As such, Kedourie was the quintessential iconoclast, never shying away from
controversy, ever ready to challenge the Orientalistestablishmentand its received wisdom regardless of the personal cost. His refusal to revise his dissertation so as to bring it into line with the misconceptions of his examiner, H. A. R. (later Sir Hamilton) Gibb, the Laudian Professor of Arabic at Oxford University and the leadingOrientalistoftheday,costhimhisultimateobjective- thedoctorate.His later assault on Orientalist dogma, as expressed in the publications of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (or Chatham House, as it is commonly known after the building in which it resides), notably those of Arnold J. Toynbee, the institute's founding fatherand intellectual mentor, earned Kedourie such pejora- tives as 'a leading member of the Zionist demolition squad',2a complete absurdity given his scathing view of the phenomenon of nationalismin general, and Zionism
in particular. Yet, it was precisely this relentless moral and scholarly integrity
which made Kedourie sui generis in the scholarly world, allowing him to rebut,
virtually single-handedly, the main tenets of the Orientalist orthodoxy, or 'the ChathamHouse Version', as he called it.
According to this guilt-ridden dogma, the West has been 'the arch-aggressorof modern times', its numerous sins ranging from repeated invasions of Russia, to proselytizing and trade in Asia and Africa, to the occupation and subjugation of 'the lion's share of the world's last vacant lands in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and East Africa'.