Forgetfulness for Memory: The Limits of the New Israeli History


Many believe that the "new historians" represent a revolution in Israeli intellectual life. However, the exclusion of Arab voices and sources of evidence, especially in the work of Benny Morris, limited the extent of that revolution and situates some of the new history close to traditional Zionist categories of knowledge. This historical exclusion partly explains Morris's retreat to the Israeli political center since the outbreak of the second intifada. Meron Benvenisti's outlook and "relational" approaches to the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are intellectual methods with a more promising political perspective.


Joel Beinin is professor of Middle East history at Stanford University. Robert Blecher, Elliott Colla, Fred Lawson, Gabi Piterberg, and an anonymous reader made valuable comments on earlier drafts.

Read more