A Lebanese Novelist’s Fictional Account of 1948 Fails as Both History and Literature

Sept. 4 2019

Recently published in English translation, My Name Is Adam is the first volume of a projected trilogy titled Children of the Ghetto by the celebrated Lebanese author Elias Khoury—a former member of the Palestinian terrorist organization Fatah. The book’s narrator and protagonist is an Arab from the city of Lydda who regularly claims to be a Jewish survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. In the book’s second half, the narrator recounts his family’s fate during Israel’s war of independence, making frequent reference to the 1948 massacre of Palestinians in Lydda by the Haganah—an event that, as the historian Martin Kramer has demonstrated in Mosaic, never happened. While one can appreciated Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe without believing it an accurate portrait of the Middle Ages, Adam Kirsch argues that this and other historical inaccuracies compromise My Name Is Adam even as a work of fiction:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Arabic literature, Holocaust inversion, Israeli history, Israeli War of Independence, Lydda

Iran’s Elections Could Complicate U.S. Plans to Renew the Nuclear Deal

June 11 2021

This week, after the International Atomic Energy Agency announced its suspicions that the Islamic Republic is hiding nuclear materials from its inspectors, the White House decided to lift some sanctions on Iranian oil, and still plans to forge ahead with nuclear negotiations. Meanwhile, Iran will hold its presidential elections next week. The exercise is not particularly democratic—the supreme leader approves the candidates in advance, and his minions have from time to time fixed the results—but neither is it entirely meaningless. While there are important differences among the candidates, not one can be dubbed a moderate, even by the standards of this brutal Islamist theocracy. Reuel Marc Gerecht explains why this matters:

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Ali Khamenei, Barack Obama, Iran nuclear program, Joseph Biden