“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.
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.
Originally a lecture delivered to the graduate proseminar "Approaches to Middle Eastern Studies" at Harvard in 2007. This is its first publication. The Persian translation, also here in pdf, appeared in the magazine Ghalamo, no. 8, Dey 1396 (December 2017-January 2018).
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.
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.
A study of Muhammad Asad, a European Jewish convert to Islam, who played a prominent role in mid-20th-century Muslim intellectual life, as a thinker and Qur'an translator. The study places him in his political context, with some emphasis on the impact of his Jewish origins.
A biography of Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, often identified as the "spiritual leader" of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hizbullah, covering his rise to influence, his political ideas, and his religious concepts.
Kramer, Martin. “The Moral Logic of Hizballah.” In Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, edited by Walter Reich, 131-57. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1990.Abstract
An examination of the debate within Hizballah over suicide bombings and hostage-taking.
The English pdf is the reprint from Kramer's collected volume Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival (1996). The Hebrew translation appeared in a collected volume published in 1991. The Persian translation appeared in a Persian translation of Shi'ism, Resistance, and Revolution, published in Tehran in 1989-90.