Este mês Israel festeja 60 anos de independência. O que para os israelitas é motivo de festa, para os palestinianos é razão para recordar o Nakba, a “catástrofe”, em que mais de 700 mil palestinianos foram expulsos das suas terras (a visão tradicional israelita é que saíram de livre vontade). Passados todos estes anos, o único ponto que une os dois lados da barricada é que existem diferenças claras sobre o que se passou nesse período. Mesmo dentro dos historiadores israelitas existem visões distintas dos acontecimentos, como é exemplo dois artigos publicados recentemente. Efraim Karsh, Professor em Kings College, defendeu esta semana o seguinte:
The recent declassification of millions of documents from the period of the British Mandate [1920-1948] and Israel’s early days, documents untapped by earlier generations of writers and ignored or distorted by the “new historians,” paint a much more definitive picture of the historical record. They reveal that the claim of dispossession is not only completely unfounded but the inverse of the truth. Far from being the hapless objects of a predatory Zionist assault, it was Palestinian Arab leaders who from the early 1920’s onward, and very much against the wishes of their own constituents, launched a relentless campaign to obliterate the Jewish national revival. This campaign culminated in the violent attempt to abort the UN resolution of November 29, 1947, which called for the establishment of two states in Palestine. Had these leaders, and their counterparts in the neighboring Arab states, accepted the UN resolution, there would have been no war and no dislocation in the first place.
“1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” is a commanding, superbly documented, and fair-minded study of the events that, in the wake of the Holocaust, gave a sovereign home to one people and dispossessed another.
…e recorda o trabalho anterior de Morris:
In 1988, Morris published “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949,” which revolutionized Israeli historiography and, to a great extent, a nation’s understanding of its own birth. Relying less on testimony than on the newly available documents, Morris described how and why sixty per cent of the Palestinians were uprooted and their society destroyed. It was a far more complex picture than many Israelis were prepared to accept. The book features a map that shows three hundred and eighty-nine Arab villages, from upper Galilee to the Negev Desert. Morris revealed that in forty-nine of these villages the indigenous Arabs were expelled by the Haganah and other Jewish military forces; in sixty-two villages, the Arabs fled out of fear, having heard rumors of attacks and even massacres; in six, the villagers left at the instruction of Palestinian local leaders. The refugees, who probably expected to return to their homes in a matter of weeks or months, went to Gaza and the West Bank, and also to surrounding Arab countries—Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria—where, to this day, they have never been fully absorbed.