This book contains three independent essays, available in English for the first time, as well as a post-scriptum written for the English edition. The common theme of the three essays is the uses and abuses of the Holocaust as an ideological arm in the anti-Zionist campaigns. The first essay examines the French group of left-wing Holocaust deniers. The second essay deals with a number of Israeli academics and intellectuals, the so-called post-Zionists, and tries to follow their use of the Holocaust in their different attempts to demonize and delegitimize Israel. The third deals with Hannah Arendt and her relations with Zionism and the State of Israel as reflected in her general work and in Eichmann in Jerusalem; the views that she formulates are used systematically and extensively by anti- and post-Zionists. Elhanan Yakira argues that each of these is a particular expression of an outrage: anti-Zionism and a wholesale delegitimation of Israel.
Preface; 1. Holocaust denial and the left; 2. The Holocaust and the good Israelis; 3. On the political and the anti-political: Hannah Arendt, Eichmann, and Israel; 4. Post-script: 1967 or 1948?; Appendix. Biographical notes; Index.
“A book that has immense learning and moral and political passion in equal measure. Professor Yakira takes us deep into that consuming debate between Zionists and post-Zionists. Luminous intellectual history. His study of Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, and its legacy, is a brilliant piece of criticism. A timely and courageous book.”
-Fouad Ajami , The Johns Hopkins University
“What strikes one most in Elhanan Yakira’s Post-Zionism, Post-Holocaust is both courage and clarity. A philosopher by training, this Hebrew University scholar uses his sharp chisel in order to analyse three intertwined issues: the theories of the French left-wing Holocaust deniers, the misuse of the Holocaust by Israeli post-Zionists, and the manipulation of Hannah Arendt’s views regarding European Jewry during the Holocaust. Yakira takes the reader on a stage by stage intellectual journey, in the course of which he demonstrates how without any scholarly honest research his protagonists use the Holocaust as a political tool to delegitimize the Zionist movement and Israel. Here is a loud and sane voice that calls upon every thinking person to reconsider ill-based theories and accusations before they take center stage.”
-Dina Porat, Tel Aviv University
“Elhanan Yakira has made an original and profound contribution to the debates between pro and post Zionists and between mainstreamers and holocaust deniers. Most importantly he has exposed the link between some French left wing intellectuals and holocaust denial; how their opposition to the Jewish state has led them to try to undermine one of the cardinal justifications for its foundation. His skills as a Francophone student of philosophy have been fully exploited to provide the reader with an innovative, insightful study of a major contemporary issue.”
-Itamar Rabinovich, Tel Aviv University and New York University
“This excellent translation makes an important and controversial critique of post-Zionist arguments available for the first time to an English-speaking audience. Elhanan Yakira is an engaging writer, and readers will certainly find themselves pulled into the debate. This is a brilliant, disturbing, provocative, and engrossing book.”
-Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study