Dr. Benny Morris (l.) and Dr. Ilan Pappé (r) are well-known Jewish Israeli historians who have dug carefully into Israel’s past. Morris is a proud Zionist. Pappé is opposed to Zionism. Their research has led them to draw very different conclusions about the events surrounding the creation of the State of Israel in 1947/48. An excellent series of probing interviews with each one has been prepared by Dr. Jordan Levine of Toronto. Take advantage of our COVID inspired confinement to watch, listen and learn.
May 15th is the “Nakba Day” when Palestinians commemorate the expulsion of over 700,000 non Jewish Palestinians in order to make way for new European Jews flooding into Mandate Palestine. But it did not all happen on May 15th. Military operations by Zionist militias began in late November 1947 and continued until 1949.
With access to declassified archival documents beginning in the 1980s, a new generation of Israeli historians began to challenge the official Israeli narrative regarding the events of 1947-1949. The records did not reveal any Arab radio broadcasts urging Palestinians to leave, but did record that there were forced expulsions, and that some Jewish militia units did commit rape and murder. Israeli historians Benny Morris and Ilan Pappé mostly agree on these facts, but disagree sharply on the intentionality and the morality of Israel’s actions.
What really happened? – Two views
A Zionist view – Benny Morris
Morris describes himself as a Zionist who wanted to know the truth. “I embarked upon the research not out of ideological commitment or political interest. I simply wanted to know what happened.”
Morris’s work on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has won praise from some and criticism others.
Watch the 2 part Benny Morris interview here:
A non-Zionist view – Dr. Ilan Pappé
Dr. Pappé is an Israeli historian and social activist. He was born in Haifa. He is a currently professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies.
His excellent and pathbreaking books include “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, and “The Forgotten Palestinians”. His most recent book is called “Ten Myths about Israel“. He is widely admired (even loved by Palestinians) and almost equally reviled by those who support Israel.
Watch the 2 part Ilan Pappé interview here:
Every year, Palestinians around the world commemorate Nakba day. In Ottawa a small group has created a Nakba Commemoration Initiative which includes short video clips from a number of Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank, inside Israel and in refugee camps about their current situation.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue.
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