Distortion and Defamation https://mosaicmagazine.com/response/uncategorized/2014/07/distortion-and-defamation/

The treatment of Lydda by Ari Shavit and my respondent Benny Morris has consequences even they didn’t intend.

July 20, 2014 | Martin Kramer
About the author: 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.
This is a response to What Happened at Lydda, originally published in Mosaic in July 2014

An inscription on the Dahmash Mosque in Lydda. It says in Arabic: “The mosque was closed as a result of the monstrous massacre perpetrated by the occupation forces in 1948, and was partially reopened in 1996.” Photo by Martin Kramer.
The entry of historians into the debate over Ari Shavit’s Lydda chapter, in his bestselling book My Promised Land, constitutes progress. Efraim Karsh and Benny Morris, who for decades have been in almost continuous dispute over the events of 1948, seem to have converged in opposition to Shavit’s turning the July 1948 events in Lydda into the “black box” of the 1948 war and of Zionism. In response to my essay, Karsh writes: “Lydda was one of the very few exceptions that proved the rule, not—as Shavit argues—the rule itself.” And Morris concurs: Shavit “defined ‘Lydda’ as the key to Zionism. Well, it isn’t and it wasn’t. . . . Lydda wasn’t representative of Zionist behavior.”

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now