independent media, social media or communal action.

The book provides details of the origins and the progress of Zionism from early in the nineteenth century as a purely evangelical Christian notion, supported as part of the fundamentalist ‘Return of the Jews ’ to its acceptance as a secular Jewish project by a minority in central Europe, aimed at settling Eastern European Jews fleeing pogroms well  away from Germany and Britain.

In the Preface to Lobbying for Zionism, Pappe writes: “Here is the riddle I want to solve in this book: why does Israel invest vast amounts in two major lobbies, Christian and Jewish, on  both sides of the Atlantic?  Why does this Jewish state still crave recognition of its legitimacy in the West?”

He offers one assumption, three hypotheses and an obvious observation.

The assumption is that the key to this riddle can be found by looking at what is hidden in the human consciousness.

“Those who led the Zionist movement and later Israel were intuitively aware of the inherent injustice of the project or at least the immoral dimensions of the seemingly ‘noble’ solution to the problem of anti-Semitism in Europe.”

The first hypothesis: Zionist claims to moral uniqueness was because of their supposed links to Palestine which made them not comparable to other colonising projects.

Second hypothesis: Due to self doubt, moral arguments were abandoned and all Zionist efforts were invested in elites. requiring ‘money, connections and efficient advocacy.’

Third hypothesis: That the effort in gaining political clout amongst the elites created very powerful lobbies on both sides of the Atlantic which acted in their own interests as well as championing Israel.

The obvious observation:

“Israel’s consciousness of its illegitimacy and the consequent necessity of constant advocacy are a result of Zionism’s failure to complete the settler-colonial project it began in 1882, when the first Jewish settlers arrived in Palestine. …, it could not eliminate the native inhabitants of historical Palestine.”

Zionists know that they have no legitimate claim to Palestine, hence their constant harping on the need for recognition of their state.

Israeli policy makers, aware of the changes in attitudes to Israel and aware that the old lobbying methods were not working, implemented from 2001, a two pronged strategy:

  • Israel was rebranded as the only progressive democracy in the 21st century Middle East, and
  • Criticism of Israel was to be met with intimidation, smearing and character assassination.

No one who reads this work will be fooled by hasbara from Israel ever again.

Pappe’ s book launch is at https://youtu.be/vx0QUTui6GY?si=LWkPVBw3C5r13MSv