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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quick link

Charles Ettinson notes a wrongheaded initiative by the Israeli Finance Minister to ban importing Arabic books from enemy Arab states like Syria and Lebanon.
Opposing this bill seems nothing less than discriminatory and unjustified. Here is a large, linguistic and ethnic minority who want books in their own language. Provisions exist to ensure that hate materials don't make it into the country, what's the problem? ...

Books are vehicles for culture, for knowledge and for understanding. Preventing their import because they come from the wrong side of a line, punishes a minority who should be allowed to read in their first language, but also means that the culture (including Jewish-Israeli culture) and exchange that could normally have taken place in a mutually beneficial way, is being held up.

In addition to the reasons he states, it is wrong simply because Israel wouldn't want these same states to ban Israeli items, even though they do.

(I will not use this post, criticizing an Israeli minister, to claim that I am now "even-handed" :-)