“I was boycotted in my university and there had been attempts to expel me from my job. I am getting threatening calls from people every day. I am not being viewed as a threat to the Israeli society but my people think that I am either insane or my views are irrelevant. Many Israelis also believe that I am working as a mercenary for the Arabs.”
Although a controversial figure in Israel, (he has called for an academic boycott of Israel), Ilan Pappe is a well regarded historian who was snapped up by† University Exeter in England.
This is a situation similar to that of Tanya Reinhart who, just before her death, had recently moved to the US because she was ousted from her chair as professor of linguistics and cultural studies. She also cited harassment as the main reason.
Both Pappe and Reinhart are/were top flight scholars in their fields. Having intellectuals leave Israel explicitly because of harassment is a dangerous trend, no matter their point of view. Intellectual growth is fostered by a multitude of voices. Special pleading that this is different because of …… pick a specious reason, 1) state security, 2) not being a friend of Israel, 3) neither was, in actual fact a very good scholar, or 4) that one or both acted in bad faith, broke rules, laws, etc. seems rather unpersuasive, to say the least.