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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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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.Review:
'Litvak and Webman's work constitutes a huge step forward in scholarship on Arab attitudes vis-a-vis the Holocaust. In a detached, scholarly manner, Litvak and Webman thoroughly mine Arab public commentary on the Holocaust in books, journals, magazines and newspapers 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, especially in reaction to critical milestones in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Indeed, 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, author, Among the Righteous: Lost Stories of the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands '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 and author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving '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 'An excellently documented and exceptionally objective book chronicling the evolution of Arab perceptions of the Holocaust.' -- Hilal Khashan, Shofar 'A painstakingly researched and documented description of the Holocaust as seen by the Arab world... the first truly comprehensive study of this painful topic, it makes for a reading as necessary as it is painful.' -- The Muslim World Book Review
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