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10 of 14 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
This review is from: The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge Middle East Studies) (Paperback)
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'
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Showing 11-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2011 10:44:59 GMT
Georgee says:
I will quote an interview with Benny Morris who states:

The revised book is a double-edged sword. It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, MOST OF THEM FROM THE ISRAELI DEFENCE FORCES ARCHIVES. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves' -

Morris has also commented elsewhere that he doesn't accept oral histories as credible, but like i say he is guilty of taking Israeli military archives at face value, which is not a credible position to take in the world of 21st century historians, these archives certainly contain an element of bias

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2011 15:41:06 BDT
Gareth Smyth says:
As Rafik Hariri put it in 2001: "When the Lebanese people think of Mr Sharon, they remember the death and destruction of the 1982 invasion and its aftermath. The Arabs have made a strategic choice for peace. I have no wish to interfere in the Israeli election, but surely voting for Mr Sharon means that Israeli society has not chosen peace."

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jan 2013 12:15:21 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jan 2013 12:19:52 GMT
Andy Dyer says:
Caped Crusader - It is disgraceful to suggest that the claim that Mohammad al-Dura was killed by the Israelis was "disproved by a French Court".

What the court said was that Karentsy had assembled a case against the journalists that did not libel either of them. The facts he was publishing were not obviously false.

It is similarly disgusting to claim there was a "fake funeral". The video shot was plainly of children (whom we know to have been hideously traumatised) playing with a blanket, likely the only play material they had. In fact, bringing this up again only proves how very little fraud there has ever been coming from "pro-Palestinians". While fraud from the Zionists is very widespread indeed, as you've just proved yet again with this post.

And it is racist and disgusting to claim that Arab eye-witness testimony cannot be trusted. If you claimed this about Jewish testimony you'd be hounded from polite society and Amazon would take your message down immediately.
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