Achcar in ABF-huset in Stockholm, Sweden.
|Nationality||French and Lebanese|
|Fields||Academic and writer|
Gilbert Achcar (Arabic: جلبير الأشقر; 5 November 1951) is a Lebanese academic, writer, and self-proclaimed socialist. He is a Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. His research interests cover the Near East and North Africa, the foreign policy of the United States, Globalisation, Islam, and Islamic fundamentalism.
He is also a Fellow at the International Institute for Research and Education.
Achcar was raised in Lebanon where he obtained degrees in philosophy and the social sciences at the Lebanese University. He took up residence in France in 1983, and completed his doctorate in social history and international relations at the University of Paris VIII, where, in 1991, he began teaching political science, sociology and international relations. In 2003 he took up a research position at the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin, which he maintained until he assumed a professorship at SOAS.
The Arabs and the Holocaust
Achcar's The Arabs and the Holocaust, published in 2010, analyzes the collaboration between Arab leaders and the Nazis and the impact of those relationships on modern Arab-Israeli relationships, and, according to Tariq Ali, it dismantles in a scholarly way the simplistic myths that emerged in the wake of the establishment of the State of Israel. In the book, Achcar argues that it is ironical that Israel has preferred to deal with a "notorious Jew-hater" like Anwar Sadat, who regarded Jews as a "treacherous people", and it preferred Mahmoud Abbas to Yasser Arafat, though aware of the former's remarks on the Holocaust, and he concludes
'Is it an accident that Israel's rulers chose to sign treaties with Anwar Sadat rather than Nasser, and preferred Abbas over Arafat? Or is it a sign of elective affinities between Jew haters and Arab haters, whose vision of the world is the same, only stood on its head?'
"Statist Zionism is a Janus," Achcar adds, with "one face towards the Holocaust, the other toward the Nakba," in that it faces not only the persecutions suffered in the Holocaust but also the subsequent oppression it has inflicted on Palestinians. Achcar concludes that genuine dialogue can only arise if both realities are confronted.
The Arabs and the Holocaust was reviewed unfavorably by Jeffrey Herf, who wrote that the book undermines its virtues with "superficial, unfair, and unreliable readings of those with whom he disagrees" and that such attacks do not contribute to scholarship. A harsher critique was offered by Matthias Küntzel, who described the book as one "in which an author from the political left seeks to protect the dogmas of Western anti-Zionism from the reality of Arab antisemitism." For Miriyam Aouragh, Achcar examines a large body of counter-truths in academic polemics, and challenges the idea of Arab anti-Semitism and stereotypes about Islam. European anti-Semitism is an age-old fantasy, whereas Arab hatred is recent, and has developed for an oppressive state that defines itself as Jewish. Amin al-Husseini allied himself with Hitler from political calculations not on ideological grounds, much in the way Churchill said he would ally himself with the devil to defeat Hitler.
- Author: La nouvelle Guerre froide : le monde après le Kosovo, 1999. English translation included as two chapters in Tariq Ali (ed.): "Masters of the Universe". NATO’s Balkan Crusade, 2000".
- Editor: The Legacy of Ernest Mandel, 1999.
- Author: Eastern Cauldron: Islam, Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq in a Marxist Mirror, 2004 (L'Orient incandescent : le Moyen-Orient au miroir marxiste, 2003.
- Author The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (Le choc des barbaries : terrorismes et désordre mondial, 2002 and 2006.
- Editor: The Israeli Dilemma: A Debate between Two Left-Wing Jews. Letters between Marcel Liebman and Ralph Miliband (Le dilemme israélien. Un débat entre Juifs de gauche), 2006.
- Author with Michel Warschawski: The 33-Day War: Israel’s War on Hezbollah in Lebanon and its Consequences, 2007.
- Author with Noam Chomsky, Perilous Power. The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy,, (2007/2008) rev.ed. Routledge, 2015.
- Author: The Arabs and the Holocaust, 2010.
- Author: The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising, (trans.) University of California Press, 2012.
- Author: Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism, Haymarket Books, 2013.
- Author: Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising, Stanford University Press, 2016.
- Berlin, Eldad (May 15, 2010). "Everybodys Holocaust". JPost. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- Tariq Ali, 'The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives by Gilbert Achcar,' The Guardian 26 June 2010.
- Gilbert Achcar, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, Macmillan, 2010 p.285.
- Herf, Jeffrey (2010-11-01). "Not in Moderation". New Republic. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
- "Review of Gilbert Achcar's "The Arabs and the Holocaust"". CISA. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
- Miriyam Aouragh,'Gilbert Achcar’s book on Arabs and the Holocaust,' Mondoweiss 26 August 2010