INTO THE FRAY: Benny Morris – An unlikely proponent of incentivized Arab emigration?

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:

Benny Morris – An unlikely proponent of incentivized Arab emigration?

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Benny Morris: Come full circle?

If, as Morris maintains, a peaceable two-state outcome is unattainable, and a one-state outcome will lead to a Muslim-majority tyranny, then a large-scale initiative for incentivized Arab emigration is the only policy that can preserve the Jewish nation-state

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):


Several short excerpts:

“As readers will recall, I have, for years, been urging the initiation of a largescale initiative for the incentivized emigration of the Arab population in Judea-Samaria and Gaza, as the only viable policy option that can facilitate (albeit not ensure) the continued survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people…This week, I encountered strident” —albeit somewhat doleful, and certainly unintended—support for my thesis from a rather unexpected source—the well-known historian, Benny Morris.

Morris: Coming full circle?

Once a member of the so-called New Historians, a radical, left-wing group of academics, who challenged the traditional Zionist view of the inception of Israel—particularly the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Arabs due to the fighting during the 1948 War of Independence—Morris has come to adopt a far more understanding view of the alternatives facing the then-nascent Jewish state—and its resultant actions.

Indeed, in many respects Morris has come “full circle”—at least in terms of prevailing public perceptions of his political positions. Once denounced as an anti-Zionist, considered too radical for employment in

Morris speculates: “If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion –the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.”

Amin al-Husseini = Yasser Arafat = Mahmoud Abbas

He augurs ominously: “If the end of the story turns out to be a gloomy one for the Jews, it will be because Ben-Gurion did not complete the transfer in 1948. Because he left a large and volatile demographic reserve in the West Bank and Gaza and within Israel itself.”

Amin Al Husseini; Yasser Arafat; Mahmoud Abbas

In it, he draws a straight line connecting the pre-state Palestinian Arab leaders and those of today—finding little fundamental distinction between the Nazi-affiliated Amin al-Husseini and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and the allegedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas.

Discounting the feasibility of two-states

Thus, although Morris clings—somewhat puzzlingly and paradoxically—to “the idea of two states for two peoples and territorial partition [as] the only basis for a solution that would provide a measure of justice to the two peoples“, he has no illusions as to its feasibility.

Gloomily, he remarks: “But… I also believe that it is not possible to bring it about at the moment, and it may not even be possible at all in the future…”

His dour conclusion is: “A peace agreement based on partition doesn’t appear realistic“.

Dismissing the possibility of one-state

But if Morris is pessimistic as to the feasibility of a peaceable two-state outcome, he is far more categorically so as to the prospects of a one-state endeavor.

For Morris there is little doubt that: “…the one state, with an Arab majority, would conduct itself in accordance with the way of life of the majority of the people”, and asks: “Would the custom of killing to maintain the family’s honor disappear? Would violence and crime, reckless driving and government and clan corruption, which are apparent on a daily basis in Arab communities, vanish? What Jews would want to live in such a country?”

Morris’s bleak prognosis…

Morris ends his January 21 article with the following bleak prognosis for the future of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.

This leads Morris to make a bleak prognosis: “This place will decline like a Middle Eastern state with an Arab majority. The violence between the different populations, within the state, will increase. The Arabs will demand the return of the refugees. The Jews will remain a small minority within a large Arab sea of Palestinians, a persecuted or slaughtered minority, as they were when they lived in Arab countries. Those…Jews who can, will flee to America and the West.

How to avoid Morris’s bleak prognosis…

I have little argument with Morris as to the futility of the endeavor to reach a peaceable two-states-for-two-peoples outcome; or as to the imbecility of trying to attain a stable Jewish majority in a one-state outcome.

However, this does not mean that his bleak prognosis is a preordained consequence of this. After all, there is a policy paradigm that addresses both geographic perils of the two-state and the demographic perils of the one-state.a. This of course, entails [s]extending Israeli sovereignty over all the territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and incentivizing largescale Arab emigration from the territories across the pre-1967 lines by an appropriate array of material inducements….

For anyone dedicated to the preservation of the Zionist endeavor and who wishes to avoid Morris’s bleak prognosis, this is unambiguously Hobson’s Choice.

As Morris is a self-declared Zionist – I would urge him to embrace it.

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,
Best wishes,

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