benny morris 311 courtesy.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Benny Morris, professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Israeli
historian, said on Sunday that he was accosted by a group of Muslims in London
“They were probably hanging around in order to demonstrate as I
entered the building [at the London School of Economics],” he said. “They
crowded around me in a threatening way, calling me ‘racist’ and ‘fascist.’”
Morris, who was on his way to give a speech about the Israeli War of
Independence, was accompanied by his wife and another woman as they made their
way down Kingsway, a busy thoroughfare in central London. The three were nearing
their destination when the group approached them. “It sounded a bit like Nazis
hounding a Jew on the streets of Berlin,” said Morris.
identifies as one of Israel’s “New Historians,” has been a divisive figure due
to his interpretation of the 1948 war.
Morris rejects the notion that
Palestinians willingly left the area, saying many were forced from their homes
by Israeli military commanders. Shocking his New Historian colleagues, he later
revised his views on the expulsion of Palestinians, stating that the Israeli
military was justified in its efforts to force Arabs from their homes once the
state was attacked.
Morris’s controversial stances on the Arab-Israeli
dispute have drawn criticism, and he said he has grown used to
Normally, the police wouldn’t have been present at such a
protest. However, this situation escalated and authorities were called. “The
woman who accompanied [my wife and me] was quite frightened, and she called the
police,” said Morris.
Once he entered the building, Morris said, the
protesters dispersed, save for a few who made their way into the
“Everything was very orderly inside,” he explained.
one thing he found confusing was the fact that the moderator of the lecture made
no mention of the incident that had unfolded outside. “I assume it was out of
fear, so as not to antagonize Muslims.”
When asked what this incident
meant for Britain, Morris said, “They feel free to break the law in this way and
threaten people. The idea is to threaten people so they don’t show up again.
With the increase in the number of Muslims and their power in Britain and around
the world, they will feel more emboldened to harass those they disagree with.
This will curtail the freedom to speak freely in Britain and in Western Europe
as a whole.”