When he published The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 in 1987, historian Benny Morris
…found himself on a path that led to academic acclaim, an Isr
Scott Wilson writes in today’s Washington Post,
His conclusion that the Palestinian exodus was not entirely voluntary pricked the Isr
Now this is a very strange argument: The Palestinians who left the area that was later to become the State of Isr
Hairsplitting sometimes occurs in Zionist discourse. For example, the famous United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, beloved of all adherents of the two state ‘solution’, calls for ‘Withdrawal of Isr
So in much the same way, it’s irrelevant that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says ‘Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country’ (Art 13(2)) because it wasn’t proclaimed until 10 December 1948 (‘Human Rights Day’), months and months after Isr
What might be relevant, however, is that many Isr
Anyway, in Morris’s view,
"If the man [David ben Gurion] was already driving out people, maybe he should have gone the whole hog," Morris says now. "Perhaps in the end population exchanges and transfers, although they may have caused great suffering at the time, may in the long run have been better for everyone concerned."
The article is not the first time he has articulated this view. When he told to Ari Shavit ‘There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing.’ in an interview in Ha’aretz in 2004, it was a revelation.
"Had the war ended more definitively and logically demographically, everyone would have been better for it," Morris says amid the battlefields of
He told Scott Wilson, "The problem that existed here in 1947 remains today -- the Arabs don't accept
And yet, echoing Theodore Herzl’s formulation in The Jewish state, ‘a rampart of Europe against
"We are an outpost of the West, as they see it and as we also see ourselves, in a largely Islamic, backward and in some ways even barbaric area," Morris says in his trademark strafing-fire delivery. "The Muslims are busy killing people, and killing people for reasons that in the West are regarded as idiotic. There is a problem here with Islam."
So how, one might ask, does it come to pass that it’s ‘the Muslims’ whose ‘mind-set’ must switch? In ‘the West’, many don’t regard it as idiotic to deploy violence, even terrorist methods, to evict a coloniser. Indeed, it’s a fundamental element of the American national myth, and the Isr
"Two states is the only solution with an element of justice," Morris says. "But there are two other realistic solutions -- one is that the Jews will kick out all the Arabs across the river, and the other is that the Arabs will throw the Jews into the sea. I'm not sure one of them won't happen."
He holds out hope that a stable Palestinian state might one day emerge and ease hostilities. But he says he can just as easily imagine a day when