1st Edition

The War on Error Israel, Islam and the Middle East

By Martin Kramer Copyright 2016
    342 Pages
    by Routledge

    342 Pages
    by Routledge

    In 'The War on Error', historian and political analyst Martin Kramer presents a series of case studies, some based on pathfinding research and others on provocative analysis, that correct misinformation clouding the public's understanding of the Middle East. He also offers a forensic exploration of how misinformation arises and becomes "fact." The book is divided into five themes: Orientalism and Middle Eastern studies, a prime casualty of the culture wars; Islamism, massively misrepresented by apologists; Arab politics, a generator of disappointing surprises; Israeli history, manipulated by reckless revisionists; and American Jews and Israel, the subject of irrational fantasies. Kramer shows how error permeates the debate over each of these themes, creating distorted images that cause policy failures. Kramer approaches questions in the spirit of a relentless fact-checker. Did Israeli troops massacre Palestinian Arabs in Lydda in July 1948? Was the bestseller 'Exodus' hatched by an advertising executive? Did Martin Luther King, Jr., describe anti-Zionism as antisemitism? Did a major post-9/11 documentary film deliberately distort the history of Islam? Did Israel push the United States into the Iraq War? Kramer also questions paradigms—the "Arab Spring," the map of the Middle East, and linkage. Along the way, he amasses new evidence, exposes carelessness, and provides definitive answers.




    Part I. The Middle East (Studies) Conflict

    1 Dangerous Orientalists
    2 The Shifting Sands of Academe
    3 Surveying the Middle East
    4 Policy and the Academy

    Part II. Missing Islam
    5 Fundamentalists or Islamists?
    6 "Islamic Fascism"
    7 Islam for Viewers Like You
    8 Afghani and America
    9 He Might Have Been Pope
    10 Hamas of the Intellectuals
    11 Know Thy Enemy

    Part III. Misunderstood Arabs
    12 1967 and Memory
    13 Sadat and Begin: The Peacemakers
    14 When Minorities Rule
    15 Syria in the Fertile Crescent
    16 Arab Spring, Arab Crisis
    17 Listening to Arabs

    Part IV. Inventing Israel's History
    18 What Happened at Lydda
    19 Shabtai Teveth and the Whole Truth
    20 Who Censored the Six-Day War?

    Part V. Elders of Zion
    21 The Exodus Conspiracy
    22 In the Words of Martin Luther King
    23 Israel and the Iraq War
    24 Fouad Ajami Goes to Israel
    25 "Gaza Is Auschwitz"



    Martin Kramer