Seconds often make the difference between life and death and new technology makes the difference…
Third, anyone with access to Google can tell that there is a particularly important recent source – and one that Khalidi is undoubtedly aware of – curiously omitted from the footnote. In 2004, Benny Morris published The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, based on new documents released since his initial book 17 years before.
Khalidi cites Morris’s 1987 book in his footnote – and labels it the “standard work on this topic” – but fails to reference (much less analyze) Morris’s 2004 Revisited book. In fact, Khalidi does not reference Morris’s 2004 book anywhere in any footnote in his entire book – an omission even more curious given the fact that Morris wrote a prominent article about his revised findings in 2004.
When Revisited was published, Morris wrote an article about its findings, entitled ” For the Record,” in the January 14, 2004 issue of The Guardian. Here is a key excerpt from the article:
Birth Revisited describes many more atrocities and expulsions than were recorded in the original version of the book. But, at the same time, a far greater proportion of the 700,000 Arab refugees were ordered or advised by their fellow Arabs to abandon their homes than I had previously registered. It is clear from the new documentation that the Palestinian leadership in principle opposed the Arab flight from December 1947 to April 1948, while at the same time encouraging or ordering a great many villages to send away their women, children and old folk, to be out of harm’s way. Whole villages, especially in the Jewish-dominated coastal plain, were also ordered to evacuate. There is no doubt that, throughout, the departure of dependents lowered the morale of the remaining males and paved the way for their eventual departure as well….
* * *
[T]he problem wasn’t created by the Zionists but by the Arabs themselves, and stemmed directly from their violent assault on Israel. Had the Palestinians and the Arab states refrained from launching a war to destroy the emergent Jewish state, there would have been no refugees and none would exist today. [Emphasis added.]
So the well-worth-reading footnote cites a refugee number that is misleading, since it does not
estimate how many fled on their own, or were encouraged or ordered to flee by their leadership. Even Khalidi’s 750,000 overall figure is overstated, given Morris’s 2004 figure of 700,000. In Revisited, Morris concluded that, of the 700,000, the number of Arabs who fled not under Jewish orders or direct coercion were in the “hundreds of thousands.”
But when you look at the text in Khalidi’s book surrounding the footnoted portion that Erlanger touted, you find this bald assertion, made once again without reference to or discussion of either Morris’s 2004 book or his 2004 article:
Israel’s new historians, using Israeli, British, United Nations, and other archives opened since the early 1980s, have shown these claims [that “Arab leaders told the Palestinians to flee”] to be groundless. (Page 3.)
Khalidi allows only that in “a few areas” noncombatants were urged to flee, and that “some” fled before the fighting reached them. Even a book that is “more of an analysis than an exercise in original research” should cite the original research (particularly by the leading scholar, published two years ago) that contradicts the “analysis.”
From Benny Morris’s 2004 article it is evident how “more than half” of the Palestinian population could possibly have left during the 1948 war: when the Arabs “ordered or advised” women, children and old people (more than half the population) to leave from a “great many villages,” and moreover ordered “whole villages, especially in the Jewish-dominated coastal plain” to evacuate, and when many of the demoralized males eventually followed their family and left as well, the numbers can add up.
In Revisited, Morris also concluded that the majority of Arabs nevertheless remained in Palestine; so even Khalidi’s “more than half” statement is wrong.
In the end, the significant part of Erlanger’s sentence is not the reference to the faux-scholarly footnote (which turns out to be well worth reading, but not for the reasons Erlanger thinks), but rather the grudging admission at the beginning of Erlanger’s sentence: “The Jews did not begin the fighting, but . . .”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Pataki is the last Republican Governor to win a majority of Jewish votes.
Obama’s desire to be “fair” enables Iran to get nuclear weapons which will threaten global security
All GOP candidates will continue seeking – and praying – for Jewish money with greater success.
“We returned to this Land not in order to be murdered, or uprooted. We came here to be replanted!”
I don’t fear for the future of our people because I believe Yeshiva University has created an “Iron Dome” of Jewish leadership
Poland’s great Jewish cities where Jewish life had once flourished and thrived, were now desolate
Chief rabbi, Rav Dovid Lau, stated that the Torah community’s turnout in the WZO election is vital.
Iran has at its core the same ideology as that of ISIS but, inaccurately, is thought a lesser threat
An early Yom Ha’atzmaut gathering for Israel’s 67th birthday with Pres. Rivlin of Israel and guests
Israel’s Memorial Day shouldn’t be a day of mourning, it’s a day to honor, not another Holocaust Day
God’s 3 part promise for Israel: to the Avot; a plentiful land; the eventual return home by all Jews
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
Everything we did in my home [depended on] whether it was okay with the Bible.
Late last year, I was flying from Los Angeles to San Jose – a trip I have made many times in the course of my professional career. Over the years, I have watched the San Jose airport transform itself – from a one-building terminal with rental cars parked on the curb to an international airport with rental car facilities much larger than the entire airport I first visited many years ago.
The firestorm that erupted with the YouTube posting of excerpts from a 1990 sermon by Pastor John Hagee – reflecting his belief that the Holocaust and the establishment of Israel both reflected God’s will – is a case study of how certain religious views have been placed beyond the pale of permissible discussion.
1. From Senator Joseph Lieberman’s November 9 speech at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies:
Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were in Los Angeles last month, speaking to an overflow crowd of more than 300 people at the Armand Hammer Museum – part of a speaking tour with appearances at World Affairs Councils in San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, D.C., the City Club in Cleveland, forums at the University of Chicago, MIT and Columbia University, the Cambridge Forum in Harvard Square, and media slots on NPR, the Colbert Report, and WTTW-TV in Chicago.
Rudy Giuliani’s article in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs (“Toward a Realistic Peace“) marks an important statement about the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.”
Jimmy Carter’s new book – Palestine Peace Not Apartheid – should, by all rights, be headed for the remainder bin. Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, calls it a “tendentious, dishonest and stupid book.”
Professor Rashid Khalidi, who directs the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, is currently on a multi-city book tour for his new book The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (Beacon Press) – aided by a favorable New York Times review from an unlikely book reviewer.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-state-of-scholarship-at-columbia-and-of-book-reviewing-at-the-new-york-times/2006/10/18/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: