The ghost of the Holocaust is ever present in Israel, in the lives and nightmares of the survivors and in the absence of the victims. In this compelling and disturbing analysis, Idith Zertal, a leading member of the new generation of revisionist historians in Israel, considers the ways Israel has used the memory of the Holocaust in order to define and legitimise its existence and politics. Drawing on a wide range of sources, the author exposes the pivotal role of the Holocaust in Israel's public sphere, in its project of nation building, its politics of power, and in its perception of the conflict with the Palestinians. She argues that the centrality of the Holocaust has led to a culture of death and victimhood which permeates Israel's society and self image. This penetrating book offers an entirely new perspective on Israel, its history and the construction of national identity.

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