Morris Dancing

       It wasn't until today that I saw Benny Morris' piece in the Atlantic that Artapraiser posted.  There are distortions in Morris' take on the Arab-Israeli conflict that I'd like to address.

      Morris says that "the Zionist side over the decades has repeatedly agreed to a compromise based on partitioning into two states, one for the Jews, the other for the Arabs--and just as repeatedly the Arab side has always rejected the two state compromise formulas that have  been proposed". Morris cited the 1937 Peel Plan, the 1947 United Nations partition plan, Barak's offer at Camp David in 2000, and Olmert's proposal in 2008.

      The Twentieth Zionist Congress rejected the Peel Plan. If you don't trust the internet, you can find the text of the Congress' resolution in Christopher Sykes' Crossroads to Israel.

       I think the Palestinians should have accepted the United Nations plan, but we shouldn't be too hard on them for rejecting it. In their eyes they were being told to give up 55 percent of their country. That isn't an easy thing to do, regardless of whether the people making the demand are in a bad way.

      Barak's plan envisioned Israel keeping 9 percent of the West Bank--after Palestinians had already lost 78 percent of the country--a Palestinian state divided into several non-contiguous pieces, and Israel controlling all of the Jewish parts of Jerusalem, including the settlements established after the conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967.

      According to the Jerusalem Post and the Israel Times Abbas didn't reject Olmert's offer; he neither accepted it nor rejected it(he was waiting for the results of Israel's election).

      Morris refers to "the first Palestinian and pan-Arab war against the Zionist enterprise" in 1947-48. If we date the  beginning of the war from the Arab invasion in 1948, the Arabs would be the aggressors. But the war in Palestine began before the Arab invasion, and that phase wasn't just Arabs falling on peaceful Jews. Check the contemporary reporting by the Palestine Post, The New York Times, and the Times of London in December, 1947, (the NYT said that on Dec. 12 "two-thirds" of  the violence was "initiated" by Jews). I'd also refer you to the report by the Council for Jewish-Arab Cooperation cited by Noam Chomsky on(I think) pg. 64 of his Peace in the Middle East?

      Finally, although Haj Amin Husseini was a pal of Hitler, Morris' charge that Palestinian Arabs "contributed" to the Holocaust seems to me to be untenable. They didn't kill any Jews in Europe, so far as I know.




    Seems hard to condemn the Mufti & assigning him blame for factors largely out of his control, at the same time ignoring the Irgun & Lehi, and the pressure they put on the Palestinian population in the late days of the war and after. Anyway, yes, Netanyahu's full of it as always. Nice to see you, Aaron.

    I've spent the whole day debating Zionists at IsraellyCool; I'm exhausted.

    Sympathies. You know, I'm leaning towards a 3-state solution, since a 2-state's been out of reach and a 1-state seems a bit unfair. You guys wanna resettle some Uyghurs? Bet it'll calm things down. #OutOfTheBoxThinking #PPKRAZYTALK

    Then again, this Israeli protest was pretty cool:

       Elder of Ziyon supports Bibi's plan for annexation, and says that Israel has a legal right to the West Bank. EOZ always used me well, but his views are distressing.

    Back much further; fascinating: 

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