Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Hits: 1067

The Israeli historian Benny Morris has been very vocal of late in denying that Palestine was ethnically cleansed of Arabs in order for the “Jewish state” of Israel to be established. In a series of articles in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Morris has debated the question with several of his critics who contend that ethnic cleansing is precisely what occurred. Not so, argues Morris. So who’s right?

It’s worth noting at the outset that, while such a debate exists in the Israeli media, the US media remains, as ever, absolutely silent on the matter. Americans who get their information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only from the nightly news or papers like the New York Times and Washington Post would never even know that there is a discussion about it. Not only that, but they would have absolutely no familiarity at all with the idea that Palestine was ethnically cleansed of most of its Arab inhabitants in 1948. That this occurred (or even that this might have occurred) is entirely absent from the discussion; it is simply wiped from history altogether, in the narrative of the conflict propagated by the US media.

Even in those rare instances when the mainstream media outlets do refer to the expulsion and flight of Arabs from their villages, it is characterized as only as an unfortunate but unintended consequence of a war started by the neighboring Arab states to wipe the new state of Israel off the map—a narrative that is not merely over-simplified, but false.[1]

So was Palestine ethnically cleansed in 1948? The debate between Benny Morris and his interlocutors provides a unique occasion to clear up several myths and misconceptions about what actually happened during the 1948 war. An examination of the arguments Morris presents to deny its occurrence is highly instructive, and offers an opportunity to settle the matter once and for all—and, in doing so, to finally move the discussion about how to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians forward.

References

[1] Jeremy R. Hammond, Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Cross Village: Worldview Publications, 2016), 310–312, 316–319.

[2] Daniel Blatman, “Netanyahu, This Is What Ethnic Cleansing Really Looks Like,” Haaretz, October 3, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.745561.

[3] Benny Morris, “Israel Conducted No Ethnic Cleansing in 1948,” Haaretz, October 10, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.746676.

[4] Daniel Blatman, “Yes, Benny Morris, Israel Did Perpetrate Ethnic Cleansing in 1948,” Haaretz, October 14, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.747508.

[5] Steven Klein, “Does the ‘Father’ of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing Narrative Really Want to Recant His Words?” Haaretz, October 19, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.748135.

[6] Ehud Ein-Gil, “Israel Did Do Ethnic Cleansing in 1948. My Father’s Words Prove It,” Haaretz, October 20, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.748220.

[7] Benny Morris, “‘Ethnic Cleansing’ and pro-Arab Propaganda,” Haaretz, October 23, 2016, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.748673.

[8] Hammond, Obstacle to Peace, 5 (see fn 26).

[9] Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008), Kindle Edition, Locations 5726–5728.

[10] Hammond, Obstacle to Peace, 5.

[11] Ibid., 317.

[12] United Kingdom, Palestine Royal Commission Report (Peel Commission), July 1937, 389–391.

[13] Ibid., 248.

[14] Morris, 1948, 5717–5718.

[15] Ibid., 299–300.

[16] Ibid., 302–303.

[17] Hammond, Obstacle to Peace, 317.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Morris, 1948, 781–788.

[20] Ibid., 1127–1136.

[21] Ibid., 1547–1552.

[22] Ibid., 1556–1559.

[23] Ibid., 1559–1565.

[24] Ibid., 5591.

[25] Ibid., 313–315.

[26] United Kingdom, Disturbances in May, 1921 (Haycraft Commission), October, 1921, 54.

[27] Ibid., 57.

[28] Ibid., 150.

[29] Morris, 1948, 223–225, 251–253.

[30] Ibid., 256–257.

[31] Ibid., 5496–5499. The bracketed insertions are Morris’s.

[32] Ibid., 5500–5503.

[33] Jeremy R. Hammond, The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Raleigh: Lulu Press, 2009), 8.

[34] Peel Commission, 23.

[35] Peel Commission, 24.

[36] Peel Commission, 24.

[37] Peel Commission, 51.

[38] Peel Commission, 42.

[39] Peel Commission, 25.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Hammond, The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination, 14.

[42] Peel Commission, 29.

[43] Ibid., 28.

[44]http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp

[45] United Kingdom, Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development (Hope Simpson Report), October 1930, https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/E3ED8720F8707C9385256D19004F057C.

[46] Ibid., 55.

[47] Haycraft Commission, 55.

[48] Hope Simpson Report.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Hammond, The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination, 6–7.

[51] United Kingdom, Report of the Commission on the Palestine Disturbances of August, 1929 (Shaw Commission), 119–120.

[52] United Kingdom and United States, Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry regarding the problems of European Jewry and Palestine (Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry), April 20, 1946, 30.

