Bernard Lewis (born May 31, 1916 in London, England) is a British-American historian, Orientalist, and political commentator. Events 1279 BC - Rameses II (The Great (19th dynasty becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Year 1916 ( MCMXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The United States of America —commonly referred to as the See also History An historian is an individual who studies and writes about History, and is regarded as an Authority on it Oriental studies is the academic field of study that embraces Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures languages peoples history and archaeology in recent A pundit is someone who offers to mass-media his/her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area (most typically political analysis, the Social sciences He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. The meaning of the word professor ( Latin: professor, person who professes to be an expert in some art or science teacher of highest rank) varies Emeritus (ɨˈmɛrɨtəs is an Adjective that is used in the title of a retired Professor, Bishop or other professional The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. Princeton University is a private Coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. He specializes in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West, and is especially famous in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Empire. Muslim history began in Arabia with the Muhammad 's first recitations of the Qur'an in the 7th century For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. The term Western world, the West or the Occident ( Latin: occidens -sunset -west as distinct from the Orient) can have multiple meanings The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish
Lewis is a widely-read expert on the Middle East, and has been described as the West’s leading specialist on that region. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East.  His advice has been frequently sought by policymakers, including the current Bush administration.  In the Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing Martin Kramer, whose Ph. Martin Seth Kramer (b 1954 Washington DC) is an American scholar of the Middle East at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the D. thesis was directed by Lewis, considered that, over a 60-year career, he has emerged as "the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East. " 
Born to middle-class Jewish parents in Stoke Newington, London, Lewis became attracted to languages and history from an early age. PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ Note For an area with a similar name see Newington, in the London Borough of Southwark. While preparing for his bar mitzvah ceremony at the age of eleven or twelve, the young Bernard, fascinated by a new language, and especially a new script, discovered an interest in Hebrew. In Judaism, Bar Mitzvah ( Hebrew: בר מצוה "one (m to whom the commandments apply" Bat Mitzvah (בת מצוה "one (f He subsequently moved on to studying Aramaic and then Arabic, and later still, some Latin, Greek, Persian, and Turkish. Aramaic is a Semitic language with Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly Turkish ( tr Türkçe IPA) is a language spoken by over 63 million people worldwide making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. As with Semitic languages, Lewis's interest in history was stirred thanks to the bar mitzvah ceremony, during which he received as a gift a book on Jewish history. Jewish history is the History of the Jewish people, faith, and culture. 
He graduated in 1936 from the then School of Oriental Studies (SOAS, now School of Oriental and African Studies) at the University of London with a B.A. in History with special reference to the Near and Middle East, and obtaining his Ph.D. three years later, also from SOAS, specializing in the History of Islam. The School of Oriental and African Studies (commonly abbreviated to " SOAS " pronounced (so as or (so az is a constituent college of the University of The University of London is a university based primarily in London, England, UK. A bachelor's degree is usually an Undergraduate Academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three four or in some cases and "PhD" redirects here for other uses see PhD (disambiguation.  Lewis also studied law, going part of the way toward becoming a barrister, but returned to study Middle Eastern history. He undertook post-graduate studies at the University of Paris, where he studied with the orientalist Louis Massignon and earned the "Diplôme des Études Sémitiques" in 1937. The historic University of Paris (Université de Paris first appeared in the second half of the 13th century Life Louis Massignon was born in Nogent-sur-Marne, Val-de-Marne near Paris.  He returned to SOAS in 1938 as an assistant lecturer in Islamic History. Muslim history began in Arabia with the Muhammad 's first recitations of the Qur'an in the 7th century
During the Second World War, Lewis served in the British Army in the Royal Armoured Corps and Intelligence Corps in 1940–41, before being seconded to the Foreign Office. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC is currently a collection of ten regular Regiments mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments The Intelligence Corps (also known as Int Corps) is one of the Corps of the British Army. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO, is the British government department responsible for promoting After the war, he returned to SOAS, and in 1949 – as he was one of the very rare specialists – he was appointed to the new chair in Near and Middle Eastern History at the age of 33. 
