It is not at all clear why there should be a book about the Arabs and the Holocaust. After all, the program to exterminate Europe’s Jews occurred in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe. Arabs were neither participants nor victims. Racial anti-Semitism, moreover, was a product of European history, not of Arab or Islamic history. There is, on the face of it, no more need for a book on the Arabs and the Holocaust than for a book on the Africans or the Australians and the Holocaust.

But Israel was created in the Arab world, and Israelis and Arabs have long been fighting a bitter war about both the nature of Israel and that of Arab opposition to Zionism. In this war, the shadow of the Holocaust looms large. Although Zionist colonization of Palestine predated the Holocaust by decades, Western powers legitimated their support for the...

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