Tuesday, June 04, 2019

  • Tuesday, June 04, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Highland Park, NJ library was scheduled to have a public reading of the book "P is for Palestine" last month. The reading was sponsored by the anti-Zionist "Jewish Voice for Peace."

The book includes support for "Intifada," which is being falsely framed to gullible officials as an innocent word. 



Book author Goldbarg Bashi said her book does not promote violence or anti-Semitism, but simply celebrates Palestinian culture. The word “intifada” has been unfairly linked to violence, she said.

It really means “resistance,” which has mostly been peaceful, she added. Intifada can include wearing embroidered Palestinian-style dresses or cooking a Palestinian dish; or for Americans, marching in the Women’s March, she argued.

In fact, its main meaning in today's vernacular - both English and Arabic - is almost exclusively the deadly terror sprees that Palestinians unleashed on Israeli Jews in the late 1980s and early 2000s.

This is easy to prove. An image search on the Arabic word "Intifada," "الانتفاضة" shows lots of photos of masked Palestinians rioting, hurling rocks and setting off firebombs.

No pictures of people wearing embroidered dresses or cooking food.


An English search for "intifada" shows a very similar set of photos of violence.


Anyone who believes that the literal meaning of intifada, "shaking off," is the actual meaning of how it is used nowadays is a fool. (It is a similar argument to those who claim that Arabs cannot be antisemitic because they are supposedly Semites, too. It is like saying that "terrible" and "terrific" have identical meanings due to the same etymology.)

There are other significant problems with the book, like "M is for Miftah," the ubiquitous keys that symbolize the Palestinian desire to destroy Israel by "return" of millions of Arabs who never lived there.



The heavily Jewish community of Highland Park protested to the library about the offensive book, and the library  postponed the scheduled public reading and agreed to have a hearing about the topic Wednesday night.

Israel-haters have been lying, as usual, and saying that postponing  the reading is "censorship." It is not censorship to not have a public reading of a book that is offensive to the members of the community. No one is saying that the library cannot keep copies of the book to be lent out, or that the publisher cannot sell the book.

Groups who despise Israel like CAIR have been circulating a petition to allow the reading, falsely calling the postponement of the reading a "ban."

It was announced on Tuesday night (according to emails sent out by area synagogues) that the hearing was canceled because of fear of violence. I don't think they were worried about Jewish residents of Highland Park starting a riot in their own hometown.

But hundreds of people who support the idea of intifada were going to be coming from other communities to pressure the library. That is what alarmed the library.

The outrageous thing is that the library announced a compromise that is no compromise. They said that they would schedule a reading for "P is for Palestine" and then schedule a separate  reading of a pro-Israel children's book.

This is not a solution.

A public library will have a reading of a book that glorifies terror, even if that glorification is implicit. Every Arabic speaker knows that someone means when they use the word "intifada"  - and it ain't cooking. It is violence, and Arabic websites routinely glorify the suicide bombers of the Second Intifada, when over a thousand Jews were killed and many more injured.

The Highland Park Library - and the mayor - should be told that a public reading of a book that is hurtful and offensive to so many people is never acceptable and no amount of counter-programming can remove that insult.

You can email the Board of Trustees (trustees@hpplnj.org) and the Library Director (director@hpplnj.org), as well as the mayor Gayle Brill Mittler (brillmittlerhp@gmail.com).





We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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