The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives

The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives

Hardback

By (author) Gilbert Achcar, Translated by G M Goshgarian

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Paperback $15.46
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books
  • Format: Hardback | 386 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 236mm x 38mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 27 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0805089543
  • ISBN 13: 9780805089547
  • Sales rank: 794,882

Product description

An unprecedented and judicious examination of what the Holocaust means--and doesn't mean--in the Arab world, one of the most explosive subjects of our timeThere is no more inflammatory topic than the Arabs and the Holocaust--the phrase alone can occasion outrage. The terrain is dense with ugly claims and counterclaims: one side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others. In this pathbreaking book, political scientist Gilbert Achcar explores these conflicting narratives and considers their role in today's Middle East dispute. He analyzes the various Arab responses to Nazism, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the destruction of Palestine and up to our own time, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses. Finally, he challenges distortions of the historical record, while making no concessions to anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial. Valid criticism of the other, Achcar insists, must go hand in hand with criticism of oneself.Drawing on previously unseen sources in multiple languages, Achcar offers a unique mapping of the Arab world, in the process defusing an international propaganda war that has become a major stumbling block in the path of Arab-Western understanding.

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Author information

Gilbert Achcar, who grew up in Beirut, has taught at the University of Paris-VIII and at the French-German Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin. He is currently professor of development studies and international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Among his many books are "The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder" and "Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy," co-authored with Noam Chomsky.

Review quote

"A sensitive and insightful exploration of an important dimension of the Middle East conflict--one that we usually only encounter in angry sound bites. Gilbert Achcar's book, which combines meticulous scholarship and an engaging style, is a significant contribution to the mutual understanding that is in such short supply." --Peter Novick, author of "The Holocaust in American Life" "In this study Gilbert Achcar exposes a great deal of spurious scholarship on the subject and places Arab attitudes towards the Holocaust and the Jews in their proper historical and intellectual context. It is an erudite, perceptive, and highly original study that shines much-needed light on a field which has tended to be dominated by partisanship and propaganda." --Avi Shlaim, author of "The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World" "Essential reading for anyone who seeks a balanced understanding of the place of Jews and the Holocaust in Arab thinking today. Whether or not one agrees with Gilbert Achcar on every issue, he provides a welcome and well-informed counterpoint to caricaturists and hate-mongers and fear-promoters of every persuasion. His is a voice of moderation in a bitter conflict, and it is all the more valuable for being steeped in the history and idiom of the Arab Middle East." --Michael R. Marrus, author of "The Holocaust in History" "This is a work of breath-taking empathy, examining one of the most painful and emotion-laden topics in the modern world with dispassion, sensitivity and high erudition. Gilbert Achcar combines a historian's profound understanding of the workings of Arab political discourse with a fine appreciation of the traumatic valence of every aspect of this topic. This magisterial study constitutes a welcome advance on the often meretricious and mediocre scholarship produced thus far on the important topic of the Arabs and the Holocaust."--Rashid Khalidi, author of "The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood" ""The Arabs and