Israel

2020
Kramer, Martin. “The West Bank Was Annexed Once Before. It Ended in Regret.Mosaic Magazine, 2020, June 25. Web VersionAbstract
Jordan annexed the West Bank in 1950. It had ten advantages that Israel doesn't enjoy today as Israel ponders annexation. But Jordan's "unification" still ended in regret.
The West Bank Was Annexed Once Before. It Ended in Regret (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “1948: Why the Name Israel?Times of Israel, 2020, April 27. Web originalAbstract
Israel's name was chosen by a process of elimination on May 12, 1948. The article explains the alternatives that were considered, and why they were ruled out.
1948: Why the Name Israel? (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “Ben-Gurion's Army: How the IDF Came into Being (and Almost Didn't).” Mosaic Magazine, 2020, February 3. Web originalAbstract
On the eve of Israel's statehood in 1948, with the massed forces of five Arab nations threatening invasion, David Ben-Gurion picked a fight with his own army. 
Ben-Gurion's Army: How the IDF Came into Being (and Almost Didn't) (pdf) Ben-Gurion at the Moment of Crisis (pdf)
The two parts of this essay were published in February 2020. Visit the website of Mosaic Magazine for the responses by Benny Morris, Eliot A. Cohen, and Efraim Inbar.
 
2019
Kramer, Martin. “What Did (and Didn't) Happen in Room 16 of the American Colony Hotel.” Mosaic Magazine, 2019, December 16. Web originalAbstract
Room 16 of the American Colony Hotel is reputedly where the Oslo process began, between Israel and the PLO. It isn't, but it was a milepost on the "road not taken," between Israel and the "inside" West Bank leadership personified by Faisal Husseini. A look at the forgotten alternative to Oslo, inspired by the author's own stay in Room 16.
What Did (and Didn't) Happen in Room 16 of the American Colony Hotel (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “Where MLK Really Stood on Israel and the Palestinians.” Mosaic Magazine, 2019, March 13. Web originalAbstract
Why did MLK not condemn Israel’s actions in the twenty years between 1948 and 1968, at a time when Israel stood repeatedly in the dock? And why didn’t he say anything about the Palestinian “plight,” especially as he got a high-level tutorial on the subject during a visit to East Jerusalem in 1959? An exploration of possible influences, from Reinhold Neibuhr to King's own personal experience.
Where MLK Really Stood on Israel and the Palestinians (pdf)
2018
Kramer, Martin. “How True is 'The Crown' on the Suez Cover-Up?Mosaic Magazine, 2018, March 1. Web originalAbstract
The Netflix series The Crown includes a scene depicting British prime minister Anthony Eden nearly misleading Queen Elizabeth about the role of Israel in the 1956 Suez "collusion." The author considers whether the depiction is accurate.
How True is "The Crown" on the Suez Cover-Up? (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “The May 1948 Vote That Made the State of Israel.” Mosaic Magazine, 2018, April 2. Web originalAbstract
An analysis of the proceedings of the People's Administration, culminating in a decisive vote not to specify Israel's borders in its declaration of independence of May 14, 1948.
The May 1948 Vote That Made the State of Israel (pdf) Israel's Situation Today Looks Much as Ben-Gurion Envisioned It (pdf)

The two parts of this essay were published in April 2018. Visit the website of Mosaic Magazine for the responses by Benny Morris, Efraim Karsh, and Avi Shilon.

2017
Kramer, Martin. “Who Saved Israel in 1947?Mosaic Magazine, 2017, November 6. Web originalAbstract
A reexamination of the crucial yet overlooked role of the Soviet Union in the UN recommendation to partition Palestine in 1947.
Who Saved Israel in 1947? (pdf) Кто спас Израиль в 1947 году? (pdf) Why the 1947 UN Partition Resolution Must Be Celebrated (pdf)
The two parts of this essay were published in November 2017. Visit the Mosaic Magazine website for responses by Benny Morris, Michael Mandelbaum, and Harvey Klehr. The Russian translation of the first part appeared in Лехаим № 4 (312), апрель 2018.
Kramer, Martin. “The Forgotten Truth about the Balfour Declaration.” Mosaic Magazine, 2017, June 5. Web originalAbstract
The author revisits the making of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, and demonstrates that the Lloyd George government only issued it after receiving the prior approval of other Allied governments. The role of Zionist diplomat Nahum Sokolow is given particular attention.
The Forgotten Truth about the Balfour Declaration (pdf) ﺍﻟﺴﻌﻲ ﻟﻼﺳﺘﻴﻼﺀ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻓﻠﺴﻄﻴﻦ: ﻛﻮﺍﻟﻴﺲ ﻭﻋﺪ ﺑﻠﻔﻮﺭ ﻭﺇﺻﺪﺍﺭﺍﺗﻪ (pdf) The Balfour Declaration Was More Than the Promise of One Nation (pdf) Balfour Deklarasyonu: Bir Ulusa Verilen Vaatten Daha Fazlası (pdf)
The two parts of this essay were published in June 2017. Visit the website of Mosaic Magazine for the responses by Nicholas Rostow, Allan Arkush, and Colin Shindler. The Arabic translation of the first part, by Ahmad M. Jabir, appeared in Al-Hadaf, January 20, 2018. The Turkish translation of the second part, by Dücane Demirtaş, appeared in Umran, no. 276 (November 2017), pp. 46-51.
2016
Kramer, Martin. “Setting the Record Straight on Israel (interview).” The Weekly Standard, 2016, November 7. Web originalAbstract
An interview with Martin Kramer by Lee Smith, on publication of Kramer's book The War on Error.
Setting the Record Straight on Israel (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “In the Words of Martin Luther King.” In The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East, 254-67. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 2016.Abstract

