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1/21/2004 06:13:00 PM | Timothy

Benny Morris' interview with Ha'aretz
Israeli historian Benny Morris has a new book coming out elaborating on his research, which he claims shows that the Zionists did cruel deeds in 1948 to expel the Palestinians from certain areas. This has been a controversial claim, one usually brought up by people claiming that Israel has no right to exist. But Morris also claims that Isreal could only have been founded this way, so the Zionist actions were therefore justified, as Israel has a right to exist. (Note this is a different claim than simply saying that in the course of founding Israel, Zionists committed (avoidable?) atrocities. It is a different claim than saying that whatever the circumstances of Israel's founding, Isreal has a right to exist now.) Morris' moral logic of the 'ends justifies the means' (even at the time it occurs) is frightening. I'm trying to think how much Morris' talk of existential threats is like Carl Schmitt's friend/enemy distinction.

There are some morally chilling statements by Morris about how "There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing" and how Ben-Gurion supposedly advocated transfer, but how "The non-completion of the transfer was a mistake."

Don't rely on my rough, selective blog post: this interview is a must-read in its entirety.

[Edited to remove stuff not written by me that was meant to quoted in a further post]



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