PART 1 of 2

For more than 30 years of ‘on again-off again’ peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, many Israelis, and certainly most interested observers in the West, looked to the 1967 Six-Day War as the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If only we could reverse the results of that defensive war in which Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza, the problem would be solved, so the narrative goes. And this served as the basis for all peace talks and agreements that have taken place since.

But, to anyone willing to listen, the story that Palestinian leaders were telling had nothing to do with 1967, and everything to do with 1948. And the story they tell goes something like this: ‘In the 1940s Jews escaped the Nazis, fled Europe, colonized Palestine, and unprovoked – ethnically cleansed the Arabs. A textbook case of settler colonialism.’

They have managed to propagate this false narrative throughout much of Western society, where millions are mindlessly chanting those six words – ‘from the river to the sea.’

So while we never thought we’d need to re-litigate this topic, we invited to the podcast (for a special two-part discussion) one of the quintessential historians of 1948 – Benny Morris. Professor Morris has dedicated his entire career to studying and writing about the war of 1948, the circumstances that led to it and its aftermath – i.e The Palestinian Refugee Problem.

Morris’s first book was “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”. His other books include: “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War”, and “Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001”. He completed his undergraduate studies in history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a doctorate in modern European history from the University of Cambridge.

Links to all of Benny Morris’s books can be found here:

His recent published essays can be found here:

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Published in: General