This work, by a scholar described as "the doyen of Israeli Arabists," is the result of vast research into the attitude of the Arabs toward Israel, manifested both in their declared, explicit aims and in ideological exegeses on the roots of the Palestinian problem. Approximately one hundred twenty books written by Arabs and the Arab press and radio are herein analyzed. Harkabi's searching examination is objective. His detection of consistent patterns in what at first seems amorphous is convincing. If there is such a thing as a science of political psychology, Harkabi is its master.
There 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.