April 17, 2004


An Israeli Who's Got Everybody Outraged (JONATHAN D. TEPPERMAN, 4/17/04, NY Times)

"Ethnic cleansing has a bad name, and rightly so, but in 1948 it was justified because the 650,000 Jews who lived here were under existential threat," Mr. Morris said recently as he sat in the high-ceilinged lobby of the King David Hotel here. "It was the only way to win that war."

If Ben-Gurion bore any moral responsibility for expelling the Palestinians, Mr. Morris added, it was for not having been more thorough. Having decided on transfer, he said, Israel's leaders should have resolved to "do it properly."

"Don't leave 20 percent of the Arabs still in Israel," he said, creating "a time bomb for the future."

Mr. Morris, 55, is aware how discomforting his views are: "I'm not saying it's nice, I'm not saying it's pleasant."

And he stops short of endorsing transfer today, calling it "morally wrong and politically impractical" short of what he calls an existential threat to Israel.

But he does say, somewhat wistfully, that "had all the Palestinians crossed the Jordan River in 1948, either voluntarily or under compulsion, there would have been a complete separation between the two people, which would have taken some of the causation out of the continued warfare."

Such views — and the suggestion that ethnic cleansing cannot be ruled out as a legitimate strategy in the future — have almost entirely isolated Mr. Morris: he now finds himself rejected by his former comrades on the left and still shunned by the right.

Ilan Pappe, a professor at Haifa University who was also part of the generation of leftist revisionist historians, called Mr. Morris's statements proof that he is "a bigoted thinker, very narrow-minded."

Anita Shapira, a Zionist historian at Tel Aviv University and a longtime critic of Mr. Morris, said "he still has this inclination to look for any detail that can show the unsavory side of the Israeli army or politics, and to exaggerate it out of proportion."

His is a lonely position. "It's a bit unpleasant," Mr. Morris concedes, "when you walk in the corridors at Ben-Gurion University, and some of your colleagues don't say hello to you. It's been awkward."

But if Mr. Morris's case is extreme, his transformation and political hardening reflect some of the changes that Israeli society as a whole has undergone in recent years.

Anybody wish that America were on the verge of being majority Native American?


Posted by Orrin Judd at April 17, 2004 8:14 AM

Maybe I'm extreme, but I've strongly felt the last few years that what the Israeli's need to do is either pack it up and form a new community somewhere near the likes of undeveloped areas like Salt Lake, Cheyenne or completely segregate their country from Arabs, 100%, and build a huge electric fence around their whole country, period. Anything short of either solution is a band-aid. And I don't feel my position is extreme, anything less is ineptitude.

Posted by: neil at April 17, 2004 9:13 AM

America already is majority native American, and has been for a long time. American Indian on the other hand...

Posted by: James DeBenedetti at April 17, 2004 9:54 AM

Mmmmmm. Fry bread.

Posted by: Jason Johnson at April 17, 2004 12:39 PM

If the Amerinds were willing to act like modern day Americans and follow the US Constitution, I wouldn't care a bit.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 17, 2004 3:16 PM

AOG - modern day Americans follow the US Constitution?

Posted by: pj at April 18, 2004 7:38 AM

I am a Chinese living in Taiwan. There are two mosques within walking distances from my home in Taipei city. I like them.

We've been living with Muslims rather peacefully for over a thousand years. So are Hindi Indians and many other Asian peoples. Why couldn't you? Shame on you. Our population in China or Taiwan is more crowded. Yet, we share our world with Muslims. We treat them like friends.

I have Chinese Muslim friends. But not a single Jewish friend. Even though I know a lot about Judaism. Why? Islam, not unlike Christianity or Buddhism, is open to everyone. Even if you're an Anglo-Saxon by birth, you can be converted to a Muslim. No one will reject you. Not exactly the same thing with Judaism -- a religion for those unforgiving racists.

As you may have known, Taiwanese government is shamefully pro-US. Is that a good thing to the Jews? I don't know. Because no synagogue opens its door to us friendly Taiwanese anyway. We don't look like "terrorists" (for example, Ben-Gurion). We are G.W. Bush's @$$-kissers. But they just don't trust us.

I'll skip all the details. But it is a fact that people all over the world throughout the past two thousand years, hate Jews more or less. Some of them could be bigots. Could all of us be wrong?

No, some of us must have a good reason or excuse to hate Jews. Because it was the Jews who hate us and refuse to join us or accept us. A kid born by a non-Jewish mother is not Jewish. A gentile who loves Judaism could not become a converted Jew at least to many Orthodox Jews. Few of us agree with Adolf Hitler. But many of us do have a reason to dislike Jews either. We don't like Jews no less than blacks in Alabama or Mississippi hate white racists in the 1960s.

Among the world's major religions, Judaism is the only remaining closed one. This is racism. It was not even so in Biblical days when conversion from gentile to Jew was easier.

If the US wish to resolve the mideast issue. Send the Jews to Arizona or New Mexico and let them stay there or give up their racism. The whole US was stolen from native American hundreds of years ago. I think you have some moral obligation to abandon some lands to promote world peace.

If the Israelis do want to stop genocide not just for their own political and religious benefits, send peace troops under UN command to other countries to stop mass killing. However, I am afraid that Jews are too selfish to do so. They just want to monopolize the "Holocaust." Last time I checked, Nazis also had killed Gypsies, Poles, Slavs, homosexuals and retards. Jews just stole the holocaust from them.

As a Chinese, we used to protect hundreds of thousands of Jews in Shanghai during the WW2. Many other countries also had done their share to protect them. It is a shame that Jews failed to return their debt and make the world safer and less hostile. They just make more trouble and deaths.

Posted by: JB at April 25, 2004 4:06 AM