[53] Shaw Commission, 114.

[54] Ibid., 117–118.

[55] Ibid., 118–119.

[56] Hammond, Obstacle to Peace, 3–4. Morris notes that “the Jews had been given the best agricultural lands (the Coastal Plain and Jezreel and Jordan Valleys)” under UNSCOP’s plan. See Morris, 1948, 959–960.

[57] Hammond, Obstacle to Peace, 5.

[58] Morris, 1948, 1152–1153.

[59] Ibid., 1476–1477, 1508–1509, 1512–1513.

[60] Ibid., 1472–1473.

[61] Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006), Kindle Edition, Locations 1382–1387.

[62] Ibid., 1413–1418.

[63] Morris, 1948, 1515–1517.

[64] Pappé, 1429–1440.

[65] Morris, 1948, 1763.

[66] Walid Khalidi, “Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 18, No. 1, Special Issue: Palestine 1948, (Autumn, 1988); Appendix B, “Text of Plan Dalet (Plan D), 10 March 1948: General Section,” 29.

[67] Morris, 1948, 1783–1785, 1793–1794.

[68] Pappé, 1913–1916.

[69] Ibid., 220–221.

[70] Ibid., 1964–1970.

[71] Morris, 1948, 1408–1410, 1418–1423.

[72] Ibid., 1504–1508, 1533–1536

[73] Pappé, 1449–1450.

[74] Ibid., 1607–1609.

[75] Morris, 1948, 1534–1536.

[76] Ibid., 1539–1545.

[77] Ibid., 1797–1798.

[78] Ibid., 2055.

[79] Ibid., 2059–2064.

[80] Ibid., 2089–2092, 2096–2100.

[81] Ibid., 2100–2103.

[82] Ibid., 2111–2120.

[83] Ibid., 2126–2141, 2147–2151.

[84] Ibid., 1437–1438.

[85] Pappé, 1606–1623.

[86] Ibid., 1624–1639.

[87] Morris, 1948, 1852–1853.

[88] Ibid., 1960–1961.

[89] Ibid., 1964–1965.

[90] Ibid., 1962–1963.

[91] Ibid., 2265–2269.

[92] Ibid., 2291–2294.

[93] Ibid., 2297–2312.

[94] Ibid., 2314–2322.

[95] Ibid., 2322–2323.

[96] Ari Shavit, “Survival of the Fittest,” Interview with Benny Morris, Haaretz, January 8, 2004, http://www.haaretz.com/survival-of-the-fittest-1.61345 (part 1), http://www.haaretz.com/survival-of-the-fittest-cont-1.61341 (part 2).

[97] Morris, 1948, 1496–1497.

[98] Ibid., 1497–1500.

[99] Andrew Bell-Fialkoff, “A Brief History of Ethnic Cleansing,” Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/1993-06-01/brief-history-ethnic-cleansing.

[100] US Department of State, Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo: An Accounting, December 1999, http://www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/kosovoii/homepage.html.

[101] International Court of Justice, “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro)”, Judgment of 26 February 2007, 83, http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/91/13685.pdf.

[102] Pappé, 405–406.


Originally published on 2017-11-14
About the author: Jeremy R. Hammond is an award-winning independent political analyst and editor and publisher of Foreign Policy Journal. Described by Barron’s as “a writer of rare skill”, he is the author of Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2016), Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian Economics in the Financial Crisis (2012), and The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict (2009). Find him on the web at JeremyRHammond.com.

