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William Cook talks Palestine

William Cook, professor of English, discusses the issues in the Middle East during the lecture “Light from the Darkness: ‘Top Secret’ files from the Bowels of Rhodes House” on Monday. Cook has published a book on the topic called “Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy.”/photo by Garrett Gutierrez

Tennille Wright
Staff Writer

Introduced as a “local radical,” William Cook, professor of English, presented his lecture, “Light from the Darkness: ‘Top Secret’ files from the Bowels of Rhodes House,” Monday in the President’s Dining Room.

Cook’s lecture was free of PowerPoint and technological aids.

“I want to emphasize how research used to be done,” Cook said.

The lecture provided a detailed description of the planned ethnic cleansing that took place in 1948, backed by research conducted from the Rhodes House Archives found in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

During this time, facilitated by Britain, nearly 800,000 Palestinian people were driven out of Palestine.

Palestinians refer to the crisis as Nakba, meaning catastrophe, Cook said. Villages were destroyed and innocent people were killed.

Cook described the journey as he gathered research to learn the truth regarding the demographic changes in Palestine.

His research is included and expanded on in his new book “The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction.”

“I think it’s great that we have these lectures, especially for the students,” Lauryn Wingate, senior English major, said.

Cook presented an illustration that provided the audience a visual of the amount of land occupied by Palestinians from 1946 to 2000.

The illustration represented a significant decrease in the Palestinian population.

The audience listened intently and engaged in an informative question and answer session after the lecture ended.

“He is so passionate about the subject and it is always interesting to hear him speak about this topic,” Marcella Marquez, senior English major, said.

Wingate described Cook’s book, “Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy,” as an exceptional book about the endless wars against Arabs and Muslims, sponsored by George H.W. Bush to facilitate the “New World Order.”

Following the lecture, Cook spoke about how the Palestinians’ crisis related to other the crises of other ethnic groups around the world.

Many similar catastrophes have taken place throughout history, Cook said.

Two examples include the American-Indian Wars and the Mexican-American War.

“There is a great need in the United States to learn what the government is doing in the name of its taxpayers, the truth is not being made known,” Cook said.

Tennille Wright can be reached at

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