Monday, March 21, 2011

Benny Morris: Seems Pappe Pooped

Benny Morris on Ilan Pappe:-


Such distortions, large and small, characterize almost every page of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. So I should add, to make the historical context perfectly clear, that no gas was ever used in the war of 1948 by any of the participants. Pappe never tells the reader this. Raising the subject of gas is historical irrelevance. But the paragraph will dangle in the reader’s imagination as a dark possibility, or worse, a dark reality: the Jews, gassed by the Nazis three years before, were about to gas, or were gassing, Arabs. I note also, for accuracy’s sake, that, apart from the 1917 battle for Gaza in World War I, the only people in the Middle East who have used poison gas against their enemies in the past century have been Arabs—the Egyptians in Yemen in the 1960s, the Iraqis in Kurdistan in the 1980s. So there can be no escaping the conclusion that Pappe introduced the subject, and perverted the text, for one purpose only: to blacken the image of Israel and its leaders in 1948. This is also among the purposes of The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty and Out of the Frame.


The disproportion also reflects Pappe’s worth as a historian. Let me explain. To cover the history of Palestine—a geographically small backwater in the giant Ottoman domain—and the activities of its aristocracy and their interaction with the authorities in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, one would have to spend many months in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul. There one would need to locate and pore over reports and correspondence from and about the relevant vilayets (provinces), Syria/Damascus and Beirut, and the relevant sanjaks and mutasarafliks (districts), Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre, in addition to the central government’s deliberations and decision-making about Jerusalem and its environs. Pappe, who lacks Turkish, has not consulted any Ottoman archives. There is not a single reference to any Ottoman archive, or any Turkish source, in his endnotes.



Anonymous said...

"to blacken the image of Israel and its leaders in 1948."

No need. The stain of Zionist ethnic cleansing will never be washed off. It is why the subject is still not discussable in Israel today. It is too shameful. Tikkun Olam and all that.

YMedad said...

Most commentators here are anonymous not because of their opinions, as hateful as they may be, but becuase of their gross ignorance.

Arabs engaged in ethnic cleansing of Jews in their national homeland all throughout history starting with their conquest and occupation of the Land of Israel in 638. In recent times, during the Mandate period, Jews were ethnically cleansed from Tel Chai, Hebron, Shcehm/Nablus, Jenin and Gaza and then in the 1947-48 war, from Gush Etzion, Old City of Jerusalem and other locations.

Get your facts right before you become an antizionist.