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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Karsh slams Morris as a "chameleon"

Efraim Karsh again takes aim at fellow historian Benny Morris at The American Thinker:

Humility was never one of Morris's trademarks. In a manner that would put Woody Allen's human chameleon to shame, Morris made an art of portraying his ideological acrobatics as moral decisions exacting a heavy personal and professional price. For years, he cast himself as a victim of Israel's political and academic establishments, which allegedly denied him a tenured position at a local university. This patent fabrication -- the respective faculties in Israel's universities have long been dominated by Morris's ideological fellow travelers -- won him international sympathy (and besmirched Israel's reputation for its supposed encroachment on academic freedoms), so much so that then-president Ezer Weizmann personally intervened to arrange Morris a tenured post. Now that he has changed his colors, Morris is supposedly victimized by Islamists and anti-Semites of all hues for his heroic defense of Israel.

As before, this false pretence has had its fair share of takers. Only now it is Israel's supporters who are willfully turning a blind eye to Morris's past antics, and their lingering damage to the Jewish state's international reputation, in the desperate hope of scoring a point in the rearguard action against the country's growing de-legitimization. Yet they shouldn't be holding their breath, for there are clear indications that Israel's human chameleon is laying the groundwork for another dramatic flip flop.

That Morris has been able to engage in this intricate game of doublespeak for so long, without paying any professional or personal price, is a sad testament to the shortness of public memory and the utter ruthlessness of the Arab-Israeli propaganda war. And while one can only speculate about Morris's next somersault, it is clear that this human chameleon will have no problem in finding the "facts" to back up whatever his political convictions demand at that time-and the useful idiots to applaud them.
This may be a tad unfair, as Morris has not changed his view of history unless new documents were uncovered, and his writings on history should be critiqued without reference to his ever-changing political views. But Karsh is right when he says that Zionists should not embrace Morris' political views because his pendulum happened to have swung in their general direction for a couple of years. That pendulum is already on its way back....

UPDATE: ...according to Karsh.