An Israeli academic has been living in exile in the UK after a concerted campaign against him which included death threats and condemnation in Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset.

Ilan Binyamin Pappe, 66, a professor at the University of Exeter, has been a resident in the UK since 2008. He is a historian and social activist.

Professor Pappe was born in Haifa, Israel in 1954. Before coming to the UK, he was a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa. His family in the UK include his partner and two sons.

An Israeli son of German-Jewish emigrants who fled Nazi persecution in the 1930s, he has spoken out about the Palestine issue and Israeli atrocities which made him a very unpopular figure in Israel. His opponents depicted him as either a “traitor” or a “nutcase.”

Prior to moving to the UK, his photos appeared in Israeli media.

He said: “I was forced to leave Haifa University and couldn’t get a job in Israel, so I had to look for work outside {of Israel} as I was ostracized by the mainstream media and the academia.

“I had a typical Israeli-Jewish upbringing and studied for a BA from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and then a PhD in Oxford, UK.

“I spent half of my time in Israel. It’s difficult to see what happens on a daily basis to the Palestinians, but you can live quite well as an Israeli Jew."

He was forced out from the University due to his views but wishes to go back to Israel one day as he has a brother and a sister there and wants to campaign for the Palestinians. Some relatives in his wider family do not talk to him due to his academic opinions.

He added: “Israel is a settler colonial state that exercises apartheid, ethnic cleansing and oppression over millions of Palestinians. The lack of a solution to the Palestinian question impacts the Arab world as a whole and is a serious impediment for stability and peace in the region.”

He argues that when Israel was created in 1948, the expulsion or flight of around 700,000 Palestinians was actually 'ethnic genocide'.

He approves of the Palestinian-led BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement which he views as a righteous campaign against injustice. Pappe supports economic and political sanctions on Israel, including an academic boycott.

He started to receive death threats by post, email and phone after he was asked on national radio whether he was going to take his complaints about the treatment of Palestinians to the UN Security Council.

“My family members were also threatened which was one reason for leaving Israel for the UK more than a decade ago. The worst part was that the threats were directed against my children who were quite young at that time.” He stated.

He is a speaker of Arabic and was a good footballer when he was younger. He enjoys 19th-century English novels, cinema, classical music and is a fan of Liverpool FC.

For more information about the Israeli – Palestine conflict refer to ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’ by Professor Ilan Pappe.