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About Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His most recent book is Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising, US, UK. His previous books have been translated into more than fifteen languages. Also by the same author, The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (Saqi and University of California Press), The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (2nd ed., Saqi, 2006) and The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (Saqi, 2010). He is the chairperson of the Centre for Palestine Studies at SOAS.

Articles by Gilbert Achcar

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Zionism, anti-semitism, and the Balfour Declaration

A complementarity between the anti-semitic desire to get rid of the Jews and the Zionist project of sending all Jews to Palestine seems ignored, for example, by Theresa May.

Shame on those who try to justify Giulio Regeni’s assassination

Claims that Regeni’s supervisors bear responsibility for sending him into danger are outrageous, betraying both ignorance of the facts and a severe lack of empathy.

The Syrian army and its power pyramid

To continue our examination of the Syrian army, a contesting view to that of Kamal Alam in an excerpt from Gilbert Achcar's 'The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising', identifying a complex manipulation of sect and clan in the maintenance of the Syrian regime and its apparatuses of violence.

The people want – but do they have a chance?

Nasserism, by far, is the main form of progressive political consciousness that one can find in Egypt, when it takes the form of nostalgia, not for military rule, but for social benefits, jobs, agrarian reform, democratisation of education, and the national dignity of Egypt as incarnated and embodied by Nasser. Interview: 14 February 2014.

Welcoming the vote of the British Parliament while supporting the Syrian uprising

The best way to “punish” the Syrian regime is to enable the popular uprising to break it, not to bomb the country.

Israel: the writing on the wall

Successive Israeli cabinets have worked to enforce on the ground in Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories a situation that they could present as irreversible. Have they now reached the point where the biblical book of Daniel’s prophecy is once again relevant?

The Arab-Israeli war of narratives

The Arab-Israeli war of narratives that has led to Holocaust-denial on the one hand and Nakba-denial on the other opposes two entirely symmetrical visions of the origins of this intractable conflict. In Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, Gilbert Achcar traces a complex history of interpretations from Arab responses to the earliest intimations of the Nazi genocide, through the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestine, to last winter's Israeli offensive against Gaza. Demonstrating that to the present day there has never been one Holocaust-denying ‘Arab’ narrative, Achcar calls for a genuine dialogue based on a full and mutual recognition of both the Holocaust and the Nakba. We publish two extracts from the book’s Introduction which trace the origins of the narratives around these two terms.

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