In 1974, Lewis accepted a joint position at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study, also located in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University is a private Coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. The Institute for Advanced Study, located in Princeton New Jersey, United States is a center for theoretical research See also Princeton Township New Jersey, Borough of Princeton New Jersey Princeton Borough New Jersey Princeton Township New Jersey this New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. The terms of his appointment were such that Lewis taught only one semester per year, and being free from administrative responsibilities, he could devote more time to research than previously. Consequently, Lewis's arrival at Princeton marked the beginning of the most prolific period in his research career during which he published numerous books and articles based on the previously accumulated materials.  In addition, it was in the U. S. that Lewis became a public intellectual. Upon his retirement from Princeton in 1986, Lewis served at Cornell University until 1990. 
Lewis has been a naturalized citizen of the United States since 1982. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the He married Ruth Hélène Oppenhejm in 1947 with whom he had a daughter and a son before the marriage was dissolved in 1974. 
Lewis is a founding member of ASMEA (The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa). The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA was founded on October 24 2007 by Professor Bernard Lewis of Princeton University and Professor Fouad Formed October 24, 2007, the organization is an academic society dedicated to promoting the highest standards of research and teaching in Middle Eastern and African studies, and related fields. Lewis is Chairman of its academic council. 
Martin Kramer, whose Ph. Martin Seth Kramer (b 1954 Washington DC) is an American scholar of the Middle East at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the D. thesis was directed by Lewis, claims Lewis as "the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East" whose authority extends beyond the academe to the general public. He is the pioneer of the social and economic history of the Middle East and is famous for his extensive research of the Ottoman archives. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish 
Bernard Lewis began his research career with the study of medieval Arab, especially Syrian, history. Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية  His first article, dedicated to professional guilds of medieval Islam, had been widely regarded as the most authoritative work on the subject for about thirty years. 
However, after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, scholars of Jewish origin found it more and more difficult to conduct archival and field research in the Arab countries where they were suspected of espionage. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. The araB gene Promoter is a bacterial promoter activated by e L-arabinose binding Therefore, Lewis switched to the study of the Ottoman Empire, while continuing to research Arab history through the Ottoman archives, which had only recently been opened to Western researchers. A series of articles that Lewis published over the next several years revolutionized the history of the Middle East by giving a broad picture of Islamic society, including its government, economy, and demographics. 
Lewis argues that the Middle East is currently backward and its decline was a largely self-inflicted condition resulting from both culture and religion, as opposed to the post-colonialist view which posits the problems of the region as economic and political maldevelopment mainly due to the 19th century European colonization. In his 1982 work Muslim Discovery of Europe, Lewis argues that Muslim societies could not keep pace with the west and that "Crusader successes were due in no small part to Muslim weakness. "  Further, he suggested that as early as the 11th century Islamic societies were decaying, primarily the byproduct of internal problems like "cultural arrogance," which was a barrier to creative borrowing, rather than external pressures like the Crusades. .
Revolted by the Soviet and Arab attempts to delegitimize Israel as a racist country, Lewis wrote a study of anti-Semitism Semites and Anti-Semites (1986). Antisemitism (alternatively spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism; also rarely known as judeophobia) is the Prejudice against or hostility  In other works he argued Arab rage against Israel was startlingly disproportionate to other tragedies or injustices in the Muslim world: the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and control of Muslim-majority land in Central Asia, the bloody and destructive fighting during the Hama uprising in Syria (1982), the Algerian civil war (1992–98), and the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88). 
In addition to his scholarly works, Lewis wrote several influential books accessible to the general public: The Arabs in History (1950), The Middle East and the West (1964), and The Middle East (1995).  In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the interest in Lewis's work surged, especially his 1990 essay The Roots of Muslim Rage. Two of his books were published after 9/11: What Went Wrong? (written before the attacks) and The Crisis of Islam. What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response is a book by Bernard Lewis released in January 2002 The Crisis of Islam Holy War and Unholy Terror is a Book written by Bernard Lewis.
