Morris Argument of the Exodus of the Palestinian Refugees Write a paper of 5 pages that responds to the following question: An argument is a proposition

Morris Argument of the Exodus of the Palestinian Refugees Write a paper of 5 pages that responds to the following question:

An argument is a proposition or claim, supported by evidence along with reasoning that the evidence is logical for supporting the claim. Benny Morris makes a compelling argument about the causes of the exodus from Palestine in 1947-49 whereby 750,000 Palestinians became refugees, unable to return to their homes and property.What are the main propositions of Morris’ argument and what is his assessment of the relationship between “transfer thinking” among Zionist leaders, and the actual exodus of Palestinian refugees in 1947-49? What, according to Morris’s critics, are the weaknesses of his argument? Frame your paper in the form of an argument about Morris and his critics.

Please use only the sources I listed and the PPT I have attached.

write it as simple as you can.


Ben-Ami, Shlomo (2007).Scars of War, Wounds of Peace. London:Weidenfeld and Nicholson [pp. 42-48].Also watch the first 5 minutes of this video:

Shlaim, Avi (2001).The Iron Wall:Israel and the Arab World. New York:W.W. Norton [pp. 11-27].

BBC Hardtalk (2014).Interview with Ilan Pappe.

[Watch first 13 minutes).

Morris, Benny (2007).Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948.The War for Palestine.Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press [pp. 37-59]. [Listed under the title of the book]

Masalha, Nur (1991).“A Critique of Benny Morris,” Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 21 (1): 90-97.

Film:Kedma (directed by Amos Gitai, 2002)

Yitzhar, S. (1948).Khirbet Khizeh.Jerusalem:Ibis Editions, 2008 [pp. 7, 29-38, 104-113]

Rose, Jacqueline (2011).Re-reading Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yitzhar.Guardian.

Kershner, Isabel (2013).“Photographs Tell a History of Palestinians Unmoored.”New York Times. Born of War? Or Design? Does it Matter?
Debating the Palestinian Exodus of 1948
Zionist Dilemma
1881 Population
21,000 Jews
470,000 Arab
“The bride is beautiful but she
is married to another man.”
Arthur Ruppin / Jewish National Fund
“Land is the most necessary
thing for establishing roots in
Palestine. Since there are
hardly any more arable
unsettled lands in Palestine,
we are bound in each case
[of land purchase] to remove
the peasants who cultivate
the land, both owners and
From Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 61
Zionist Land Purchases
Total Land Purchased = 418,000 Dunums
From Large Absentee Landlords = 25%
From Large Resident Landlords = 25%
From Institutions = 37.5%
From Palestinian Peasant Owners = 12.5%
Source: Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity, p. 112.
Yitzhak Epstein
“Among the difficult questions linked to
the rebirth of our people on its land, one
outweighs all others: the question of our
attitude toward the Arabs…. We buy
lands, for the most part, from the owners
of large estates;… But when we buy such
property, we evict the former tillers from
it…. if we do not want to deceive
ourselves, we must admit that we have
driven impoverished people from their
humble abode and taken bread out of
their mouths.”
“A Hidden Question” (1907)
Integration or Exclusion?
Zionists had 2 options in buying land:
1) Integrate Palestinians by allowing them to work the
land (Plantation model)
2) Exclude Palestinians (Pure settlement colony).
Colonization / Settlement
Solution to the Zionist Dilemma?
My argument about the origins
of the Israeli /Palestinian
conflict highlights the
continuous centrality of
colonization in Zionism…
Colonization was the prelude
of the state-to-be and the
character of that state in the
making was to be found most
crucially in the land and labor
Gershon Shafir
Zionism and Colonialism (1996)
pp. 227-228
“Hebrew Land, Hebrew Labor”
The Zionist Conquest of Labor 1904-1930
By 1904 Zionists ponder a new way of organizing the
landscape for redemption. The vision was not only to buy
land, but to place Jewish labor on the land purchased.
No longer would there be exploitation of Palestinians on
plantations because Palestinians would be excluded from
working on them.
Land – Seeds of Conflict?
The Iron Wall
“Every indigenous people will
resist alien settlers…This is how
the Arabs will behave so long as
they possess even a gleam of
hope that they can prevent
Palestine from becoming the
Land of Israel. “Zionist
colonization…can proceed and
develop only under the
protection of a power that is
independent of the native
population – behind an iron
wall which the native
population can not breach.”
Ze’ev Jabotinksy (1923)
Born of War? Or Design? Does it Matter?
Debating the Palestinian Exodus of 1948
Where Did Refugees Go?
# (est)
Jordan/W. Bank
The New Historians
Challenging the Seven Myths of Israeli Historiography on 1948

