The Arab–Israeli conflict goes far beyond the wars waged on Middle East battlefields. There is also a war of narratives revolving around the two defining traumas of the conflict: the Holocaust and the Nakba. One side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others.
In this path-breaking 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 the Holocaust, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestine, and up to our own time, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses.
Achcar offers a unique ideological 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.
About the Author
Gilbert Achcar, who grew up in Beirut, is a Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His many books include The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (Saqi Books, 2006), published in thirteen languages, The 33-Day War: Israel’s War on Hezbollah in Lebanon and Its Aftermath (with Michel Warschawski, Saqi Books, 2007), and Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, a book of dialogues with Noam Chomsky.
‘A magisterial study of breath-taking empathy, examining one of the most painful and emotion-laden topics in the modern world with dispassion, sensitivity and high erudition’ Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University
‘An erudite, perceptive, and highly original study’ Avi Shlaim
'A volume of tremendous historical importance’ Robert Fisk, Independent on Sunday
‘A fascinating, subtle and original analysis of Israeli and Arab historical narratives’
Simon Sebag Montefiore, BBC History Magazine
‘This exhaustive survey of Arabic sources is particularly important in correcting the many distortions circulated by polemicists seeking to paint Arabs and Muslims as anti-Semites.’
Eugene Rogan, Times Literary Supplement
‘A refreshing and original study, showing clearly that Muslim anti-Semitism is neither universal, nor inevitable, nor subject to pat explanations.’