Pro-Israeli Truth: Academic Extension of Western Support of Israel
May 26, 2014
Iranian World Studies Association held the meeting on the academic extension of the Western support of Israel in the Iran Hall of the Faculty of World Studies on Monday, May 01, 2017. Iranian and foreign students and professors of the Faculty attended the presentation. The meeting was held in English.
Dr. Sayed Hadi Borhani, Member of the FWS, presented the results of his PhD dissertation project in the European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter.
The research, accomplished under the supervision of Professor Ilan Pappé, founder and manager of ECPS, analyzes the current academic references in the field of Israeli-Palestinian history. In order to do so, the most-cited references were identified at the universities of six Western countries of the United States, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. Then, these books, including six academic textbooks, were studied. Dr. Borhani argued that a comparison between the textbook historical analysis of these references and the Zionist historical narrative clearly indicates and proves a close relationship and orientation between Western and Zionist narratives.
Later in his speech, Dr. Borhani discussed the results of his context analysis in order to elaborate on the reasons for this Zionist orientation of Western academic textbooks. He argued that Jewish writers and authors are the main reason for this partisan stance. Six out of the eight authors of these academic textbooks are Jewish; five of them have known pro-Israeli tendencies.
Another reason for this biased literature is the American-Israeli context in which these textbooks were produced. The authors are generally American or Israeli and have mostly been graduated from American or Israeli higher education institutions. The research shows that Palestinian, Muslim, or Arab thinkers do not have a single role in the production of the dominant literature in the Western states in the field of Israeli-Palestinian history.
Dr. Borhani concluded his speech by analyzing the educational, political, and international consequences of this situation in the West. Educationally, the domination of Zionist narratives provides the students with a biased report on the subject and disallows them to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the Palestinian conflict. Politically, it can be considered as a main reason for Israeli-oriented perception in the West. Biased knowledge produces biased political and social attitudes, consequently leading to biased policies in favor of Israel. International extension of this issue is due to the fact that the knowledge produced in the West is normally turned into the dominant knowledge in the world and has a global influence on academic and public circles.