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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge Middle East Studies)
The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge Middle East Studies)
by Benny Morris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.99

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History written by the victors -the best account we have, but it totally ignores Palestinian oral testimonies, 25 Jan. 2010
the reviews of 'Danny the Arabian' hits the mark, but i will add just a few additional remarks. While, Benny Morris maintains the was no systematic plan to expel all the Palestinians, he does acknowledge some villages were razed and Palestinians expelled, while other villages left intact and others fled in fear after hearing about Deir Yassin. However, Morris tries to attribute some of these atrocities to 'rogue elements' and responses to 'Arab attacks' that he claims were not dictated policy from the top. A major criticism of Benny Morris is his sole reliance upon Israeli archive sources, in the last few years he has publicly justified this by claiming oral testimonies are unreliable. As such, he tends to take Israeli archives at face value, and in this sense 'Jewish studies' remains light years behind other areas of serious historical enquiry.

Would we accept only German archives to document the Holocaust and deny the importance of oral testimonies from survivors? i hope not, granted there are little or no official 'Arab' - that is Palestinian documents available, but oral testimonies from Palestinians have been increasingly documented and should be used to cross reference Israeli state archives, to gain a fuller picture of events.

see for example, Susan Slymovic 'the object of memory' and Ahmad H. Sa'di & Lila Abu-Lughod (eds) 'Nakba: Palestine, 1948 and the claims of memory'
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2013 12:15 PM GMT


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