In the mid-1960s, Lewis emerged as a commentator on the issues of the modern Middle East, and his analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the rise of militant Islam brought him publicity and aroused significant controversy. American historian Joel Beinin has called him "perhaps the most articulate and learned Zionist advocate in the North American Middle East academic community . . . "  Lewis's policy advice has particular weight thanks to this scholarly authority.  U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney remarked: ". The Vice President of the United States is the first person in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (born January 30 1941 is the forty-sixth and current Vice President of the United States. . . in this new century, his wisdom is sought daily by policymakers, diplomats, fellow academics, and the news media. "
A harsh critic of the Soviet Union, Lewis continues the liberal tradition in Islamic historical studies. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Although his early Marxist views had a bearing on his first book The Origins of Ismailism, Lewis subsequently discarded Marxism. Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. His later works are a reaction against the left-wing current of Third-worldism, which came to be a significant current in Middle Eastern studies. Third-worldism is a tendency within left wing political thought to regard the division between developed classically liberal nations and developing or " Third world " 
Lewis advocates closer Western ties with Israel and Turkey, which he saw as especially important in light of the extension of the Soviet influence in the Middle East. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Modern Turkey holds a special place in Lewis's view of the region due to the country's efforts to become a part of the West. 
Lewis views Christendom and Islam as civilizations that have been in perpetual collision ever since the advent of Islam in the 7th century. Christendom usually refers to Christianity as a territorial phenomenon In a seminal essay The Roots of Muslim Rage (1990), he saw the struggle between the West and Islam gathering strength. It was in that essay that he coined the phrase "clash of civilizations", which received prominence in the eponymous book by Samuel Huntington. The Clash of Civilizations is a Theory, proposed by Political scientist Samuel P Samuel Phillips Huntington (born April 18, 1927) is an American political scientist who gained prominence through his " Clash of Civilizations  The phrase "clash of civilizations", was first used by Lewis at a meeting in Washington in 1957 where it is recorded in the transcript. The Clash of Civilizations is a Theory, proposed by Political scientist Samuel P 
In 1998, Lewis read in a London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi a declaration of war on the United States by Osama bin Laden, a person of whom Lewis had never heard before, despite his terrorist attacks in Africa and the Middle East. Al-Quds Al-Arabi (القدس العربی ( English: "Arab Jerusalem " is an independent Osama bin Laden, with some spelling variations is the name used in English to refer to (أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن born 10 March Recognizing in bin Laden's language what he considered as the "ideology of jihad", Lewis wrote an essay A License to Kill in which he warned about the danger presented by the holy warrior. Jihad (جهاد ʤɪhæːd an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims.  But this was actually long after the Clinton administration and the US intelligence community had begun its hunt, first in Sudan and then in Afghanistan. Intelligence (also called intellect) is an Umbrella term used to describe a property of the Mind that encompasses many related abilities such as the capacities
In August 2006, in an article about whether the world can rely on the concept of mutual assured destruction as a deterrent in its dealings with Iran, Lewis wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the significance of August 22 in the Islamic calendar. Mutual assured destruction ( MAD; sometimes written as mutually assured destruction) is a Doctrine of military Strategy in which a full-scale For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. The Iranian president had indicated he would respond by that date to U. S. demands regarding Iran's development of nuclear power; Lewis wrote that the date corresponded to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427, the day Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad from Jerusalem to heaven and back. IMPORTANT PLEASE READ ##### For all questions relating to the addition of (pbuh peace be upon him or other honorifics Lewis wrote that it would be "an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and, if necessary, of the world. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. "  The article received significant press coverage. 
