A conversation with Benny Morris
Q: What do you see as the relation between this book and 1948: The First Arab-Israeli War?
A: In a way, One State,Two States follows through on 1948. That is, 1948 is still with us, both in the sense that a two-state solution for the Palestine problem is what the international community and the Israeli left and center still want, and in the sense that the refugee problem, created in that year, remains with us and is the main motor force of Palestinian revanchism.
Q: Last year, you stated that if Palestine were to accord Israel legitimacy, this conflict would be soluble but that, at present, the Palestinian mindset makes this impossible. How can this mindset be changed?
A: Mindsets can be changed over the long term through education and gradual osmosis. But this doesn’t seem to be happening among the Palestinians or, for that matter, the Arab world in general. Rather the oppositethese peoples are growing increasingly radicalized, making the requisite change of mindset even less probable in coming decades. Alternatively, mindsets can be changed at a stroke, albeit a very violent stroke, in a critical instant in historyas German and Japanese mindsets changed almost overnight around 1945. Perhaps a similar trauma would do it for the Arab world. Perhaps.
Q: Are you now more hopeful about the possibility of resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict?
A: No, I do not hold out high hopes for the future, believing that the Palestinian national movement has never accepted, and continues to reject, in its innermost being, a two-state solution, while most Israeli Jews, 99 percent of them, do not agree to a one-state solution and most Arabs will not agree to sharing government in a one-state solution based on parity, so neither solution will come about. So, no, I am not optimistic.
Q: What impact do you hope your book will have?
A: I hope it will propel readers to think about the problem and its possible, or impossible, solutions. And to think about the Jordanian option, which I believe should be resurrected as the only, albeit slim, avenue toward a brighter future.
I looked all over for an even-handed, non-propaganda book about this conflict, but about halfway through Mr Morris shows his hand. Read morePublished on June 2, 2011 by Burleigh Grimes
First of all, you should note that the majority - or possibly all - of the editorial reviews above ( which I was stupid enough to trust)refer to Morris' work " 1948: A History of... Read morePublished on December 1, 2010 by Desiree Skiold
This book presents a very detailed assessment of the development and variety of concepts proposed since the late 19th Century regarding a resolution for the Israeli-Arab conflict... Read morePublished on February 20, 2010 by Ilana Novak
I've always been a fan of Morris's historical work, but this book was a big disappointment. First of all, only the last 2-3 pages is dedicated to "solving the Israel/Palestine... Read morePublished on October 16, 2009 by S. Lee
Israeli and Palestinian angst is deep. Morris's take is that the Palestinians deserve theirs. He argues it softly and therefore well, but the reader is well-advised to read... Read morePublished on June 29, 2009 by Angus Cunningham
In One State, Two States Benny Morris outlines some of the proposals for states, cantons and partitions in Palestine/The Holy Land/Israel, starting from the Peel Commission in 1937... Read morePublished on June 3, 2009 by Eric Maroney
George Bernard Shaw, when he heard about the Balfour Declaration, wrote that we don't really need another Ulster.Published on May 24, 2009 by N. Ravitch