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A professor at the University of Exeter in the U.K. has apparently justified Hamas' attack against Israel on October 7, suggesting that the terrorist group "had to act, and quickly so."
Professor Ilan Pappe is reported to have denied that Hamas is a terrorist group, despite the group overtly targeting noncombatants on October 7, which ultimately resulted in 1,200 deaths. Many of those killed were women and children.
The Telegraph reported that Pappe is an expatriate of Israel who is now a professor of history and also the director of the European Centre for Palestinian Studies at the University of Exeter. The university is the most recent academic institution to come under fire after some of its faculty have come out in support of Palestine amid the conflict in the Middle East.
One student at the university has come out against the professor, criticizing the university for failing to support its Jewish population by condemning Pappe's comments about the ongoing conflict.
In a piece for the Palestine Chronicle, dated October 10, Pappe wrote a piece, describing why he supported the Palestinian cause, saying: "It is challenging to maintain one’s moral compass when the society you belong to – leaders and media alike – takes the moral high ground and expects you to share with them the same righteous fury with which they reacted to the events of last Saturday, October 7."
"It is this moral compass that led me, and others in our society, to stand by the Palestinian people in every way possible; and that enables us, at the same time, to admire the courage of the Palestinian fighters who took over a dozen military bases, overcoming the strongest army in the Middle East."
Pappe did not appear to waver in his utter support for the Palestinian cause in the region, writing that there is a way forward, which would be a "de-zionised, liberated and democratic Palestine from the river to the sea; a Palestine that will welcome back the refugees and build a society that does not discriminate on the basis of culture, religion or ethnicity."
Though Pappe appeared to suggest Israelis need to be open to diverse cultures, he did not appear to hold those in Gaza to the same standard. The professor also failed to address how Hamas has used its own citizens in Gaza as human shields against military opponents.
The Telegraph reported that when Pappe was asked to clarify his views about Hamas' horrific acts of rape, torture, and murder during the October 7 attack, he said he condemns these actions "now more than ever before." But he did not make these views apparent in his piece published just three days after the attack.
“There is a difference between occupying military bases of an army that maintains the Gaza Strip as a ghetto and the killing of innocent people, raping and the other atrocities committed that awful Saturday," Pappe said.
Pappe is just one among many academics who appear to believe that Israel is "hellbent on accelerating the destruction, in fact the elimination of the Palestinian people — or even their very claim to peoplehood."
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