Source: Foreign Policy Journal

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
A Brief History of American Torture
American torture is back in the news again as Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, prepares for what could be a rocky Senate confirmation hearing with some tough questions about her role overseeing a secret torture prison in Thailand and destroying tapes of brutal detainee interrogation sessions. Haspel’s nomination, and to a lesser degree her earlier appointment as deputy CIA director, reopened what more well-meaning observers, including torture survivor Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), have called “one of the darkest chapters” in US history, the so-called “enhanced interrogation” abuse of men, women and children caught up ...
READ MORE
Back to the 1930s: Hitler, Da’esh and the West
Whilst Da’esh are constantly being compared to the Nazis, the real parallel – the West’s willingness to build up fascism in order to cripple Russia – is often forgotten. The recent debate in the British House of Commons on bombing Syria saw the comparisons coming thick and fast. “Daesh are the fascists of our time”, said Labour MP Dan Jarvis; “this is the fascist war of our generation” opined Sarah Wollaston; whilst Hillary Benn rounded off the debate by explaining that “we are faced by fascists” and “what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated”. The parallels are ...
READ MORE
What is July 4th to US Imperialism? What is It to the Oppressed?
“The Declaration of Independence implicitly legalized the enslavement of Black people and the genocide of Native people within the context of the developing American capitalist nation-state.” July 4th is once again approaching and principled left forces need to use the day as a teaching moment. In a speech given on July 4th, 1852, Frederick Douglas spoke before a packed Rochester Hall and did just that, highlighting the hypocrisy that stains the July 4th celebration of the American Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence, as Douglass emphasized, held no worth to the millions of Black people in the United States whose existence was ...
READ MORE
NATO’s War Crimes: The Crime of Propaganda
The NATO military alliance is a world encompassing threat. It is now conducting various forms of hybrid warfare against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and most of Africa. They have destroyed directly or are largely responsible for the destruction of the socialist nations of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and too many to name in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Destruction is the fate that each nation on earth can expect unless it pays homage and obeisance to these neo-feudal overlords who promise protection in return for national servitude, in return for the complete ...
READ MORE
Five Facts about Kosovo the #Fakenews Media is Lying to You about
1. Kosovo is not ancient Albanian landIts very name comes from the Serbian word “kos,” meaning blackbird. Its Albanian name, “Kosova,” means nothing whatsoever.Kosovo was the heartland of medieval Serbian state and the site of the 1389 battle in which both the Serbian prince and the Ottoman sultan died, checking the Turkish expansion into the Balkans for almost 70 years. Ethnic Albanians were settled there by the Ottomans over the intervening centuries, and became a majority due to pogroms and persecution of Serbs – which began under Ottoman rule but continued under Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI and German/Italian occupation in ...
READ MORE
A Refugee Problem in Europe
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. Save
READ MORE
False Flag Terror: A Historical Overview
Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag TerrorIn the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria.This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasionsadmitted their part in the ...
READ MORE
America’s Renegade Warfare
Seventy-seven million people in North and South Korea find themselves directly in the line of fire from the threat of a Second Korean War. The rest of the world is recoiling in horror from the scale of civilian casualties such a war would cause and the unthinkable prospect that either side might actually use nuclear weapons.Since the first Korean War killed at least 20 percent of North Korea’s population and left the country in ruins, the U.S. has repeatedly failed to follow through on diplomacy to establish a lasting peace in Korea and has instead kept reverting to illegal and terrifying threats ...
READ MORE
The Empire Wants Ms. Hitllary Clinton, The Conqueror!
What a fine race it has become! Both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are competing in it as a who is the ‘tougher guy/gal’ in what could be easily described as a 21st Century Tarantino-style (or Scorsese-style) political pulp fiction gore. What they both utter, may often sound like some staged bluff: “Are you talking to me? Hey, there’s nobody else here… Are you talking to me?” But just think for a moment what would really happen if one of them sticks to his or her ‘promises’ and ‘principles’, after getting elected! (The bullets would be flying, the nukes exploding, and millions ...
READ MORE
The Dark Side of Israeli Independence
On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. Each May 15, Palestinians solemnly commemorate Nakba Day. Nakba means catastrophe, and that’s precisely what Israel’s independence has been for the more than 700,000 Arabs and their five million refugee descendants forced from their homes and into exile, often by horrific violence, to make way for the Jewish state. Land Without a People?  In the late 19th century, Zionism emerged as a movement for the reestablishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire. Although Jews ruled over kingdoms there more than 2,000 years ago, they never numbered more than ...
READ MORE
Dear America – Open Letter to the Americans
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. Save Save
READ MORE
The U.S. War Crimes in North Korea: Video
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
