loosely defined group of Israeli historians
The New Historians (Hebrew: ההיסטוריונים החדשים, HaHistoryonim HaChadashim) are a loosely defined group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional versions of Israeli history, including Israel's role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace. The term was coined in 1988 by Benny Morris, one of the leading New Historians. According to Ethan Bronner of The New York Times, the New Historians have sought to advance the peace process in the region.Much of the primary source material used by the group comes from Israeli government papers that were newly available as a result of being declassified thirty years after the founding of Israel. The perception of a new historiographical current emerged with the publications of four scholars in the 1980s: Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé, Avi Shlaim and Simha Flapan. Subsequently, many other historians and historical sociologists, among them Tom Segev, Hillel Cohen, Baruch Kimmerling, Joel Migdal, Idit Zertal and Shlomo Sand have been identified with the movement.Initially dismissed by the public, the New Historians eventually gained legitimacy in Israel in the 1990s. Some of their conclusions have been incorporated into the political ideology of post-Zionists. The political views of the individual historians vary, as do the periods of Israeli history in which they specialize.
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