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The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust

Haunting, beautifully written and deeply moving memoir of a young Israeli soldier

“She took from me the belief that absolute evil exists in this world, and the belief that I was avenging it and fighting against it. For that girl, I embodied absolute evil ... Since then I have been left without my Holocaust, and since then everything in my life has assumed a new meaning: belongingness is blurred, pride is lacking, belief is faltering, contrition is heightening, forgiveness is being born.” 

The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust is the deeply moving memoir of Chayut’s journey from eager Zionist conscript on the front line of Operation Defensive Shield to leading campaigner against the Israeli occupation. As he attempts to make sense of his own life as well as his place within the wider conflict around him, he slowly starts to question his soldier’s calling, Israel’s justifications for invasion, and the ever-present problem of historical victimhood. 

Noam Chayut’s exploration of a young soldier’s life is one of the most compelling memoirs to emerge from Israel for a long time.

Reviews

  • “This humane journey into the inhumanity of oppression exposes the rawest nerves of the Israeli society and its attitude towards the occupied Palestinians. Very few in Israel would have dared to associate in any way the Holocaust with the occupation, but this bold and sensitive personal account makes it abundantly clear that for Israeli Jews the Holocaust and their policies in Palestine will always be interconnected and inseparable.”
  • “Measured, critical, self-conscious and excellently written ... this autobiography is also a travelogue, an initiation novel, and a morality play—all in one.”

Blog

  • "Arendt herself was a Zionist, but this did not prevent her from speaking the truth" - Tariq Ali

    At the time she wrote her book on the Eichmann trial, Arendt herself was a Zionist, but this did not prevent her from speaking the truth and at a high personal cost. She was denounced by many she had known and a few very close personal friends in Israel and New York broke off all relations. The film on her life is definitely worth a watch. The extracts below from her book are worth reading in any case, but given that the soft left in the Labour Party has lost momentum and is tending to cave in to carefully orchestrated media and pro-Zionist campaigners, these extracts show that however misjudged Ken Livingstone's comments may have been they are not historically inaccurate. Yesterday the Deputy Chief of the IDF [Israeli Defence Force] declared that Israel was in a late-Weimar situation, i.e., on the edge of fascism. This would not have surprised Arendt but would have got the Israeli army chief suspended from the British Labour Party. - Tariq Ali



    Taken from Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt:

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  • On Israel and Anti-Semitism: A Reading List



    The storm over Labour's alleged "culture of anti-semitism" rolls on, with daily news of further suspensions and resignations - the latest of which is the suspension of anti-Zionist activist and Momentum member Jackie Walker because of a contrived controversy over a months old facebook comment.  

    The more allegations  emerge, the more the gap between anti-semitism and legitimate criticisms of Israel seems to be closing for the commentariat. As acclaimed scholar Norman G. Finkelstein recently stated in a interview for Open Democracy, the scandal "has nothing whatsoever to do with the factual situation; instead, a few suspect cases of antisemitism – some real, some contrived – are being exploited for an ulterior political motive." While real anti-semitism undoubtably exists, the string of warnings about "new anti-semitism" must not act as a cover for Israeli state actions. As the powerful statement released on behalf of the Jewish Socialist Group states "criticism of Israeli government policy and Israeli state actions against the Palestinians is not antisemitism," - the two must be clearly seperated.

    For more on Israel and Palestine, below is a Verso reading list on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of anti-Zionism.

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  • Holocaust Memorial Day: A Reading List

    To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, a day of commemoration dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in The Holocaust under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and elsewhere, we present the following reading list. The books explore the multi-faceted nature of the European catastrophe that was the Holocaust and its diffuse and ongoing effects in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere, as well as books that examine conflicts leading to the persecution and genocide of peoples in Turkey, Darfur, Rwanda and elsewhere.  


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