Lewis is known for his literary sparrings with Edward Said, the Palestinian-American literary theorist and activist who deconstructed Orientalist scholarship. Edward Wadie Saïd MRSL ( إدوارد وديع سعيد,; 1 November 1935 &ndash 25 September Palestinian people or Palestinians ( الشعب الفلسطيني, ash-sha`b al-filasTīni; الفلسطينيون, al-filasTīnīyyūn Literary theory in a strict sense is the systematic study of the nature of Literature and of the methods for analyzing literature Edward Wadie Saïd MRSL ( إدوارد وديع سعيد,; 1 November 1935 &ndash 25 September Orientalism refers to the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers designers and artists and can also refer to a sympathetic stance Professor Edward W. Said (Columbia University) defined Lewis's work as a prime example of Orientalism, in his 1978 book Orientalism. Orientalism is the 1978 book by Edward Said that has been highly influential in postcolonial studies. Said asserted that the field of Orientalism was political intellectualism bent on self-affirmation rather than objective study, a form of racism, and a tool of imperialist domination. Imperialism has two meanings one describing an action and the other describing an attitude  He further questioned the scientific neutrality of some leading Orientalist scholars such as Bernard Lewis on the Arab world. In an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly, Said suggested that Lewis' knowledge of the Middle East was so biased it could not be taken seriously, and claimed "Bernard Lewis hasn't set foot in the Middle East, in the Arab world, for at least 40 years. Al-Ahram ( Arabic: الأهرام, literally "The Pyramids" founded in 1875 is one of the most widely circulating Egyptian daily newspapers He knows something about Turkey, I'm told, but he knows nothing about the Arab world. " 
Edward Said considered that Lewis treats Islam as a monolithic entity without the nuance of its plurality, internal dynamics, and historical complexities, and accused him of "demagogy and downright ignorance. "
Rejecting the view that western scholarship was biased against the Middle East, despite its 18th century origins in European imperialist policies, Lewis responded that Orientalism developed since then as a facet of European humanism, independently of the past European imperial expansion. Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal  He noted the French and English pursued the study of Islam in the 16th and 17th centuries, yet not in an organized way, but long before they had any control or hope of control in the Middle East; and that much of Orientalist study did nothing to advance the cause of imperialism. "What imperial purpose was served by deciphering the ancient Egyptian language, for example, and then restoring to the Egyptians knowledge of and pride in their forgotten, ancient past?"
Bernard Lewis was fined one-franc by a French court for denying the Armenian genocide in a November 1993 Le Monde article. The court stated that "by concealing elements contrary to his opinion, he failed to his duties of objectivity and prudence".
When Lewis received the prestigious National Humanities Medal from President Bush in November 2006, the Armenian National Committee of America took strong objection. The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the Humanities, broadened citizens’ engagement with the humanities Executive Director Aram Hamparian released a statement of pointed disapproval:
|“||The President's decision to honor the work of a known genocide denier — an academic mercenary whose politically motivated efforts to cover up the truth run counter to the very principles this award was established to honor — represents a true betrayal of the public trust. ||”|
Lewis' views on the Armenian Genocide have been widely criticized by well-known historians and genocide scholars including Alain Finkelkraut, Yves Ternon, Richard G. Hovannisian, Albert Memmi, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, and he has been called a "notorious genocide-denier". Alain Finkielkraut (born in Paris on June 30 1949) is a French essayist and son of a Jewish Polish artisan manufacturing fine leather goods Yves Ternon (born in 1932 in Saint-Mandé, France) is a French historian specializing on historical research of the Jewish Holocaust and the Richard G Hovannisian is an American historian and scholar He was born and raised in Tulare, California. Albert Memmi ( ألبرت ميمي; born December 15, 1920) is a Tunisian Jewish writer and essayist who migrated to France Pierre Emmanuel Vidal-Naquet ( July 23 1930 &ndash July 29, 2006) was a French Historian who began teaching at the  According to historian Yair Auron, "Lewis’ stature provided a lofty cover for the Turkish national agenda of obfuscating academic research on the Armenian Genocide".  Jewish scholar Israel Charny wrote about Lewis' views, that "the seemingly scholarly concern with putting the historical facts in the context of Armenians constituting a threat to the Turks as a rebellious force who together with the Russians threatened the Ottoman Empire, and the insistence that only a policy of deportations was executed, barely conceal the fact that the organized deportations constituted systematic mass murder". PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ Dr Israel W Charny is a world renowned genocide expert, he is the editor of the distinguished two-volume Encyclopedia of Genocide 