Zionists accepted Partition / hoped for peace
Palestinians rejected Partition / planned for war
Arab states united to expel Jews from Palestine
War erupted because of the Arab invasion
A defenseless Israel faced an Arab Goliath
Israel sought peace, Arabs rejected it
Palestinians fled voluntarily planning to return as conquerors
In 1948 the Palestinians became a
disinherited people…. The reality was
that of an Arab community in a state of
terror facing a ruthless Israeli army
whose path to victory was paved not
only by its exploits,… but also by the
intimidation and at times atrocities it
perpetrated against the civilian Arab
community. A panic stricken Arab
community was uprooted under the
impact of massacres that would be
carved into the Arabs’ monument of
grief and hatred,…
the less [sic] Arabs remained, the
better; this principle is the political
motor for the expulsions and atrocities.
Shlomo Ben-Ami
pp. 42-43
4 Options To Overcome Dilemma
and Build the Jewish State
From the start, the Zionists
wished to make the area of
Palestine a Jewish state….How
was a Jewish minority to gain
control of a country populated
by an Arab majority? [p. 39]
1) Immigration
2) Apartheid, that is a Zionist
minority lording it over the
Palestinian majority
3) Partition (Create a Jewish
state and an Arab State)
4) Transfer the Palestinians
from Palestine
A Problem Born of War
“The refugeedom of the 700,000
Palestinians was essentially a product of
the war, of the shelling, shooting and
bombing, and of the fears that these
“Above all, let me reiterate, the refugee
problem was caused by attacks by Jewish
forces on Arab villages and towns and by
the [Palestinian] inhabitants fears of such
attacks compounded by expulsions
atrocities, and rumors of atrocities – and
by the crucial Israeli cabinet decision in
June, 1948 to bar a refugee return.
Benny Morris
Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948 (pp. 37-38)
Morris and Transfer Thinking
“My conclusion was and
remains that thinking about the
transfer of all or part of
Palestine’s Arabs out of the
prospective Jewish state was
pervasive among Zionist
leadership circles before
1937…how exactly this thinking
affected Zionist policy and
actions remains more
complicated than [Masalha
Benny Morris
Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948 (pp. 40-41.)
What is the Relationship between Transfer
Thinking and Transfer?
“There is no room for
both peoples in this
country. After the Arabs
are transferred, the
country will be wide
open for us…not a single
village or a single tribe
must be left…there is no
other solution”
Yosef Weitz (1940)
Herzl and Transfer
“We must expropriate gently…We
shall try and spirit the penniless
population across the
border…Both the process of
expropriation and the removal of
the poor must be carried out
discreetly and circumspectly”
Theodor Herzl
Diaries (1895)
Berl Katznelson
“The matter of population transfer has
provoked a debate among us: Is it
permitted or forbidden? My conscience is
absolutely clear in this respect. A remote
neighbor is better than a close
enemy. They will not lose from being
transferred and we most certainly will not
lose from it…. But it never crossed my
mind that transfer beyond the Land of
Israel would mean merely to the vicinity of
Nablus. I have always believed and still
believe that they were destined to be
transferred to Syria or Iraq.”
Menachem Ussishkin / Transfer?
• “We must continually raise the
demand that our land be
returned to our possession…. If
there are other inhabitants
there, they must be transferred
to some other place…
• We cannot start the Jewish
state with…half the population
being Arab…Such a state cannot
survive even half an hour… It
[transfer] is most moral… I am
ready to come and defend it
before the Almighty.
Menachem Ussishkin
1930 / 1938
Ben-Gurion a ‘Transferist’?
“The compulsory transfer of
the Arabs from the proposed
Jewish state could give us
something which we never
had….Any doubt on our part
about the necessity of this
transfer…may lose us an
historic opportunity ….I
support compulsory transfer. I
don’t see in it anything
David Ben-Gurion
Diaries (1937)
Speech (1938)
Transfer – Yosef Weitz
“There is no room for both
peoples in this country.
After the Arabs are
transferred, the country will
be wide open for us…not a
single village or a single tribe
must be left…there is no
other solution”
Yosef Weitz (1940)
Plan Dalet
(April, 1948)
“The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas
of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims
at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlements and
concentrations which are located outside the borders (of
the Hebrew state) against regular, semi-regular, and small
forces operating from bases outside or inside the state.”
Opening to Plan Dalet (1948)
“There are circumstances that
justify ethnic cleansing. A Jewish
state would not have come into
being without the uprooting of
700,000 Palestinians. Therefore
it was necessary to uproot
them…. It was necessary to
cleanse the border areas and
main roads…to cleanse the
villages…I know it doesn’t sound
nice, but that’s the term we used
at the time.”
Benny Morris
Ha’aretz Interview (2004)
Nur Masalha
What is the Relationship of Thinking and Doing?
“Can [Morris’] claim that there
was no transfer design and
expulsion policy in 1948 be
sustained? Does the fact that
there was no “master plan” for
expelling the Palestinians absolve
the Zionist leadership of
responsibility for the refugee
problem…? Is it conceivable that
such a transfer policy was based
on an understanding between
Ben-Gurion and his lieutenants
rather than a blueprint?”
Nur Masalha
Critique of Morris, pp. 91-92
No Master Plan?
Is Morris’s conclusion that a Zionist
transfer/expulsion policy was never
formulated borne out by his own
evidence?…the Yishuv military
establishment, presided over by BenGurion, formulated in early March
1948 and began implementing in early
April Plan Dalet in anticipation of Arab
military operations. According to
Morris, the essence of Plan Dalet “was
the clearing of hostile and potentially
hostile forces out of the interior of the
prospective territory of the Jewish
Nur Masalha
Critique of Morris (p. 94)
Ilan Pappe
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
“Ethnic cleansing is not something premeditated or planned. Ethnic
cleansing is an operation at the end of
which one ethnic group is being
displaced by another. Nobody can
argue with the fact that half of
Palestine’s people were expelled; that
half of Palestine’s villages and cities
were destroyed….if the ethnic
cleansing was not planned, one has to
answer a very simple question: why
were half of the Palestinian people,
who became refugees, expelled before
the war even started?” If the exodus
of Palestinians was a product of war,
how can we explain how 50% of the
750,000 Palestinian refugees became
refugees before the war even began?
Bi-National State?
“Palestine should be neither
Jewish nor Arab. It should
be a bi-national state in
which Jews and Arabs share
full equality….
the inhabitants of this
country, both Arabs and Jews
have not only the right but
the duty to participate…in
the government of their
common homeland.”
Judah Magnes
Testimony (1946)
Speech (1930)

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