mardi 2 novembre 2010

Les Arabes et l'Holocauste, Jeffrey Herf analyse le livre de Gilbert Achcar

"His [Achcar's] misunderstanding of postwar German history and policy, and yes, his hatred of the state of Israel come to the fore in Achcar’s criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech to the Knesset on March 18, 2008. The core of her argument was a reaffirmation of the existence of the state of Israel and of Germany’s solidarity with it in the face of Iran’s threats to wipe it out. Achcar omits Iran’s threats to implement what would amount to a second Holocaust from his discussion of Merkel’s speech, and then changes the subject to that of Islamophobia. He informs us, again without evidence, that there has “of course...been a huge increase in Islamophobia, notably after the September 11, 2001 attacks.” Achcar’s definition of this unfortunate addition to political language is, to put it mildly, elastic. “Islamophobia,” he writes has found a means of large scale ‘sublimation’ in hostility to what has come to be called ‘Islamism’ or even ‘Islamofascism.’” Again, without presenting the arguments and the evidence of writers on the subject such as Paul Berman, Laurent Murawiec, Bassam Tibi, among others (including myself), he writes that “if the word ‘Islam’ were replaced by ‘Judaism,” [such statements] would provoke an uproar and, in Europe, lead to legal prosecution.”"Source: TNR (Not in moderation, par Jeffrey Herf, Professor of Modern European History at the University of Maryland., College Park. His most recent book Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale University Press, 2009) was awarded the 2010 Bronze Prize from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.)

Que pense-t-on en France du livre du Français Gilbert Achcar ?  Ci-dessous l'analyse du Prof. Jeffrey Herf.

The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, by Gilbert Achcar, Metropolitan Books, 386 pp., $30 (Les Arabes et la Shoah. La guerre israélo-arabe des récits, Sinbad, Actes Sud, 2009)

Partisanship is almost always just beneath the surface of most writing about the Middle East. Gilbert Achcar’s book is no exception. In recent years, scholars have focused on the sensitive issue of the collaboration between some Arab political leaders and the Nazi regime, and on its ideological aftereffects. The scholarly debate became even more charged after September 11, when the issue of the similarities and the differences between Islamism and Nazism became a political matter as well as an academic one. In The Arabs and the Holocaust, Achcar, a professor in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, has penned a response to that discussion from the perspective of left-wing anti-Zionism.

The book makes three central points. First, Achcar makes the welcome acknowledgment that there were Arab leaders who willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany, and that they were embedded in the Islamist tradition. Second, he draws needed attention to those leftist and liberal Arab political and intellectual figures who opposed Nazism and fascism as well as Zionism. Third, he attacks Zionist leaders and a host of historians for making what he views as erroneous generalizations about the extent of Arab support for Nazism, and for focusing on these issues in order to legitimate Zionism. On the first two points, Achcar succeeds by drawing on—and adding to—the existing work in the field. But his third point undermines his book’s virtues with a series of unfair attacks resting on partisan readings of scholars with whom he disagrees.

Achcar’s intention is “to render the complexity” of the Arab response to the Holocaust. “To be sure,” he writes, “one finds many odious attitudes toward the Holocaust in the Arab world; but one also finds absurdly distorted interpretations of the Arab reception of the Holocaust in Israel and the West.” He especially wishes to draw attention to the Westernizing Arab liberals and leftists who opposed Nazism as well as Zionism on the basis of democratic and humanist values. He wants to distinguish them from the Islamists who willingly threw in their lot with the Third Reich.

Achcar takes aim at the scholars—Martin Cuppers, Elie Kedourie, Matthias Küntzel, Bernard Lewis, Meir Litvak, Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Esther Webman, and Stefan Wild—who have written major works on Nazi policy toward the Middle East in World War II and on the Arab response to those policies. He criticizes these historians of Nazi-Arab collaboration for contributing to a “hegemonic narrative” according to which a majority of Arabs are portrayed by these authors of “anti-Arab propaganda” as having supported Nazism in the 1930s. For anyone who has read the works that he is referring to, The Arabs and the Holocaust is a frustrating book to read. Achcar criticizes texts without fairly presenting their arguments and their evidence. From reading Achcar, the reader would be unaware that in fact none of these scholars engages in generalizations about all Arabs. None of them assumes that opposition to Zionism was, in and of itself, tantamount to sympathy for Nazism, or that it was only the product of anti-Semitism. And much of what they discovered and examined forms the empirical foundation for Achcar’s own study.
Lire la suite sur le site de The National Review

- Entretien avec un Vampire…, par Richard Zrehen
- Arabs and Israelis facing the Holocaust and the Nakba (A book and a talk at SOAS), par Richard Millett
- Djihad et la haine des Juifs, par Matthias Küntzel, Préfacé par Pierre-André Taguieff

1 commentaire :

Gilles-Michel DEHARBE a dit…


L'un des derniers panneaux de Yad Vashem est la photo de la rencontre entre Adolf Hitler et Amin al-Husseini ...

Yasser Arafat , (de son vrai nom Rahman Abdul Rauf al Qudwa al Husseini) ayant vécu adolescent chez le mufti se considérait comme son fils spirituel et le qualifiait encore en 2002, de héros de la cause palestinienne.

* Entretien radio avec Gilbert Achcar:,-auteur-du-livre-Les-Arabes-et-la-Shoah-,-Ed-Actes-Sud_a2147.html