The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East

Publication Year



Martin S. Kramer, Ph.D. 1982

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"




Transaction Publishers
New Brunswick (USA) and London (UK)
Cloth: 9781412864336; paper: 9781412864992