web analytics
December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Walt And Mearsheimer On The Road: More Distortion


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.

In the Q&A portion of the Hammer Museum program, Rabbi Leonard Beerman, founding rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, praised Walt and Mearsheimer for their “admirable” efforts to raise a subject about which (he said) it “is virtually impossible to have a rational discussion” in America (except, one assumes, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, Cambridge and New York, on television and radio, and in best-selling books).

Then he asked them a question about the Israeli “New Historians”:

 

Are you absolutely certain that what you’ve said about the New Historians is indeed so? My reading, for example, of their work first of all suggests that Benny Morris has turned completely around . . . but, secondly, they have not said that Israel drove the Palestinians out of Palestine, Mandatory Palestine, in that war – which I myself participated in, incidentally – but that that was one of the factors that led to the creation of some seven or eight hundred thousand refugees; that many of them, maybe even most of them, fled – as I certainly would have fled – simply out of fear . . .

 

Professor Mearsheimer thanked Rabbi Beerman for his introductory remarks and answered his question as follows:

 

With regard to the New History . . . I think there is no question that Benny Morris’s personal politics have become more hard line in recent years and he doesn’t look like the same Benny Morris of the 1990s, but he has not renounced his scholarship. He has not renounced what he wrote in 1980 and 1990.

Actually, the book people should look at is Shlomo Ben-Ami’s book, Scars of War, which I think has an excellent capsule summary of where the conventional wisdom of Israel is on the subject, and I think Ben-Ami’s views are consistent in large part with Morris’ views and Morris’s views are consistent with our views. I think we are basically parroting the conventional wisdom.

 

The answer is a small case study of Walt & Mearsheimer’s scholarly methods. Benny Morris published two books relating to the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem: one in 1988 titled The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 and one in 2004 titled The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited.

The 1988 book, in Morris’s description, “undermined both the official Zionist and the traditional Arab narratives”:

 

The documents showed that the 700,000 or so Arabs who had fled or been driven from their homes in the area that became the state of Israel in 1948-49 had not done so, by and large, on orders from or at the behest of Palestinian or outside Arab leaders, as Israelis were educated to believe; but, at the same time, they had not been expelled by the Israelis in compliance with a preset master plan or in line with a systematic policy, as the Arabs, in their demonization of Israel, have been taught. [Emphasis added]

 

Even in 1988, Morris understood that the picture was a complex one – one in which fear, orders from Arab commanders, economic conditions, and general chaos all played a prominent role, as well as the impact of conquering troops. According to Morris:

 

The picture that emerged [in the 1988 book] was a complex one – of frightened communities fleeing their homes at the first whiff of grapeshot, as they or neighboring villages were attacked; of communities expelled by conquering Israeli troops; of villagers ordered by Arab commanders to send away women, children and the old to safety in inland areas; and of economic privation, unemployment and general chaos as the British mandate government wound down and allowed the two native communities to slug it out. [Emphasis added]

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Walt And Mearsheimer On The Road: More Distortion”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yaron Sidman, (center) Israel's Consul General for Philadelphia and the 5 state surrounding area, spoke to a hundreds strong crowd at Adath Israel in Suburban Philadelphia, Dec. 17, 2014. State Senator Anthony Williams (left, rear), waiting to speak.
Philly Ties Har Nof Victims’ Shloshim to Hanukkah Theme of Rededication
Latest Indepth Stories
Hanukiyah created world famous Venetian Glass Blower
Maestro Gianni Toso

Let us become modern day Maccabees and seize the day. Embrace the challenge. Fight for Hashem.

Motta Gur overlooks the Old City with his troops during the Six Day War

Har HaBayit is still Biyadein; Through our actions, its fate is in our hands


What does the way we count the days of Chanukah come to teach us about living in the present?

Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

More Articles from Rick Richman

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/walt-and-mearsheimer-on-the-road-more-distortion-2/2007/10/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: