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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading in understanding the options, 19 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict (Paperback)
Benny Morris is unsual in an area where most historians take sides (usually pro-palestinian).

Benny Morris although pro-Israeli sees himself first and foremost as having a responsibility to tell history with all its warts, even though this might be considered as damaging Israel's case. For example he has never hidden the fact that in fighting for its survival against the massed armies of its enemies in 1948, Israel's forces did occasionally commit small scale war crimes. Prisoners were shot although Morris does bring it into context of when it happened they were in reaction to seeing the bodies of their own men whose bodies had been mutilated after having become prisoners of the arabs.

So in this book Morris attempts to cover the possible solutions to the problem of a democratic state israel not wanting either to absorb millions of arabs who now call themselves palestinians, yet neither does it with to occupy another people.

Morris does burst some illusions such as Israel always being to blame for the lack of peace. This is a complicated issue and made more so by the fact that arabs realising they can't destroy Israel militarily at the moment, wish to first weaken it by getting Israel to give up strategic territory, the commanding heights over Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, by making Israel 9 miles wide again, and by overwhelming Israel's jewish population with millions of arabs indoctrinated with hostility to the tiny state of Israel.

Morris in describing the possibilities of a solution has also gone into the history of Israel's attempts to make peace with its arab neighbours, even to partitioning the land. All to no avail. None of the attempts to share the land was accepted by the arabs who tried many time to destroy the country, seeing the jews as foreign to the land and usurpers just like the crusaders. That arabs had no understanding of the jewish connection to the land was because of the indoctrination that erased any connections of jews with the lands. For arabs, it was all the more a shock that for jews who supposedly had no connections with the land, were so determined to live there, build a democratic state and successfully defend themselves from attack.

This book by one of the world's leading scholars needs to be read to understand the possibilities of resolution of this conflict.
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