samedi 17 novembre 2012

Benny Morris s'exprime sur les Palestiniens et la 'rue arabe'

Edmund SandersLos Angeles Times a interviewé l'historien israélien Benny Morris .  Extraits:

Morris shocked many leftist fans with his harsh — some said racist — comments about what he called Palestinians' cultural deficiencies and lack of respect for the rule of law. The biggest problem with Israel's expulsions of Arabs in 1948, he said, was that it didn't go all the way.

[...] In the 1990s I was cautiously optimistic that the Palestinians were changing their tune and becoming agreeable to a two-state solution. [The late Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat seemed to signal this with the Oslo process. Before the 1980s, they just talked about destroying Israel.

So what changed your mind?
By 2000, two things changed to make me deeply pessimistic. Arafat rejected the two-state proposal put on the table by [former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Barak and [former U.S. President] Clinton, and then the launching of the second intifada. The other thing was [...] the monotony and consistency of the Palestinian stance, and their unflinching desire for all of [historic] Palestine [including Israel]. [...]

The Arab Spring gave more of a voice to the Arab street than it's ever had. You could call that moving in the direction of democracy. But what ended up happening was that the Arab street was basically Islamic fundamentalist. That's what came out of the elections in Egypt, in Tunis. And that's what's probably happening in Syria. These people hate democracy. They will only use it get to power. [...]

Abbas believes in the diplomatic way. But what I think he really wants is all of Palestine. [...]

When you look at the whole war [1948], the Palestinian refugee problem is much more intelligible and less brutal. You can see clearly it was a product of self-defense. Arabs attacked Jews and the Jews had to clear the roads and border areas because the Arab armies were about to invade. Certain actions were necessary if Israel wanted to survive.

Survive or form a state?
It's the same thing, at least as the Israelis saw it in 1948. Three years after the Holocaust, you have to give the Israelis the right to feel that when the Arabs were shouting bloody murder on the radio, they meant it. They felt that if the Arabs had won, they would have killed everybody. [...] I'm hopeful there will be a renewal of negotiations, but my fear is that it won't go anywhere because Palestinians, deep in their heart, don't want a negotiated peace.

Then what's the point of talks?
Negotiations can take the edge off antagonism. Sometimes the process can lead people to places they didn't expect to go.

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