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Acclaimed British historian Tony Judt dies aged 62

Tony Judt (file picture)
Tony Judt courted controversy with his views on Israel

The British historian and intellectual Tony Judt has died aged 62.

The London-born author and academic died from complications associated with motor neurone disease at his home in New York.

As Professor of European studies at New York University he courted controversy with his views on Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians.

He suggested Israel should accept Arabs as equal citizens in a secular state.

In his youth, Judt was a Marxist and a Zionist. But his experiences serving with the Israeli military in the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six Day War deeply influenced him.

He came to suggest that the Zionist dream of a Jewish state was "an anachronism".

'Looney-tunes'

Judt urged Israel to accept a "one-state solution" to its conflict with the Palestinians, a secular bi-national state.

An article he wrote on the subject generated controversy and garnered criticism from all sides.

"Today I am regarded outside New York University as a looney-tunes leftie self-hating Jewish communist; inside the university I'm regarded as a typical old-fashioned white male liberal elitist," he told the Guardian newspaper in January.

Judt was also the author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, acclaimed by historians as one of the best works on the subject.

He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2008.

Although paralysed by the disease, he continued to lecture and dictate essays until just before his death.

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