PH Quickie: OMG a children's book is offensive
Stop. The. Presses. New Jersey almost had a catastrophe yesterday, but thank God, all is well.
My Central Jersey, part of the USA Today network, tells all in an article entitled, 'P is for Palestine' event in Highland Park shelved ... for now.
The author, Iranian-American and former Rutgers University professor Golbarg Bashi, was scheduled to read aloud her alphabet-based book on Palestinian culture at a public library on Sunday.
But according to the article,
several residents took issue, believing the 2017 self-published book featuring letters of the English alphabet standing for certain Palestinian words is anti-Semitic and promotes violence, the event was postponed pending discussion at a June Board of Trustees meeting.
The author explained her position:
It's not about the Jewish state. Israel is a European settler colony based on Zionism which is a political ideology... I have written a book about children who are misrepresented and underrepresented and maligned in this country — Palestinians. And these children come from a country that has a resistance movement. And it would be disingenuous of me not to include that in the book. This is a loving book written from a place of love to diversify children's books in this country.
A local rabbi, Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg, apparently one of those protesting the read-aloud, said
I don't represent any group and my opinions are mine alone. The book says that 'intifida' means rising up for what is right if you are a kid or a grown up. The intifada was not a rising up for what is right. It was a mass descent into immorality in an attempt to destroy the state of Israel. To bring such a message to Highland Park, where many Jews reside including Holocaust survivors and many whose children and grandchildren live in Israel, is a disgrace.
Another dissenter added,
If the author truly wants 'Intifada' to take on a positive meaning, she should immediately denounce the murder of Jews during the First and Second Intifada.
(In the two uprisings, a total of 1,287 Israelis and 5,316 Palestinians were killed.)
Rabbi Rosenberg blames Jewish Voice for Peace, which organized the reading:
They knew there would be backlash from which they could then push a narrative of victimhood. The key thing to understand about JVP is that they are a radical organization that believes in appeasement of those who wish to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.
Highland Park, New Jersey joins the hysteria surrounding any mention of Palestinians in any context that doesn’t include the word “terrorist.”
Read the full story here.