Nearly sixty years have passed since the establishment of
Many attempts have been made by various Israeli academics (also known as the “New Historians”) to reexamine the archives and review the history of
The main arguments of the new historians were summarized by Avi Shlaim as follows:
- The official version said that Britain tried to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state; the New Historians claimed that it tried to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state
- The official version said that the Palestinians fled their homes of their own free will; the New Historians said that the refugees were chased out or expelled
- The official version said that the balance of power was in favor of the Arabs; the New Historians said that
had the advantage both in manpower and in arms Israel
- The official version said that the Arabs had a coordinated plan to destroy
; the New Historians said that the Arabs were divided Israel
- The official version said that Arab intransigence prevented peace; the New Historians said that
is primarily to blame for the dead end.  Israel
The New Historians' publications present the Zionist movement as aimed in such a way that Jewish statehood could only be possible through the displacement of at least some Palestinian Arabs. This is in line with the prevailing Palestinian view - the traditional Israeli view is that the displacement was neither necessary for
New Historian Ilan Pappé claims , in sharp contrast to the recollections and myths of both sides, that the military events of 1948 were not decisive. The victory of the Zionist organization and the fate of the Palestinians were determined by politicians on both sides—in the discussions and decisions of the United Nations in 1947–8 and in the Arab League—long before a shot had been fired. Pappé argues that
According to the New Historians,
The findings of these academics created great controversy in
In a way, the new historians are now making some impact on the way history is to be taught in schools. Prof Yuli Tamir the Minister of Education has decided to introduce the Palestinian interpretation of what happened in 1948 to the Arab school curriculum. However she does not go far enough. It should be introduced into the Israeli Jewish school curriculum as well alongside the official version. This means that
However, over the years, especially since the victory of
A solution to the situation has become more complex now with the rise of extremist Islamic elements coming from
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not only a conflict of land but also of religion. The fiery, rabble rousing speeches of imams, expressing hatred for Jews, is further evidence of their uncompromising attitudes towards Israel. These sentiments expressed by religious extremists are so uncompromising and intolerant. It proves the insurmountable difficulties in order to come to terms with
Despite these obstacles, the path for peace and negotiation must remain open. The ordinary Israeli and Palestinian are concerned with an end to war and bloodshed and the striving for peace. If the Palestinian and Israeli people could find paths of communication between each other and this could be done by making greater use of the internet for communication between each other by discussing each other’s pain in an open and honest way. This could be done by exchanging historical material on the net. On both sides of the conflict there are moderate Palestinians and Israelis who do have an attentive and sympathetic ear for genuine dialogue.
Israeli society has become demoralized and this can be seen in the number of young people who refuse to serve in the IDF. Gush Shalom has put it briefly as follows:
“To Return Pride and motivation
To service in the army!”-
Demand the Chief of Staff
And the Defense Minister.
Pride and motivation-
To guard the settlers?
To steal the land of the villagers?
To run after stone-throwing children?
To harass inhabitants at the checkpoints?
To carry out “targeted killings”?
The IDL must become again
An Israeli Defense Force!
Gush Shalom (Haaretz 3rd August 2007)