Benny and Regrets


“Benny, Benny, Benny, B-B-B- Benny!”



The New Republic has published an abbreviated version of my full response to Benny Morris’ false claims of “omissions,” in his book review of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.


It is now quite clear to me that Morris read, or more likely perused only the first 76 pp. of a book of 766 pp., i.e. one-tenth of the total contents. And even in his perusal of just the first tenth of the book (and only ~ 50 pp. of my ~ 175 pp. introductory survey), alone, Morris failed to observe clear discussions of the 11th century anti-Jewish pogroms in Muslim Spain on pp. 48-51, and 54. Morris’ published apology—which accompanies my response at TNR—is an acknowledgment of his intellectual laziness, and is the only “somehow” explanation one needs.


Andrew G. Bostom responds:


The conclusion to Benny Morris’s review of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism contains false claims about materials omitted from the book.


Morris states: “…but there is no mention of the massacres of Jews in Aden in 1947 and Morocco in 1948.” The 1947 Aden pogrom is discussed on pages 158-159. On page 160 there is a mention of the murder of Jews in 1948 in northeastern Morocco.


Morris also states “there is almost no material (since he [Bostom] purports to cover the medieval centuries as well) on the vast pogroms that took place in Spain and North Africa during the Middle Ages.” These pogroms are discussed by the author on pages 46, 48-51, 54, and 97-105. Excerpts from other authors on the subject can be found on pages 335-354, 491-494, and 505-524.


Other than failing to read or even peruse large swaths of the book it is unclear how else Morris could have written such falsehoods. Let the record stand corrected.


Benny Morris adds:


Mea culpa. I somehow [emphasis added] missed the references to the Aden and Moroccan massacres and the medieval pogroms and apologize for writing that they were not mentioned in the book.


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