Related Topics:

Israel's leading revisionist historian returns to the archives and argues that Israel was ultimately the party most responsible for keeping the Arab-Israeli conflict going right after the 1948 war. With their eyes on gaining more Arab territory, Israeli leaders did not take advantage of the peace offers coming from Jordan and Syria.

Most important, according to Morris, Israelis misinterpreted the many thousands of Arab infiltrators each year into their country, turning simple refugees trying to reclaim their houses and farmers working their fields into politically motivated enemies. Far from sponsoring these attacks, Arab regimes actually opposed them. Oblivious to the limited, even defensive nature of 90 percent of the raids, Israelis retaliated against Arab neighbors with great force, killing Arab civilians without mercy. This in turn led Arab governments to reply by organizing state-run guerrillas, known as fedayeen. Before you know it, the Suez War resulted, and with it the enduring enmity that has long characterized the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Like revisionist historians reviewing Soviet-U.S. relations, Morris is determined to show, against all experience and commonsense, that the democratic and liberal country is the one that initiated, maintained, and benefited from conflicts. Let's just say that if David Ben-Gurion was, in Morris' description, a "virtuoso manipulator of facts," then Morris has established himself as a virtuoso manipulator of archival records.