"The Historiographies in Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem: Focusing on the Historiography by Benny Morris"
last update: 20151224
The Historiographies in Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem: Focusing on the Historiography by Benny Morris
The purpose of this paper is to show the problems of historiographies about the Palestinian refugee problem
confronted by Israeli historians. Within the Israeli conventional historiographies, its cause has been attributed
to "voluntarily evacuation" by the Arabs themselves. In 1987, Benny Morris recomposed the causes using the
official archival documents, which become available 30 years after they come as regulated in the Israeli archival
The Morris's methodology is to describe the history only from the official documents in order to reorganize the
"objective" history through the positivistic method. In its conclusion, he completely denied the discourse of the
Arab "voluntarily evacuation," and insisted that massacres, robberies, and rapes conducted by the Zionist
militias against the Palestinians are partly related to the cause of the Palestinian refugee problem. Then he
coined a word "New History" after the academic situation that some historians were sharing the similar
positivistic method and challenging the dominant historical agendas.
In this paper, first, I examine the Morris's historiography with comparing the counterarguments of both the
Israeli historians and the Palestinian historians. Then I analyze three problems about these disputes, and
finally I argue a fundamental issue about the Israeli historiography of the Palestinian refugee problems.
Keywords: Zionism, the Palestinian Refugee Problem, Historiography, Ideology, "New History" in Israel