Customer Review

9 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Caution needed, 24 April 2011
This review is from: The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (Hardcover)
The description of the book above is lacking a candour. Ashcar isn't a dispassionate historian. He's an Arab, a socialist, an 'anti-war activist', a co-author with the extreme anti-Israel writer Noam Chomsky, a supporter of the hijab, and more. This means a reader should take care with this volume and the biases it contains. There is, apart from anything, a huge difference between the Holocaust and the Palestinian nakba: the nakba was self-created.
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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Apr 2011 13:55:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2011 13:58:37 BDT
S Wood says:
What a grubby little review of a book that you have clearly not read.

You state that Achcar is not a dispassionate historian and the next sentence states that - "He's an Arab". Your quite simply a racist mr(s) maceoin. One can imagine the uproar from you and your ilk if the assertion you make was followed by "He's a Jew"?

And i see your a Nakba denialist as well, the possessor of a mentality that cannot accept that 750,000 Palestinian Arabs were either driven or fled in fear from their homes and denied their right to return under international law. While the magnitude of the crime you deny is not the same as the attempted genocide of european jews that led to the deaths of 6million, you are on the same vector as those who deny that happened. Enjoy the company.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2011 15:38:20 BDT
amantedofado says:
I'm not a racist. Flatly. I used to teach Arabic at university, and I've lived and worked in an Arab country. His being an Arab is relevant, since 99% of Arab opinion is anti-Israeli, which makes it less likely that an Arab writer will be fair. You clearly don't know much about the so-cvalled Nakba. A war was taking place, started by 5 Arab states, and the Israelis faced possible genocide. In a number of cases, Israeli troops told Palestinians to leave because fighting was going on or imminent. In the vast majority of cases, the Arab armies ordered (mostly by radio) all Palestinians to get out of their way so that they could engage Israeli forces. They promised that the Arabs would soon return, but the Jews fought back and defeated them, and the rest is history. Tough. If the Palestinians have a gripe, it's with their Arab neighbours, not Israel. After World War II, there were refugees all round the world. Every single refugee from that period was quickly re-settled. Only the Palestinians remain. Why? Because not one Arab country except Jordan let them in. Plenty of space, plenty of money, but the Arab states turned the Palestinians away. Why? Because they wanted to use them as a tool to dislodge the Jews, whom they hate every bit as fiercely as the Nazis ever did. The Palestinians themselves go on refusing the state they were first offered in 1947. The Israelis have behaved honourably all along, but the Arabs have been bigoted and unprogressive. That's the reason for the Nakba.

Posted on 25 Apr 2011 17:25:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2011 17:50:37 BDT
S Wood says:
@maceoin

You are a racist- claiming that the author being an Arab is a reason to distrust what he writes is simply racist- you can be in denial about that too if you like? But if you cant comprehend the implications of a simple statement of English what hope is there of you of understanding the reality of what went on in 1947-48? Zero chance. You may have taught Arabic and may have lived in an Arab country but on the basis of the warmed up pro-Israeli tripe you've served up thus far it may as well have been Mars you've been on?

That nonsense about Arabs telling the Palestinians to leave was debunked years ago. Researchers who went through the transcripts of the broadcasts found that the exact opposite was the case. The fact is that 750,000 Arabs were ethnically cleansed from their homeland to make way for the formation of a state for Zionist settlers. The ultimate responsibility for this act falls on them and the Israeli state.

"The Israelis have behaved honourably all along"! Your a comedian too, what sort of moral universe do you live in? The ethnic cleansing of 750,000 palestinian Arabs, the terrorist campaign in Egypt, the Suez War, 1967 War, land and water theft, 44 year occupation of what little of palestine remained to the Palestinian Arabs, countless invasions and attacks on Lebanon, collective punishments, human rights abuses, war crimes. And this is all honourable?

