I never thought that Israeli Professor Benny Morris is worth writing an article about. After all, he’s been known as a racist historian for decades, mainly after turning towards right-wing racism.
However, what prompted me to write this article is that Morris’ recent statements clearly reflect the nature of extreme racism that has penetrated and become deeply rooted in Israeli society. It has reached the point of fascism according to many Israelis known for their deep hatred of Palestinians such as former prime minister Ehud Barak. The transformation in Morris’ character, writings and actions represent an intense and accurate image of the racist transformations that have swept Israel over the past decades.
Morris insists on reiterating a well-known lie, and repeating a couple of insolent tales to justify racial extremism. The lie he keeps using is that the Zionist movement agreed to the two-state solution four times: in 1937, 1947, 1977 and 2008 while Palestinians insisted on rejecting it.
Another Israeli historian, Avi Shlaim, who works at Oxford University, proved conclusively that the Zionist movement, contrary to Morris’ claims, has never accepted the partition plan, or the two-state solution, adopted by the United Nations in 1947.
Morris manipulates facts when he calls the autocratic autonomy offered in 1977 and the years following a two-state solution. It is also well-known that Rabin himself has not accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state and has insisted that the peace accords merely called for self-rule under Israeli security control.
Promoting this lie is used as a justification for the practices of Benny Morris’ new fan, Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of his government. Their actions include the annexation and Judaisation of all Palestine and the rejection of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. This means that they are violating Palestinian rights and holding Palestinians responsible for that.
Morris’ first racist insolent tale was when he said “Ben-Gurion should have carried out a complete ethnic cleansing of Palestinians”. He blamed him for not expelling the 160,000 Arabs who stayed in Palestine after the 1948 Nakba. He even blames Ben-Gurion for not expelling all Palestinians to East Jordan to complete Palestinians’ ethnic cleansing, which he justifies as being better than genocide.
The second time he was insolent is when denying the massacre of Deir Yassin among others, which he had previously admitted, saying that nor more than a few hundred people were killed in each massacre. He reached a level where he described the steadfast Palestinian people on the land of Palestine as wild animals that must be kept as prisoners in a cage although confining anyone or anything to a cage is brutal, according to him.
These dangerous ideas, promoted and expressed by Israeli writers and academics, are exactly what is in the minds of the occupation soldiers when they kill unarmed Palestinians even if they are children, when they assassinate innocent people such as medic Razan Al-Najjar, and when they continue to invent methods of oppression and abuse of the Palestinian people. This is also what goes in the minds of Israeli legislators when they adopt completely racist laws such as the law of Jewish nationalism and it is in the heads of Israeli rulers who established the worst apartheid regime in the history of mankind.
But the tragedy of Benny Morris and his likes is that, after all that, he admits that their Zionist project has failed because the Palestinians have become a majority in the historic land of Palestine despite the ethnic cleansing, repression and oppression. And because he is racist to the bone, he rejects the idea of living with stubborn and determined Palestinians. He predicts that the Israelis will have to leave and flee because they will eventually be defeated.
In short, the racism of Benny Morris, like the racism of all former fascists and Nazis, will inevitably lead him to the same end this backward thinking led to in other countries, which is to an abyss.
This article first appeared in Arab48 on 21 January 2019
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.