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Academic Quits Post Over Israeli Terror

July 2, 2012

Sunday, October 15. 2006

PROMINENT left-wing Israeli academic and author Tanya Reinhart plans to quit as emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University in protest against her Government’s handling of the Palestinian issue.

Professor Reinhart, who will give a public lecture at the University of Melbourne tomorrow night, said Israel’s walling of the large and prosperous West Bank was cutting off the Palestinian people from their lands and each other.

She said she could no longer live in Israel while it did what she said was the first attempt in history to imprison a nation with a wall that cut off villages from their farmland.

“This is not something I know from history, that you could control people by simply locking them in designated areas,” Professor Reinhart said in Adelaide, where she delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture.

“This is not the imprisonment of dissidents but the imprisonment of a whole nation.”

She said the walling of the West Bank was causing mounting international opposition, and the International Court of Justice found Israel was taking land deep inside Palestine for its own. If completed, the wall would displace up to 400,000 Palestinians and forced them to move to the outskirts of the bigger cities.

“It’s not just a land grab, it’s turning the West Bank into a natural open-air prison, just like Gaza,” she said.

Professor Reinhart whose Melbourne lecture, “What Are They Fighting For?” is sponsored by Women For Palestine, grew up with Palestinian friends. She has been a harsh critic of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land since the 1967 Israeli-Arab Six-Day War.

In her latest book, Road Map to Nowhere, she argues that the Israeli Government, including former prime minister Ariel Sharon, lied to the world by using arguments about Israel’s right to exist as a cover for taking land and resources from the Palestinian people.

“Palestinians should not have to pay the price of the Holocaust,” she said.

“It seems that it has been forgotten that this is a simple and classical conflict over Palestinian land and resources that Israel has been occupying since 1967.” She said the recent attacks on Lebanon were similarly unjustified and that Israel used the capture of their soldier, Gilad Shalit, as a pretext for war with Hezbollah. But the war had been planned for some time and was based on a vision of Israel that extended into southern Lebanon.

“Lebanese know that (1948 prime minister David) Ben-Gurion’s vision for the state of Israel was based on the Litani as the natural northern border of Israel,” she said. “Everything they did suggested they have never given up the idea of the Litani.”

She said Israeli people would never defend taking land from Lebanon but the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier was used by the Government as a failed pretext for attempting to ethnically cleanse southern Lebanon.

Professor Reinhart said she was leaving Tel Aviv with great regret.

“I can’t stay, I can’t, it’s very sad,” she said.

Professor Reinhart’s free lecture is on tomorrow at 7pm in the Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne.

Source: theage.com.au

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