Posted on 25 Apr 2011 17:59:50 BDT
S Wood says:
@maceoin

A little advice for you in the form of a quote mr maceoin. "Reviewers who have slammed this [book] based on their reading of one or three chapters really shouldn't be posting reviews here at all." Wise words from the keyboard of . . . . . . . oh it's mr maceoin (see his review of "The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters" by G.W.Dahlquist). And you have not even read a word of the book let alone one or three chapters. But you don't need to do you? The author is an Arab.

So not content with being a racist, fantasist and purveyor of ink-black humour ("honourable"! Ha-ha-ha), it would appear that your a hypocrit too. Any more talents to reveal?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2011 18:07:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Sep 2011 13:23:15 BDT
amantedofado says:
There's little point in this argument. You are clearly hard set in your illusions and you like to employ indignant language to reinforce them. No matter how many facts I present, you will dismiss them. You remind me most of hardline religious people or hardline right-wingers or hardline socialists who cling to their beliefs irrationally because you don't know any other way to think. It is nonsense to claim that 'That nonsense about Arabs telling the Palestinians to leave was debunked years ago'. It wasn't. The records show otherwise. Speak to a revisionist historian like Benny Morris, who has done more work in the archives than anyone. He does not deny that the Israelis did bad things to the Arabs on a number of occasions, but the overwhelming evidence shows that Arabs were pushed out by Arabs. 750,000 Arabs were not ethnically cleansed, they were pushed out by Arab armies. Roughly the same number of Jews were ethnically cleansed by Arab states, their property confiscated; and for over 60 years the Arabs have been launching wars and waves of terrorism against Israel. No doubt you think that's cute, even moral. It isn't. In what sense have the Israelis not behaved morally? Israel has one of the best records for human rights in the world. Rights for women, for religious minorities, for gays, for Arab citizens, all in a democratic state, multicultural ruled by law and rights legislation. Which Arab country comes even close? Look around today's Middle East and you will see only one country where democracy and rights are firmly established. But you prefer to sneer at that. What do you mean by 'countless invasions'? 1948? An Arab invasion. 1967? Arab states poised to attack, Israel takes the pre-emptiove action any country would do. 1973? Arab invasion. 1986? Hizbullah fire missiles and capture Israeli troops, Israel goes in to stop them. Hizbullah, by the way, is internationally recognized as a terrorist group. 2008. Hamas has been firing some 10,000 rockets into Israeli civilian centres for years, Israel moves in to stop them. Hamas is also recognized as a cowardly terrorist group. The two intifadas? Totally the work of Palestinians. Palestinian terrorism since the 1960s? The work of the Palestinians. Maybe you think that's all noble. I don't. I think the Israelis are honourable. A British colonel recently said the IDF had higher ethical standards than any other army. You disagree? Tough. He's a senior military commander with years of experience, I expect you're not. 'Zionist settler' in 1948? What bollocks. Jews in Israel were citizens of a new state established legally by a majority vote of the UN. You know better? Tell your mother, she will kiss it better. 'The terrorist campaign in Egypt'? Actually, 1,300 Israelis were killed and wounded by Arab terrorists between 1949 and 1956. The fedayeen were not Jews, but Arabs. '44 year occupation'. You forget that Israel pulled completely out of the Sinai, which it returned to Egypt, and out of Gaza, which fell into the theocratic hands of Hamas, who kill more Palestinians than does Israel. 'Human rights abuses, war crimes'. Practically none. Refer back to that British colonel. Even Richard Goldstone has now reversed his opinion of Israeli actions in Gaza. You have no idea of the contents of the Israeli military code of ethics and the extraordinary lengths the IDF goes to in order to prevent civilian deaths. They have never, as a country, done things like the Palestinian terrorists (belonging to the PFLP) who, about one month ago, entered a Jewish home and killed five members of one family, including three children, one of them a 4-month-old baby. Why don't you visit the 3 surviving children, including 12-year-old Tamar, and tell them that it's really evil Zionists like their parents who are the terrorists? You could spend the rest of your life going to survivors of Palestinian terror attacks to explain this to them, and you wouldn't live long enough, there have been so many attacks. If you could expend even a fraction of the empathy you feel for the Palestinians on the Jews, a people more persecuted than any in history, a people that has never asked for more than a country of its own, however small, in which to live safely for once, you might begin to persuade yourself that maybe things are the other way round. The Israelis have spent over 60 years asking for peace. Hamas is explicit in saying it will never make peace and will instead fight jihad until victory, when they will kill all the Jews. Is that the right way forward? Have you read the Hamas Charter? It's time you did.