Lewis argues that:
|“||There is no evidence of a decision to massacre. On the contrary, there is considerable evidence of attempts to prevent it, which were not very successful. Yes there were tremendous massacres, the numbers are very uncertain but a million may well be likely, . . . [and] the issue is not whether the massacres happened or not, but rather if these massacres were as a result of a deliberate preconceived decision of the Turkish government. . . there is no evidence for such a decision. ||”|
|“||The deniers of Holocaust have a purpose: to prolong Nazism and to return to Nazi legislation. (הארץ "The land" referring to the Land of Israel) founded in 1918 is Israel 's oldest Daily newspaper. Nobody wants the 'Young Turks' back, and nobody wants to have back the Ottoman Law. What do the Armenians want? The Armenians want to benefit from both worlds. On the one hand, they speak with pride of their struggle against the Ottoman despotism, while on the other hand, they compare their tragedy to the Jewish Holocaust. I do not accept this. I do not say that the Armenians did not suffer terribly. But I find enough cause for me to contain their attempts to use the Armenian massacres to diminish the worth of the Jewish Holocaust and to relate to it instead as an ethnic dispute. ||”|
In a 2002 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "Hot Type" program, Noam Chomsky detailed a series of comments from a declassified Eisenhower Administration memo:
|“||President Eisenhower, in an internal discussion, observed to his staff, and I'm quoting now, "There's a campaign of hatred against us in the Middle East, not by governments, but by the people. Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14 1890 – March 28 1969 was President of the United States from 1953 until 1961 and a five-star general " The National Security Council discussed that question and said, "Yes, and the reason is, there's a perception in that region that the United States supports status quo governments, which prevent democracy and development and that we do it because of our interests in Middle East oil. The White House National Security Council ( NSC) in the United States is the principal forum used by the President for considering National Furthermore, it's difficult to counter that perception because it's correct. It ought to be correct. We ought to be supporting brutal and corrupt governments which prevent democracy and development because we want to control Middle East oil, and it's true that leads to a campaign of hatred against us. "||”|
Chomsky claimed that Bernard Lewis, in his writings on the Middle East, omitted this and other evidence of Western culpability for failures in the region. Chomsky claimed:
|“||Now, until Bernard Lewis tells us that, and that's only one piece of a long story, we know that he's just a vulgar propagandist and not a scholar. "||”|
On the same program the next month, Lewis responded:
|“||Well, Mr. Chomsky's views on Middle Eastern history are about as reliable as my views on linguistics, but I'll let that pass. Obviously imperialist powers are not blameless in this respect. They did contribute, but they are not the cause of what went wrong. What went wrong is what enabled them to come and conquer these places. And the record of the Imperialist powers is by no means uniformly bad. They did some bad things, they also did some good things. They introduced infrastructure, they introduced modern education, they established a network of high schools and universities that previously did not exist, and many other things. They even tried to introduce constitutional government, parliamentary and constitutional government. It didn't take in the Islamic lands, but it worked quite well in India. |
The other point he raises, I am in agreement with him, much to my surprise. That is the, how shall I put it, the offense of propping and maintaining repressive governments. I don't think the Shah is a good example of that. The Shah's government was certainly not democratic, but it was a Scandinavian democracy compared to what has happened since in Iran.
It's not our business what goes on inside these countries. Let them have tyrants as long as they're friendly tyrants rather than hostile tyrants. This is the familiar method that's been used in Central America, Southeast Asia and other places. 
Most recently Lewis has been called "perhaps the most significant intellectual influence behind the invasion of Iraq", who urged regime change in Iraq to provide a jolt that — he argued — would "modernize the Middle East".  Critics of Lewis have suggested that Lewis' allegedly 'Orientalist' theories about "What Went Wrong" in the Middle East, and other important works, formed the intellectual basis of the push towards war in Iraq. 
Lewis does not advocate imposing freedom and democracy on Islamic nations. "There are things you can't impose. Freedom, for example. Or democracy. Democracy is a very strong medicine which has to be administered to the patient in small, gradually increasing doses. Otherwise, you risk killing the patient. In the main, the Muslims have to do it themselves. "