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Profile: Ben White

Ben White, the author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide and co-author of Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy, is an anti-Israel speaker who regularly delivers presentations on American college campuses.

A graduate of Cambridge University in the UK, White is a supporter of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – which is predicated on the dismantlement of Israel as a Jewish state – and an advocate for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. In a June 2013 article on Middle East Monitor, White described the two-state solution as “rubber-stamping ethnic cleansing and guaranteeing Jewish privilege.”

White has engaged in anti-Semitic tactics, including analogizing Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. In a November 2007 article called “Boycott: The Backlash,” which appears on his website, White alleged that Zionism is a “social-democratic experiment” and that Palestinians endured “death marches” at the hands of the Israeli government. He has claimed that Israel exploits the memory of the Holocaust in order to justify its so-called oppression of the Palestinian people, believing that it is justifiable, “as long as it falls short of what was experienced by the Jews in Nazi Europe.”

White has also defended the anti-Semitic statements of others, notably former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s infamous remarks denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” In a January 2006 article called “History, Myths and all the News that’s Fit to Print,” White claimed that Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel’s destruction had “more ambiguity than most allowed” and argued that a head of state should not be threatened with diplomatic sanction “for his beliefs.”

In the article, which appeared on White’s website, he also defended Ahmadinejad’s abhorrent statements questioning the veracity of the Holocaust. He wrote: “The President’s remarks, as detailed on the official Iranian news agency website, did not actually denote a disbelief in the genocide perpetrated against the Jews during World War II. Rather, they sought to highlight the hypocrisy of European guilt over the Holocaust contrasted with their support for the colonisation of Palestine.”

He further explained away Ahmadinejad’s use of the term “myth” to describe the Holocaust as not necessarily referring to an episode that is untrue, but rather an incident that has become imbued with “symbolic meaning.”

In a 2002 article published by CounterPunch, a far Left newsletter, White offered his own skewed reasons for why anti-Semitism is on the rise. He acknowledged that he can “understand” why people are anti-Semitic as a result of the “state of Israel, its ideology of racial supremacy and its subsequent crimes committed against the Palestinians.” He concluded the article by saying, “'I can understand very well that some people are unpleasant towards Jews.’ I do not agree with them, but I can understand.” 

During an Israeli military operation to thwart Hamas rocket attacks in November 2012, White went so far as to justify Hamas’s targeting of Israeli civilians.  In a status update on his Facebook page, White wrote: “Israel’s hasbara (public relations) says context for assault is rocket fire. Well, context for rocket fire is 64 years of expulsion & occupation.”

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Ben White on anti-Semitism: "'I can understand very well that some people are unpleasant towards Jews.’ I do not agree with them, but I can understand.” 

Highlights

  • White has compared Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi Holocaust.
  • He supports a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • He legitimizes Palestinian terrorism by describing it as a legitimate response to Israel's policies of "expulsion and occupation."
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