Martin Kramer teaches Middle Eastern history and served as founding president at Shalem College in Jerusalem, and is the Koret distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
In 1948, he served as a stark counter-example to the view (which he mostly held) that history is driven by material factors and not by great leaders.
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. Why?
Six more Mosaic writers share their favorites, featuring shadow strikes, orchards, gleanings, constitutional evolutions and revolutions, serotonin, odd women, and more.
It’s said that the Oslo peace process was born in that room in Jerusalem in 1992. The truth is much different.
How Zionist leaders held Britain to its promise of a Jewish national home.
From the Yom Kippur War to the Arab Spring, events considered impossible happen in the Middle East with unusual frequency. Here are seven; when will the eighth appear?
At each point—1897, 1917, and 1947—one Jewish leader appeared, and showed greatness.
On Martin Luther King Day, the ghost of the great civil-rights leader was summoned to condemn Israel. The problem? While alive, King had plenty of opportunities to do so—and never did.
The inconstancy of America’s role in the Middle East is really no secret, either to its allies or to its enemies.
He wasn’t a prophet, but his strategies for Israel’s survival had a profound influence on leaders who came after him, left and right.
A long-accepted wisdom has it that just days before the state’s birth, its founders settled two burning issues in a pair of closely decided votes. The wisdom is half-wrong.
In the hit show, Queen Elizabeth II puts the British prime minister in check for his secret plan to attack Egypt. In real life, he was checkmated by David Ben-Gurion.
Israel’s independence has indeed eroded, and it must work to regain its freedom of maneuver. A defense treaty is the last thing it should want.
One-hundred years ago, over a lunch, the internationalization of Jerusalem became irrelevant—and it remains so.
As compared with the festivities surrounding the Balfour Declaration centenary, little attention has been paid to the 70th anniversary of the UN vote. This is a missed opportunity.
The usual answer is Truman—but it could just as easily be Stalin. In fact, thanks to Zionist diplomacy, it was both; and therein lies a lesson for the Jewish state today.
By affirming the right of any Jew to call Palestine home, it also changed the international status of the Jewish people.
For 100 years the British statement, which inaugurated Zionism’s legitimation in the eyes of the world, has been seen as the isolated act of a single nation. The truth is much different.
Sunni Arabs have been losing their grip on the Arab heartland since the fall of the Ottoman empire; the moment of their revival is now.
An entire syllabus on the history of the Middle East could be compiled from the writings of Bernard Lewis. It will be a long time before the field will see another genius of his caliber.
Forty years ago, nobody foresaw the rise of radical Islam—except for the preeminent historian who both predicted and explained it, and much else besides.
The Jewish state has grown dramatically over the last seven decades. But it enjoyed greater freedom of action in its earliest years, when it wasn’t so closely tied to the United States.
There are more Israeli Jews than ever, so they need American Jews less. And they don’t all look European, so American Jews might have trouble seeing them as “my people.”
As Censored Voices makes its American debut, my advice to American Jews is this: save your tears—the Six-Day War was decently waged and morally just.
A splashy new documentary promises to expose the Israeli military’s censorship of atrocities committed in the 1967 war. What it exposes is its creators’ agenda.
The Lebanese-born scholar knew more about the Jewish state than any Arab intellectual of his generation.
The debate between Benny Morris and Martin Kramer over Israel's wartime conduct enters its second round.
The treatment of Lydda by Ari Shavit and my respondent Benny Morris has consequences even they didn’t intend.
Even in a region that is unfree, Israel has shown that it can maintain liberty. There is no substitute for independent power.