Posted on 25 Apr 2011 18:25:26 BDT
S Wood says:
@maceoin

Indignation. Nothing compared to the self righteous uproar that would ensue if anyone had posted a review suggesting that a book they hadn't read couldn't be trusted because the author was a jew.

Facts! The only one you have gotten right is that Achcar is an Arab. You couldn't even spell his name correctly.

I'm not going to waste more time with a delusional racist hypocrit which is what you are mr maceoin, tis that straight forward.

Posted on 25 Apr 2011 18:42:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2011 18:44:52 BDT
S Wood says:
@maceoin

Ps- just noticed a 2nd fact from your last reply- " the extraordinary length the IDF gores to". Freudian slip to go with all the Zionist slop? Goodbye.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2011 18:45:20 BDT
amantedofado says:
You really have missed the point. I did not, for one thing, try to write a review of the book, but I was annoyed that the preliminary information implied that this is a balanced and well-rounded book. It may be. But it is wrong not to provide information about the author, when it comes to a highly contentious subject like this. This has nothing to do with racism, and I wish you wouldn't keep levelling that at me in such a childish way.I am not a racist, and you are simply offensive in calling me one. Given that the potential reader is left without information about the writer and may well want to know roughly what way he swings, it seemed to me useful to point out that he is an Arab (do you really suggest that that is irrelevant in this context) and that he is ' a socialist, an 'anti-war activist', a co-author with the extreme anti-Israel writer Noam Chomsky, a supporter of the hijab, and more'. Depending on where you are coming from, those may all be perfectly respectable things to be. Knowing them may clarify for some readers what biases he may have, biases that seem clear to me. If you clarify that Alan Dershowitz is a Jew (assuming that information had been concealed), it would be perfectly relevant set against, say, his 'A Case for Israel'. But if he wrote a book of poetry, it would be closer to (though not necessarily) racist. The same goes for Mr Achcar. It really does. A writer's background is important, especially if he writes about a controversial subject. Haven't you noticed all those works of literary biography? And I see you haven't bothered to read my last post. That in itself condemns you outright as a fanatic.

Posted on 25 Apr 2011 20:06:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2011 21:15:28 BDT
S Wood says:
@maceoin

A socialist too! By golly! Just like Mr Ben Gurion, except Achcar is not of the narrow national chauvinist variety. Wrote a book with Noam Chomsky (they had a debate and it was transcribed then published - your error on that is a forgiveable oversight in comparison to the rest of your "facts") notable anti-Israeli extremist (is that what you call a principled critic of Israel when you can't nail them for being an Arab?). I'm getting a trifle bored of your comments so perhaps you could jazz things up a bit for me an explain how Mr Chomsky's support for the hijab manifests itself? Does he wear one? Knit them on quiet nights when he's not plotting the genocide of Israeli population and sell them mail order?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2011 22:23:40 BDT
amantedofado says:
I've already explained this. In a court of law, a barrister will take it as his duty to draw attention to a witnesses biases. That is so the jury knows how to weight the evidence. You obviously prefer potential readers to know nothing of the biases of the author. And, yes, being a socialist is a bias: read the comments of Spanish socialist Pila Rahola on the ugly anti-Israel sentiments of her fellow leftists. Frankly, I have yet to meet a principled anti-Israel activist. The anti-Semitism, lack of logic, absence of fairness, and outright fascism sticks in my throat. That someone supports the wearing of hijab is a strong indication of his attitude to women, and that is worthy of contempt. All I tried to do was point out Achcar's biases: you've turned this into a nasty little squabble. Thank you for that.
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