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From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust

Overview


Based on years of research conducted mostly in Arabic sources, Meir Litvak and Ester Webman track the evolution of post-World War II perceptions of the Holocaust and their parallel emergence in the wake of the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1948. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, Arab attitudes toward the Holocaust became entangled with broader anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments. Litvak and Webman track this discourse through the work of leading intellectuals and turn to representations of the ...
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Overview


Based on years of research conducted mostly in Arabic sources, Meir Litvak and Ester Webman track the evolution of post-World War II perceptions of the Holocaust and their parallel emergence in the wake of the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1948. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, Arab attitudes toward the Holocaust became entangled with broader anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments. Litvak and Webman track this discourse through the work of leading intellectuals and turn to representations of the Holocaust in the media and culture of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and among the Palestinian people. Their chronological history, which spans sixty years, provides a remarkable perspective on the origins, development, and tenaciousness of anti-Holocaust belief.

From Empathy to Denial is the first comprehensive investigation of Holocaust denial in the Arab world, and is based on years of painstaking historical research of mostly Arabic language sources. The authors explore how Holocaust denial emerged after the Second World War, how it paralleled the wider Arab-Israeli conflict after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and how it subsequently became entangled with broader anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment. In particular Litvak and Webman look at the role of leading intellectuals, the media and other cultural forms in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and among the Palestinians and how their representation of the Holocaust has evolved in the last sixty years.

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Editorial Reviews

H-German - Francis R. Nicosia

Litvak and Webman have produced an outstanding and timely piece of scholarship on this very sensitive and vitally important topic.

The Chronicle of Higher Education - Jeffrey Herf

[An] important new book.

Shofar - Hilal Khashan

An excellently documented and exceptionally objective book chronicling the evolution of Arab perceptions of the Holocaust

H-German
Litvak and Webman have produced an outstanding and timely piece of scholarship on this very sensitive and vitally important topic.

— Francis R. Nicosia

The Chronicle of Higher Education
[An] important new book.

— Jeffrey Herf

Shofar
An excellently documented and exceptionally objective book chronicling the evolution of Arab perceptions of the Holocaust

— Hilal Khashan

From the Publisher

"a huge step forward in scholarship on Arab attitudes vis-a-vis the Holocaust. It fills a major gap in our knowledge by providing a detailed survey and...analysis of the key themes on the issue, in a detached, scholarly manner....In a sweep of research that covers the sixty-plus year period from the end of the Second World War to the present-day, Litvak and Webman thoroughly mine Arab public commentary on the Holocaust...to present a clear, compelling yet nuanced portrait of the various strands of Arab attitudes on the issue and how they developed over the decades...their principal finding 'that Arab attitudes keep pace with the evolution of that conflict' underscores the organic connection between history and politics that continues to dominate the Middle East today."--Robert Satloff, Director, The Washington Institute

"This is an important and exceptionally well researched book, one that, despite being completely non-political, will immediately become part of the contemporary discourse about Israel/Arab relations."--Deborah Lipstadt, Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University

"Litvak and Webman have produced an outstanding and timely piece of scholarship on this very sensitive and vitally important topic."--Francis R. Nicosia, H-German

"[An] important new book."--Jeffrey Herf, The Chronicle of Higher Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199326730
  • Publisher: An Oxford University Press Publication
  • Publication date: 4/22/2009
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Meir Litvak is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University and is the author of Shi'i Scholars in 19th Century Iraq: The Shi'i 'Ulama of Najaf and Karbala.

Esther Webman is a research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.

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Table of Contents

Chapters: Reluctantly Involved "Bystander:" 1945-1948; The Reparations Agreement between Germany and Israel; The Eichmann Trial: 1960-1962; Arab Views on the Catholic Church and the Holocaust; Denial of the Holocaust; The Unfinished Job Justification of the Holocaust; The Equation of Zionism with Nazism; The Alleged Nazi-Zionist Cooperation; Arab Retrospective Perceptions of Nazi Germany; The Palestinian Catastrophe (Nakba) versus the Holocaust; Breaking Taboos: The New Arab Discourse on the Holocaust

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