Posted by: sean | May 15, 2009

Benny Morris is a racist

ePhren_Robert_WhiteLet us look at the similarity of two passages from very different times and places (bold emphasis mine):

The Algerian is an habitual killer: It’s a fact, the magistrates will tell you, that four fifths of the cases heard involve assault and battery The crime rate in Algeria is one of the highest in the world… There are no petty delinquents. When the Algerian, and this applies to all North Africans, puts himself on the wrong side of the law, he always goes to extremes.

…The North African is a criminal, his predatory instinct a known fact and his unwieldy aggressiveness visible to the naked eye. The North African loves extremes so you can never entirely trust him. … The North African is violent, hereditarily violent.

And, now the second:

The mindset and basic values of Israeli Jewish society and Palestinian Muslim society are so different and mutually exclusive as to render a vision of binational statehood tenable only in the most disconnected and unrealistic of minds. The value placed on human life and the rule of (secular) law is completely different–as exhibited, in Israel itself, in the vast hiatus between Jewish and Arab perpetration of crimes and lethal road traffic violations. Arabs, to put it simply, proportionally commit far more crimes (and not only ones connected to property) and commit far more lethal traffic violations than do Jews. In large measure, this is a function of different value systems (such as the respect accorded to human life and the rule of law).

Do you know where these two passages come from? The first is from Fanon’s summary of racist French “science” about the Algerians in particular and North Africans in general in his The Wretched of the Earth (p. 222-3). The second (via Phil Weiss) is from Benny Morris’s new book, One State, Two States (p. 187) in which he explains why a one-state solution would be impossible. Short answer: Arabs are savages.

The two passages are remarkbaly similar, but for those who thought that such blatantly racist thought had disappeared with decolonization and the end of the 20th century, make no mistake, it still lives on through the likes of Marty Peretz and Benny Morris. The latter goes on to tell us that Arabs and Muslims are also incapable of sharing:

The idea of sharing Palestine (as indeed, the sharing of any Arab Muslim land with non-Muslims or non-Arabs)–either through a division of the country into two states, one Jewish, the other Arab, or through a unitary binational entity, based on political parity between the two communities–is alien to the Muslim Arab mindset (p. 188).

[T]he notion of sharing power or being a minority in a non-Muslim Arab polity is alien to the Muslim Arab mentality. In the Muslim Arab world there have never been binational or bireligious political structures. There are only polities where Arab Muslims are masters or, when in a minority, where they aspire to attain majority and mastery (p 189).

As it happens, I currently live in a multireligious political structure that has Sunni Muslim Arabs aligned with Christians and Druzes against Shi’a Muslim Arabs aligned with Christians. Iran, France and the US, on the other hand, are all entities in which Muslim Arabs live as a minority.

Benny Morris used to be a good historian, but with this latest book, it looks as if he’s cemented his place in the ranks of shrill racists. Maybe he and Huntington should match up to write a book about the dangers civilization posed by Arabs and Hispanics.



  1. Racist “science” most definitely is still with us. It has only been 16 years since Herrnstein and Murray’s “The Bell Curve” was published which blatantly called for cutting funding for the largely African American schools in the inner cities of the U.S. on the supposedly scientific evidence that they are innately less intelligent. The authors went on to call the eugenics movement of the early 1900’s “a period of optimism”. What is most amazing is the way these ridicul

  2. It’s true that there are still plenty of “scientists” out there. It’s just a shame to see that politics have taken a good man like Morris and turned him into a simulacrum of his former critical self.

    Otherwise, I think part of your comment got cut off…

  3. Huntington died last December.

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