In his post below, A.M. Lamey mentions a new (or newly revived) magazine called The Liberal. Interestingly, one of the contributers to The Liberal is Benny Morris, the controversial Israeli historian. Morris is known for arguing that 1) the founding of Israel involved a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing, with the nascent state deliberately making life so miserable for the Palestinians that they had to flee and 2) this ethnic cleansing was completely justified, although some actions by Israeli soldiers (such as the rape of Palestinian women) were indefensible.
I’ll leave point #1 to the historians. It’s point #2 that’s interesting.
Here is what Morris said in a 2004 interview with Ari Shavit:
“There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands.”
Well, it’s good to know that Morris is anti-rape. Maybe that’s what makes him a liberal. Another quote:
“There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide – the annihilation of your people – I prefer ethnic cleansing.”
This is not a rhetorical question but asked with genuine puzzlement: how is support for ethnic cleansing compatible with liberalism? I know that in the past liberals believed in all sorts of horrible things: John Locke supported slavery and John Stuart Mill was an ardent imperialist (in an era when imperialism led to mass starvation in Ireland and India). Still, in the early 21st century, ethnic cleansing seems like something liberals shouldn’t support. (And I note that Morris is also a contributor to the New Republic, supposedly an organ of American liberalism).