Events around date of publication of this item.
|Thu, 15 Jan 2004|
|Airplanes spray herbicides over the crops of three Bedouin villages and destroy some houses|
|Wed, 14 Jan 2004|
|The government destroyed five houses outside the unrecognized village of Hura, and attempted to destroy others in Yatir|
|Tue, 13 Jan 2004|
|Death of Tom Hurndall|
| Jan 2004|
|Israel asks US to delay report human rights report until after ICJ hearing on apartheid wall|
|Tue, 30 Dec 2003|
|The government destroyed buildings at two locations: a Mosque in Zaarura and six houses in Qatamat|
|Israeli helicopter gunship injures 14 Palestinian civilians in Gaza city|
|Sun, 28 Dec 2003|
|Israeli police question in hospital, under warning, separation barrier protester who was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli troops|
|Fri, 26 Dec 2003|
|Israeli army shoots unarmed Israeli peace activist with live ammunition|
|Sat, 13 Dec 2003|
|Saddam Hussein captured by US forces|
Survival of the fittest (Part 1)
: Survival of the fittest (Part 1)By
: Ari Shavit
(interviewer) Benny Morris
(interviewee) Published in
: Ha'aretzDate of issue
9 January 2004Topic(s) addressed
: People/entities mentioned in this item:
Place(s) mentioned in this item:
Timeline event(s) mentioned in this item:
Commentary (by JB) Abstract
An interview with Benny Morris which reveals what an astonishing creature he is, a strange mixture of amorality and racist conceit.
This article illustrates perfectly the dangers of
narcissistic self-pity; it is a shocking, but probably useful,
reminder of the dangerously irrational amorality that informs and motivates Israeli atrocities.
that, in 1948, Ben-Gurion ordered the expulsion of the Palestinian Arabs and
goes on to say
Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here. ... I don't think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands. ... But I do not identify with Ben-Gurion. I think he made a serious historical mistake in 1948. Even though he understood the demographic issue and the need to establish a Jewish state without a large Arab minority, he got cold feet during the war. In the end, he faltered. ... If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country - the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion - rather than a partial one - he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations. ... The non-completion of the transfer was a mistake.
Morris then proceeds to justify all this in a way which documents both his strange personal psychology, his apparently deliberate misrepresentation of the Clinton-Barak/Arafat negotiations in 2000 and his ignorance of the real history of the Arab expansion in the seventh century.
Benny Morris says he was always a Zionist. People were mistaken when they labeled him a post-Zionist, when they thought that his historical study on the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem was intended to undercut the Zionist enterprise. Nonsense, Morris says, that's completely unfounded. Some readers simply misread the book. They didn't read it with the same detachment, the same moral neutrality, with which it was written. So they came to the mistaken conclusion that when Morris describes the cruelest deeds that the Zionist movement perpetrated in 1948 he is actually being condemnatory, that when he describes the large-scale expulsion operations he is being denunciatory. They did not conceive that the great documenter of the sins of Zionism in fact identifies with those sins. That he thinks some of them, at least, were unavoidable. Advertisement
Two years ago, different voices began to be heard. The historian who was considered a radical leftist suddenly maintained that Israel had no one to talk to. The researcher who was accused of being an Israel hater (and was boycotted by the Israeli academic establishment) began to publish articles in favor of Israel in the British paper The Guardian.
Whereas citizen Morris turned out to be a not completely snow-white dove, historian Morris continued to work on the Hebrew translation of his massive work "Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001," which was written in the old, peace-pursuing style. And at the same time historian Morris completed the new version of his book on the refugee problem, which is going to strengthen the hands of those who abominate Israel. So that in the past two years citizen Morris and historian Morris worked as though there is no connection between them, as though one was trying to save what the other insists on eradicating.
Both books will appear in the coming month. The book on the history of the Zionist-Arab conflict will be published in Hebrew by Am Oved in Tel Aviv, while the Cambridge University Press will publish "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited" (it originally appeared, under the CUP imprint, in 1987). That book describes in chilling detail the atrocities of the Nakba. Isn't Morris ever frightened at the present-day political implications of his historical study? Isn't he fearful that he has contributed to Israel becoming almost a pariah state? After a few moments of evasion, Morris admits that he is. Sometimes he really is frightened. Sometimes he asks himself what he has wrought.