Karsh (a professor of Mediterranean Studies at the University of London) presents the first full-length and detailed rebuttal to those Israeli scholars who call themselves the "new historians." This group, whose ranks include Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé, and Avi Shlaim, seeks to expose Zionism as a rapacious movement and Israel as the actor that bears nearly full responsibility for the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian plight. Noting that others have critiqued the new historians' ignoring important source materials, Karsh concentrates on proving that "the very documentation used by these self-styled champions of 'truth and morality' reveals a completely different picture from that which they have painted."
Elaborating on the argument first made in his June 1996 article in the Middle East Quarterly,7 Karsh focuses on three main issues: David Ben-Gurion's alleged endorsement of "transferring" Arabs out of the territory to become Israel, "collusion" between the Zionist movement and King 'Abdallah of Jordan to snuff out a Palestinian state, and secret British support for this joint effort. To establish his case, Karsh digs deeply into the documentary record, even going so far as to interpret crossed-out sections in Ben-Gurion's handwritten letters. That's all vital to making his case, but Karsh's key strength is the application of unprejudiced common sense to clarify issues clouded by the pseudo-scholarship of propagandists.