Breakdown of the Palestinian Refugee Problem in 20 seconds: The year is 1947 and the UN announces its Partition Plan for Palestine, also known as resolution 181. Promptly, the Arabs residing in the region open fire on Jews. Eventually a war breaks out and the exodus of 700,000 Palestinians ensues.
This has turned into one of the most controversial debates in modern history. What caused the Palestinian exodus in the years 1947-1949? There’s the mainstream Zionist narrative, more or less that Arab leaders urged the Arab population to leave. There’s the mainstream Arab narrative, basically Zionist ethnic cleansing. And then, there’s Professor Benny Morris. Now buckle in because this is slightly more nuanced than the stuff you might be used to hearing.
Professor Benny Morris is the professor of history in the Middle East Studies department of Ben Gurion University. He is the author of several works including The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947–1949. And, he’s a pretty cool dude. So we are thrilled to join him in his home this evening to talk some history!
(Photo by Montecruz Foto)
Benny Morris’ books on Amazon.