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” Martin Luther King was supposed to have said this at a dinner party in Cambridge, Massachusetts, shortly before his death. Critics claimed he could not have said this because he could not be placed in Cambridge at the time. They thus insinuated that the quote must have been invented by Harvard’s Seymour Martin Lipset, who reported it. The author relies on King’s papers to establish a firm address, host, date, and time for the dinner. But he also bring evidence (from FBI wiretaps) of King’s profound ambivalence about Israel’s 1967 victory. King supported Israel’s right to exist, but he thought Israel would have to disgorge its military conquests.

In the Words of Martin Luther King (pdf)
Amalgamates and revises three posts from Kramer's blog Sandbox.
Kramer, Martin. “The Exodus Conspiracy.” In The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East, 245-52. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 2016.Abstract

The author examines the oft-repeated claim that the famous 1958 novel Exodus by Leon Uris was set in motion by a scheming New York advertising man, and not by Uris himself. Through the testimony of witnesses who were there, the author shows that this is untrue.

The Exodus Conspiracy (pdf)
Based on a 2011 post on Kramer's blog Sandbox.
Kramer, Martin. “Israel and the Post-American Middle East: Why the Status Quo is Sustainable.” Foreign Affairs 95, no. 4 (2016): 51-56. Web version ($)Abstract

Conventional wisdom holds that the Israeli-Palestinian status quo is "unsustainable." Yet it has been remarkably resilent in the face of the distruptive changes sweeping the Middle East. This article explains why the status quo has been so durable, and why it is likely to endure in the future.

Israel and the Post-American Middle East (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “How Independent is Israel?Mosaic Magazine, 2016, May 18. Web originalAbstract

Israel in its early years built the foundations of its national security in defiance of the United States. Israel's growing dependence on the United States since 1967 has eroded its freedom of action, posing a question of whether it will be able to act decisively should its future leaders wish to do so.

How Independent is Israel? (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “Sykes-Picot and the Zionists.” The American Interest (internet), 2016, May 19. Web originalAbstract

Many believe that the 1916 Anglo-French partition of the Ottoman Empire, known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, was a precursor to the Balfour Declaration. To the contrary: Zionists regarded it as "fatal" to their plans, and they worked to undermine it. The Balfour Declaration negated Sykes-Picot, and superseded it.

Sykes-Picot and the Zionists (pdf)
Published on May 19. 2016. 
The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East
Kramer, Martin. The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 2016. Buy at AmazonAbstract

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.

Kramer, Martin. “Shabtai Teveth and the Whole Truth.” In The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East, 219-24. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 2016.Abstract

The author recalls his long friendship with the late Shabtai Teveth, renowned journalist and the biographer of David Ben-Gurion. Teveth, largely unknown to younger readers, may have been the first to challenge the excesses of the “new historians," and his work deserves to be rediscovered.

 

Shabtai Teveth and the Whole Truth (pdf)
Originated in a 2015 post at the Commentary blog.
Kramer, Martin. “Fouad Ajami Goes to Israel.” In The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East, 283-89. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 2016. Web originalAbstract

Much maligned for his truth-telling about Arab political culture, Fouad Ajami became the bête noire of the Middle East studies establishment. Some went so far as to call him “pro-Israel,” even a “Likudnik.” The author knew Ajami from his student days, and often assisted him on his visits to Israel. The article sets the record straight on Israel in Ajami’s worldview.

Fouad Ajami Goes to Israel (pdf)
Originally published at Mosaic Magazine on January 8, 2015.
2015
Kramer, Martin. “Barry Rubin's Legacy and the Study of U. S. Middle East Policy.” MERIA Journal 19, no. 1 (2015): 63-68.Abstract

Martin Kramer's address at the inauguration of the Rubin Center at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel is devoted to a discussion of Barry Rubin's view of U.S. policy in the Middle East, especially under the Obama administration. The relationship between the administration's ideological commitments and more traditional foreign policy realism is explored.

Barry Rubin's Legacy and the Study of U.S. Middle East Policy (pdf)
Kramer, Martin. “Barry Rubin's Improbable Journey.” Commentary, 2015. Web originalAbstract

Barry Rubin, analyst of the Middle East, followed an improbable journey, from a radical of the 1960s American left, to a hard-nosed Israeli critic of Arab politics and U.S. policy. Martin Kramer recalls his long friendship with Rubin, and traces the stages in his evolution as an intellect and scholar.

Barry Rubin's Improbable Journey (pdf)

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