From the Morris Thread: Candidates for the Second Berchman's Award

So what happens in the comment thread when CiF rolls out its token pro-Israel contributor, Benny Morris, who has the chutzpah to suggest that the core problem in the I/P conflict is the Palestinian rejection of a Jewish state?
Yes you got it – all hell breaks loose!
Hitting the nail on the head, Jubilation1 makes the following observation:

“The ”Israel always wrong” crowd is here in force today scared into shrill defensiveness by the authoritative voice of one of the historians that they idolized and quoted here without ceasing as long as his message was what they sought. Now that the picture that Benny Morris presents is not to their liking they are as proactive in dissociating themselves from him as they were active in claiming him in the past

The facts do not matter: it is the end of the Jewish state that they seek.”

So here are a small sampling of comments from the Morris thread to give a sense of the shrill voices denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, virtually all of which at this time of writing are undeleted:
Starting off with alemild:

11 Sep 09, 11:03am

Benny Morris,
The major problem is that the two-headed Palestinian national movement is averse to sharing Palestine with the Jews and endorsing a solution based on two states for two peoples.
the major problem is the whole principle of the Jewish state, that is a state designed for Jews and to exclude non-Jews as citizens. It is a principle of Separate Development much like Apartheid in South Africa.
Israel, you can’t have it both ways. Either you support separate development and as a consequence accept states that exclude Jews from citizenship or you join the civilised world and allow citizenship on the basis of a persons humanity…and not based on their mothers religion.

Then we have aradi44 weighing in:

11 Sep 09, 2:48pm

Benny Morris is a type of scholarly historian whose wisdom fails when it comes to an overall sense of objectivity; when push comes to shove he errs graciously on the side of his own prejudices. This commentary is a stunning example in which once the veneer of his chosen discipline is stripped away, it turns into a rant about the failure of Palestinian leadership; a rant which comes off the pens and out of the mouths of all variety of Zionists and for which academic credentials are quite unnecessary. In theory it espouses rational argument but in practice it is little more than the unfocused racism that is more and more imbedded in the political life of Israeli society.

Not to be outdone, Papalagi shares with us his pearls of wisdom on the subject:

11 Sep 09, 2:51pm

There are some people who say no to the right of return. They say that Palestinian refugees don’t have the right to return to their homes in Israel. Those same people say no to a one state solution because they don’t want to live in a state together with Palestinians. Those people don’t use to say anthing at all against the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine.
Those same people think that the Palestinians were wrong if they didn’t want to see many more Zionist settlers coming to their country which didn’t want to live together with them in any case.
So, for those people the Palestinians dont’ have the right of return, they should not be allowed to live in a state with the Jews, but those same people think that the Zionists had the right to come to Palestine and to settle there against the wishes of the Palestinians. And I must say, the conflicts originated at the moment that the Palestinians begun to understand what were the intentions of the ZIonists (I quoted above several passages about that), and that the Zionists wanted the land for them and to get the Palestinians out of their lands. The origin of the conflict was the way the Palestinians were being treated by the Zionists. This has not changed until today.

And if alemild’s rejection of the Jewish state wasn’t clear enough from his 11.03am post, then there’s this:

11 Sep 09, 2:51pm

…They will never accept a Jewish Zionist Liberal Western Democratic state…
why does anyone have to accept a State who citizenship is determined by what religion he happens to be?
Even you don’t care less about the Jewish state, imagine if your own child returned home to tell you that he’d been refused citizenship on the grounds that wasn’t the right religion! That he, as a human being, wasn’t sufficiently worthy ….because of his religion.
Were living in the 21st century, stop living in ‘gangs’, grow up and get used to it.

Then we have meacuba joining the fray with a not so subtle attack on the “Chosen People”:

11 Sep 09, 3:11pm

I find it paradoxical -if not absolutely cynical- that Israel, which allows any Canadian- or U.S.-born Jewish citizen the right to “return”, and to participate in the takeover of more Palestinian land in Jerusalem and the West Bank, categorically rejects the right to return of Palestinians who were violently evicted from their own country, their villages destroyed and their olive orchards ripped up. A process that continues to this day.
While any criticism of Israel is automatically branded an expression of anti-semitism, it is useful to recall that anthropologically and linguistically, the semitic peoples include…the Phoenicians, the Aramic, and…the Arabs.
Israel has no moral grounds to be playing the offended virgins, or to be hectoring the rest of the world.
Ah, the burdens of being the Chosen People.

And eyeing an opportunity to drive home more denial of the Jewish right to self-determination we have this from ibrows:

11 Sep 09, 3:31pm

But there are two major problems with creating a Jewish state, 1) it is built on land that is home to many Palestinians that are not Jewish, and 2) how does a Jewish state differ greatly from the problems of many Islamic states? in priniciple it is the same and has the same problems such as rights for minorities and persecution of those not accepting the state faith.

And on a bit of a roll with his Chosen People comment meacuba drops this one:

11 Sep 09, 4:14pm

The heavens will fall when the Israeli government is not subject to the blackmail of the orthodox and ultra-orthodox micro-parties in the Knesset. A friend from Israel told me that his taxes go to pay for subsidies to these fanatics, so that, instead of working, they can dedicate their lives to studying the Talmud. What other country in the world subsidizes the settlements of religious minorities?
If Israel has the right to be considered a Jewish state, why shouln’t Iran be accepted as an Islamic state? Or is there such a principle as the separation of Church and State? Why not call the U-S. a Christian fundamentalist state, now that we’re at it?
Ah, contradictions, contradictions.
By the by, I am not at all in thrall with the Arab dictatorships or Sharia law (as medieval as the Orthodox Jews…).
Israel exists, accepted. Now, let’s accept the right of the Palestinian people to have their country, not a patchwork of townships separated by roads they are not allowed to travel on, and by Israeli settlements that make a mockery of any poltical geography.
In any event, Israel, as much as any country, is in need of serious reform.

Finally, we have Ilan (a/k/a Mark Elf) with this:

11 Sep 09, 7:05pm

I won’t be the first to point out that, contrary to Benny Morris’s assertion, the zionists did not accept partition of Palestine “in principle”. They accepted it *in words* only. David Ben Gurion admitted as much at least twice in writing and no doubt more times in speech.
Benny Morris, even when he was a new historian, has always tried to play down the zionists’ territorial and ethnic cleansing ambitions whilst being an extremely disingenuous advocate for both.
It is typical of the casual racism of zionists that Benny Morris describes the Palestinians’ right of return as a “battering ram”. It is a right and the denial of that right serves to underline the sheer lack of legitimacy of the zionist project of establishing and maintaining a Jewish state in Palestine.
Having said that, Morris may well be right that the two state solution cannot work. Maybe if Israel would settle down to being a state for Israelis it would work but Israel insists on being a state for the Jewish people as a whole and not for the people who come from there or even who live there now. This means that Israel is in an on-going state of population transfer – Jews in, non-Jews out. There is no other state in the world established on that basis and there is no legitimate reason why there should be even one state established on that basis.

So after reading through all these insightful comments, who do you think we should we award the coveted Second Berchman’s Award to?

Written By
More from Hawkeye
Guardian's Israel Obsession Reaches New Heights
There is a new Seth Freedman article on CiF about the problem...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *