From Henry Makow, PhD
Editor's Note (from original source):
Rarely does one get a chance to peer through rhetoric like the following interview. We have the naked truth revealed by a self-professed Zionist who
is not afraid to hide the brutal "morality" of Zionism.
While he justifies this brutality, this presents one of the most revealing appraisals of Zionism one is likely to read. If there is a morality that
justifies the acts presented, then the human race is headed for even rougher times.
An Interview With Benny Morris
By Ari Shavit
Benny Morris says he was always a Zionist. [His critics] did not conceive that the great documenter of the sins of Zionism in fact identifies with
Citizen Morris and historian Morris worked as though there is no connection between them, as though one was trying to save what the other insists on
Sometimes he really is frightened. Sometimes he asks himself what he has wrought. He describes horrific war crimes off- handedly, paints apocalyptic
visions with a smile on his lips.
What follows is an in depth interview.
Rape, Massacre, Transfer
Q: Benny Morris, in the month ahead the new version of your book on the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem is due to be published. Who will be
less pleased with the book - the Israelis or the Palestinians?
A: The revised book is a double-edged sword. It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them
from the IDF archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought.
To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape.
In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders
that stated explicitly that they were to uproot [Palestinian] villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.
At the same time, it turns out that there was a series of orders issued by the Arab Higher Committee and by the Palestinian intermediate levels to
remove children, women and the elderly from the villages. So that on the one hand, the book reinforces the accusation against the Zionist side, but on
the other hand it also proves that many of those who left the villages did so with the encouragement of the Palestinian leadership itself.
Q: According to your new findings, how many cases of Israeli rape were there in 1948?
A: About a dozen. In Acre four soldiers raped a girl and murdered her and her father. In Jaffa, soldiers of the Kiryati Brigade raped one girl and
tried to rape several more. At Hunin, which is in the Galilee, two girls were raped and then murdered. There were one or two cases of rape at Tantura,
south of Haifa. There was one case of rape at Qula, in the center of the country. At the village of Abu Shusha, near Kibbutz Gezer [in the Ramle area]
there were four female prisoners, one of whom was raped a number of times. And there were other cases.
Usually more than one soldier was involved. Usually there were one or two Palestinian girls. In a large proportion of the cases the event ended with
murder. Because neither the victims nor the rapists liked to report these events, we have to assume that the dozen cases of rape that were re- ported,
which I found, are not the whole story.
They are just the tip of the iceberg.
Q: According to your findings, how many acts of Israeli massacre were perpetrated in 1948?
A: Twenty-four. In some cases four or five people were executed, in others the numbers were 70, 80, 100. There was also a great deal of arbitrary
killing. Two old men are spotted walking in a field - they are shot.
A woman is found in an abandoned village - she is shot. There are cases such as the village of Dawayima, in which a column entered the village with
all guns blazing and killed anything that moved.
The worst cases were Saliha (70-80 killed), Deir Yassin (100-110), Lod (250), Dawayima (hundreds) and perhaps Abu Shusha (70). There is no unequivocal
proof of a large-scale massacre at Tantura, but war crimes were perpetrated there.
At Jaffa there was a massacre about which nothing had been known until now. The same at Arab al Muwassi, in the north. About half of the acts of
massacre were part of Operation Hiram: at Safsaf, Saliha, Jish, Eilaboun, Arab al Muwasi, Deir al Asad, Majdal Krum, Sasa. In Operation Hiram there
was a unusually high concentration of executions of people against a wall or next to a well in an orderly fashion.
That can't be chance. It's a pattern. Apparently, various officers who took part in the operation understood that the expulsion order they received
permitted them to do these deeds in order to encourage the population to take to the roads. The fact is that no one was punished for these acts of
Ben-Gurion (Israel's first Prime Minister) silenced the matter. He covered up for the officers who did the massacres.
Q: What you are telling me here, is that in Operation Hiram there was a comprehensive and explicit expulsion order. Is that right?
Q: Are you saying that Ben-Gurion was personally responsible for a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion?
A: From April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer. There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive
policy, but there is an atmosphere of [population] transfer. The transfer idea is in the air. The entire leadership understands that this is the idea.
The officer corps understands what is required of them. Under Ben- Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created.
Q: Ben-Gurion was a "transferist"?
