Israeli historian Benny Morris has doubled down on his defence of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that took place in 1948, reported Middle East Eye.
In a new interview with Israeli paper Haaretz, Morris addressed previous comments he has made concerning the events of 1948.
“When you judge the acts of slaughter in other wars, especially in other civil wars, what happened here in 1948 was a very clean war, on average”, 70-year-old Morris said.
In a 2004 interview in Haaretz, Morris justified the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Invited to reassess those remarks in the latest interview, the historian doubled down.
While apparently regretting some of his language, Morris continued to back the population expulsions that took place.
“Everyone must do their own calculation to decide if in 1948 they did right or wrong. I think it would have been preferable to both sides if we would have separated back then,” Morris told Haaretz.
“If only the War of Independence had ended with a total separation of populations – the Arabs of the Land of Israel on the east side of the Jordan (River) and the Jews on the right side of the Jordan, the Middle East would be less unstable, the suffering of the two peoples in the last 70 years would be much smaller”.
“They [the Palestinians] would have been satisfied with a state of a sort (in the present-day Kingdom of Jordan) – not exactly what they wanted; and we would have received the whole Land of Israel”.
Morris was pessimistic about the future.
“This place will deteriorate into a Middle Eastern state with an Arab majority. The violence between various populations inside the state will continue to increase,” Morris hypothesised.
“The Arabs will demand the return of the refugees. The Jews will remain as a small minority in a large Arab sea of Palestinians – a persecuted minority or a slaughtered minority, as it was when they lived in Arab countries”.
“In another 30 to 50 years they will overcome us, one way or another”.