** FILE ** President Bush declares the end of major combat in Iraq as he speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast, in this May 1, 2003 file photo. Democratic congressional leaders on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 sent Iraq legislation setting timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals to President George W. Bush and a certain veto.  On the fourth anniversary of the president's "Mission Accomplished" speech, Senate Majority Democratic Leader Harry Reid said that Bush "has put our troops in the middle of a civil war. A change of course is needed."  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The words “possible criminal actions” by CIA employees are used in the report.The terms unethical and immoral are mentioned. The criminality of those who ordered these actions at the highest levels of government, however, is not acknowledged.The actions directed against alleged jihadists are categorized as ineffective in the process of revealing intelligence. This in itself is a red herring. The objective of torture was not to reveal intelligence.What of course is not acknowledged is that the alleged terrorists who were tortured were framed by the CIA.Known and documented the Al Qaeda network is a creation of US intelligence.The jihadists are ...
READ MORE
North Korea vs the United States: Who are the Demons?
The American people should, in the words of Vietnam War Veteran Brian Willson  “place themselves in the position of people living in targeted countries. That North Korea, a nation of 24 million people, i.e., one-twentieth the population of the U.S., many of them poor, a land slightly larger in area than the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, continues to be one of the most demonized nations and least understood, totally perplexes the Korean people.” What most people in America do not know –and which is particularly relevant when assessing the “threats” of the DPRK to World peace– is that North Korea lost thirty percent ...
READ MORE
US Serbs, Angry about Being Bombed by Bill, May Have Cost Hillary the Election
The reason Hillary Clinton was crushed in the electoral college during this election is because she lost Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania . The reason behind the unprecedented loss can be summed up in two sentences. We will not forget. We will not forgive. These three states are home to the Serbian-American community. For most of them, their traditionally Democratic ticket vote turning Republican was a clear repudiation of Hillary Clinton's role in the Balkan genocide. "An American Serb generally doesn't vote FOR anyone, but AGAINST a Biden, a Clinton, a McCain, against whoever Madeleine Albright supports, against whoever bombed Serbia, recognized Kosovo... Wait, was Dubya a ...
READ MORE
When Terrorism Becomes Counter-Terrorism
US foreign  policy has nurtured Al Qaeda, a creation of the CIA for more than 35 years, with the support of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s  infamous  General Intelligence Presidency (GIP).  Lest we forget Osama bin Laden was recruited in 1979 by the CIA at the outset of the Soviet- Afghan war. A complex network of Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations overseen by US and allied intelligence agencies has unfolded, extending across the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Western China, South and South East Asia. Rand Corporation  Report 2012 While mainstream analysis regarding CIA covert  support of “jihadist” terrorist entities is a ...
READ MORE
The “Catalonian Question”
The Catalan identity and Catalonia Catalans are the people who live in the territories of Spain in the autonomous-historical region called Catalonia. Their significance for the Spanish inner politics can be understood as the best if we know that Catalonia (Catalunya) is being since 1975 the most politically and economically powerful autonomous self-governed region in the Kingdom of Spain – during the last 20 years, basically, a kind of “a state within the state”. As a matter of fact, Catalans are the most integrated ethnohistorical groups of Spain together with Basques.[1]What makes Catalans so interlinked could be understood if we know ...
READ MORE
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
Will the election of Republican George W. Bush as President usher in changes in foreign policy with regard to Serbia, Yugoslavia, and the Balkans? Will there be a continuation of „humanitarian interventionism“, „military humanism“, „economic globalism“ and „globalization“? The Bush Administration foreign policy team has rejected the selective humanitarian interventionism of the Bill Clinton/Al Gore Administration, as espoused by Madeleine Albright and James Rubin. John Hulsman, Balkans adviser to Bush, announced that Bush was concerned about „imperial overstretch“ and has rejected a foreign policy that uses the US military in „nation building“. Hulsman has announced a „philosophical sea change“ in Balkans ...
READ MORE
A Russian Warning
We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely dangerous collision course with the Russian Federation, as well as with China. Many respected, patriotic Americans, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Cohen, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern and many others have been issuing warnings of a looming a Third World War. But their voices have been all but lost among the din of a mass media that is full of deceptive and inaccurate stories that characterize the Russian economy ...
READ MORE
A Geopolitical Convergence Between the US and Russia
The end of the Cold War era in 1989 brought during the first coming years a kind of international optimism that the idea of the „end of history“ really can be realized as it was a belief in no reason for the geopolitical struggles between the most powerful states. The New World Order, spoken out firstly by M. Gorbachev in his address to the UN on December 7th, 1988 was originally seen as the order of equal partnership in the world politics reflecting „radically different international circumstances after the Cold War“.[1] Unfortunately, the Cold War era finished without the „end of ...
READ MORE
A Brief History of American Torture
Back to the 1930s: Hitler, Da’esh and the West
What is July 4th to US Imperialism? What is It to the Oppressed?
NATO’s War Crimes: The Crime of Propaganda
Five Facts about Kosovo the #Fakenews Media is Lying to You about
A Refugee Problem in Europe
False Flag Terror: A Historical Overview
America’s Renegade Warfare
The Empire Wants Ms. Hitllary Clinton, The Conqueror!
The Dark Side of Israeli Independence
Dear America – Open Letter to the Americans
The U.S. War Crimes in North Korea: Video
The Role of 9/11 in Justifying Torture and War
North Korea vs the United States: Who are the Demons?
US Serbs, Angry about Being Bombed by Bill, May Have Cost Hillary the Election
When Terrorism Becomes Counter-Terrorism
The “Catalonian Question”
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
A Russian Warning
A Geopolitical Convergence Between the US and Russia
Global-Politics.eu

Written by Global-Politics.eu

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu