The Grayer it Becomes


Ethan Bronner, discussing a new revised version of Israeli historian Benny Morris? The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, has publicly waded into the quicksand of the Palestinian refugee issue, and, wanting to seem fair, merely drifts toward the anodyne.

After offering a Palestinian and Israeli perspective of the cause of the refugee problem, he offers this bland round-up phrase: ?All of this suggests that the more you look into the history of this conflict, the grayer it becomes, and the more difficult it is to assign blame cleanly.?

Well, yes, but that sort of misses the point. Did the Israelis plan to expel the Palestinians? Was it really ethnic cleansing? Were the Arab states responsible for the Palestinians? leaving their home? Somehow, all these questions miss a more fundamental one: Once the Palestinians left, or were expelled, were they allowed to return home? The answer is no, and you can read more about that in Morris? own Israel?s Border Wars, 1949-1956.