A: Of course. Ben-Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there COULD BE NO JEWISH STATE WITH A LARGE HOSTILE ARAB in its midst. There would be
no such state. It would not be able to exist.
Q: I don't hear you condemning him.
A: Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it.
Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here.
Q: In the end, do you in effect justify all this? Are you an advocate of the transfer of 1948?
A: There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions,
expulsion is not a war crime.
[Expulsions are ALWAYS war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions. Ed. note.]
I don't think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands.
Q: We are talking about the killing of thousands of people, the destruction of an entire society. There is something chilling about the quiet way in
which you say that.
A: If you expected me to burst into tears, I'm sorry to disappoint you. I will not do that.
Q: So when the commanders of Operation Dani are standing there and observing the long and terrible column of the 50,000 people expelled from Lod
walking eastward, you stand there with them? You justify them?
A: I definitely understand them. I understand their motives. I don't think they felt any pangs of conscience, and in their place I wouldn't have
felt pangs of conscience. Without that act, they would not have won the war and the state would not have come into being.
Q: You do not condemn them morally?
Q: They perpetrated ethnic cleansing...
A: There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing.
I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide - the
annihilation of your people - I prefer ethnic cleansing.
Q: And that was the situation in 1948?
A: That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians.
Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population.
It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from
which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.
Q: The term 'to cleanse' is terrible...
A: I know it doesn't sound nice but that's the term they used at the time. I adopted it from all the 1948 documents in which I am immersed.
Q: What you are saying is hard to listen to and hard to digest. You sound hard- hearted.
A: I feel sympathy for the Palestinian people, which truly underwent a hard tragedy. I feel sympathy for the refugees themselves. But if the desire to
establish a Jewish state here is legitimate, there was no other choice.
The Jewish people did not have even one state. There was no reason in the world why it should not have one state. Therefore, from my point of view,
the need to establish this state in this place overcame the injustice that was done to the Palestinians by uprooting them.
Q: And morally speaking, you have no problem with that deed?
A: That is correct.
Even the great American democracy could not have been reated without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good
justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.
Q: And in [Israel's] case it effectively justifies a population transfer?
A: That's what emerges.
Q: And you take that in stride? War crimes? Massacres? The burning fields and the devastated villages of the Nakba?
A: You have to put things in proportion. These are small war crimes.
Q: Do you think that Ben-Gurion erred in expelling too few Arabs?
A: If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the
politically correct types. If he had carried out a full expulsion - rather than a partial one - he would have stabilized Israel for generations.
Q: I find it hard to believe what I am hearing. In his place, would you have expelled them all? All the Arabs in the country?
A: But I am not a statesman. I do not put myself in his place. But as an historian, I assert that a mistake was made here. Yes. The non-completion of
the transfer was a mistake.
Q: And today? Do you advocate a transfer today?
A: I can see expulsions. If we find ourselves with atomic weapons around us, or if there is a general Arab attack on us and a situation of warfare on
the front with Arabs in the rear shooting at convoys on their way to the front, acts of expulsion will be entirely reasonable. They may even be
Q: Including the expulsion of Israeli Arabs?
A: The Israeli Arabs are a time bomb. Their slide into complete Palestinization has made them an emissary of the enemy that is among us. They are a
potential fifth column.
Q: What does that mean? What should we do tomorrow morning? To fence them in? To place them under closure?
A: Something like a cage has to be built for them.
I know that sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up in one way or
Q: The situation as you describe it is extremely harsh. You are not entirely convinced that we can survive here, are you?
A: The possibility of annihilation exists.
Q: If Zionism is so dangerous for the Jews and if Zionism makes the Arabs so wretched, maybe it's a mistake? Which leaves us, nevertheless, with two
possibilities: either a cruel, tragic Zionism, or the forgoing of Zionism?
A: Yes. That's so. You have pared it down, but that's correct.
Q: The title of the book you are now publishing in Hebrew is "Victims." In the end, then, your argument is that of the two victims of this conflict,
we are the bigger one.
A: Yes. Exactly. We are the greater victims in the course of history and we are also the greater potential victim.
Copyright 2004 by GopherCentral. All rights reserved.
Henry Makow, Ph.D. Exposing Feminism and the New World Order www.savethemales.ca...