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

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  71 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

There is no more inflammatory topic than the Arabs and the Holocaust—the phrase alone can occasion outrage. Political scientist Gilbert Achcar 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 historica

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Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Picador (first published 2009)
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TR Peterson
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Achcar's book is a daring attempt to cover a highly controversial topic which he manages to do with incredible erudition and a good grasp of the subject matter. More so than other books on this topic, Achcar avoids coming down heavily on one side or the other and is therefore able to give a very accessible and enlightening view of the topics covered.

Most interesting is Achcar's ability to use first hand sources due to his ability to read Arabic. Other books I have read have very little or cite o
...more
Muhammad Ahmad
The following are excerpts from a review that I wrote for "Fear and Loathing", the third issues of Critical Muslim.

The treatment of Jews who have remained in the Muslim world is no better or worse than that of any other minority. Since the founding of Israel their numbers have dwindled. Except for countries like Iran, where a substantial Jewish population still thrives, few in the Muslim world ever encounter a Jew. Most know Jews only through scripture or news reporting on the Israeli-Palestini
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Chedy Riahi
عمل مهم جدا، راهنيته دائمة بحكم الاستغلال المتواصل للمحرقة في الدفاع عن السياسات الإسرائيلية. لجلبير الأشقر صرامة أكاديمية كبيرة و الكتاب يوثق المواقف العربية الليبرالية و القومية و السلفية الإسلامية و غيرها أمام المحرقة و تأسيس إسرائيل

أهمية هذا الكتاب تكمن في أنه يكسر السردية المهيمنة الصهيونية والعربية و يصف لنا واقعا متغيرا و إديولوجيات قد تظهر متحجرة أو راسخة في معاداة السامية لكنها مليئة بالتجاذبات التي تغير المواقف وتجبر على مراجعات، وهذا واضح بجلاء في المواقف القومية و السلفية الإسلامية.
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Simon Wood
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ZIONISM, THE ARABS, FACISM AND NAZI GERMANY

In "Arabs and the Holocaust" Gilbert Achcar (co-debator with Noam Chomsky "Perilous Power") has cut through many of the myths, exaggerations, and down right nonsense that surrounds the debate about Arab attitudes towards Nazi Germany and the persecution and eventual genocide of European Jews between 1933 and 1945.

Much of the writing on this subject by supporters of Israel focuses on those Arabs who dallied at one or another rhetorical level with Facism
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Jonathan Mckay
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: عربي
Let me summarize the book: Arabs were against the holocaust, but hated and hate zionism.

That's it. This book goes into excruciating detail about the different Arab groups that were against the holocaust and don't like zionism, but didn't seem to offer much more on the broader issue, and only skirts the issues of holocaust deniers at the very end.
Abdullah Al Bayyari
ثمة سردية بالغة القوة بشأن الهولوكوست في الغرب ، وهي تضع أي كاتب عربي في موقع غير مؤات إذ سيكون عليه لقول أي شيء عن النكبة أن يقول شيئا عن المحرقة، و أن يسوغ ألم الفلسطينيين بألم اليهود ، مثبتا لهذا صفة الألم الأكبر ،إلا أن ذلك لا ينفي عن الكتاب موضوعية العرض من منطلق الغرب كونه كتب بالفرنسية وترجم أول ما ترجم إلى الإنجليزية ومنه إلى العربية، وهو يتناول السرديات العربية للمحرقة بشيء من التفكيك المنطقي و الموضوعي.
علاء بريك
كتاب كثيف و ضخم و لكن سلاسة الانتقال و ترتيب الفصول وطريقة طرح الآراء و مناقشتها و تفسيرها ضمن سياقها التاريخي و ظروفها السياسية يجعل الكتاب ممتع ومفيد في آن .
Mark
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, favorite
This book is myth-dispelling of the highest order. It takes long held prejudices of Arab-Jewish relations and turns them upside down. The central theme of Holocaust reactions in the Arab world is an area that has required some tidying up over the years and here we have it. He recognises that now Holocaust denial is common throughout the middle east, and surmises that this is a reaction to events than a genuine belief. How does one go about hurting the people of Israel when all recourse to action ...more
Saman
Aug 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book worth star and a half probably. pretty ambitious, doesn't get the job done.

The book fluctuate between the history of Arab reaction to the holocaust (not all Arab) and the author's critique to Zionism which dominate the book.

Yeah... the title is a bit misleading …most of the book ends up, him talking about Zionism, and you know what if the title was different it would've been better

Few things that were super off

while comparing the Islamic figure the Husseini to the liberals(on why the
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WW2 Reads
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Achcar's book is a daring attempt to cover a highly controversial topic which he manages to do with incredible erudition and a good grasp of the subject matter. More so than other books on this topic, Achcar avoids coming down heavily on one side or the other and is therefore able to give a very accessible and enlightening view of the topics covered.

Most interesting is Achcar's ability to use first hand sources due to his ability to read Arabic. Other books I have read have very little or cite o
...more
Bruce
There are long-standing philosophical questions: "Do two wrongs make a right?". Of course not. "Should people be made to pay for crimes committed by others?" What is it called when through vandalism, intimidation and violence people are forced to leave their homes and land?
This work seems to be a well-balanced review of Arab attitudes on Zionism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel. Having read several books, mainly memoirs, of the thirties and forties I feel there are strong bases to revisit
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Omar El shafei
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an invaluable book. The author tackles his controversial subject with erudition, passion and a deep sense of humanity. This is intellectual history and history of political ideas at its best. Beyond its subject-matter, Arab attitudes to the Jewish question in the inter-war period and after, this is also a great history of modern Arab political thought tackled from a specific and crucial angle. The book shows us how to reject Zionism and expose its reactionary politics without falling in ...more
BMR, MSW, LSW
I gave up.

I have tried to read this book for months and months but it is so densely packed, even my decades long interest in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict doesn't speed up the read.

Ship abandoned.
C.
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jew-ish, me
narratives like pipebombs
Why L. Sadeye
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the shit. Fin.
Nayef AHindas
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
من اهم اعمال جلبير على الإطلاق ، خاصة ان الموضوع لم يعد يطرح كما في السابق
Greta
May 16, 2016 marked it as must-read-not-owned  ·  review of another edition
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Gilbert Achcar was born in Lebanon in 1951. In 1983 he moved to France. Since August 2007, Achcar has been a Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London.
More about Gilbert Achcar...