Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Guest of Dishonor!!

Two European Book fairs in Paris & Turin have decided to make Israel their guest of honor!!! About 39 writers from Israel will be honored on the occasion of the Zionist state's 60th anniversary.

There is a lot of debate between Arab intellects about the proper way to protest this brazen invitation. A number of Arab & Islamic countries and writers have already announced boycotting the fairs. The Muslim scholar and activist Tariq Ramadan and the Anglo-Pakistani writer Tariq Ali are among those endorsing the boycott. Mohamed Salmawy, president of the Writer's Union of Egypt, wrote to the Italian writers union to say that "writers all over the Arab World" had been "shocked" by the Turin fair's decision and that the writers unions in Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt had all officially condemned the choice. The book fair's decision, Salmawy wrote, "has antagonized Arab public opinion."

The Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported last week that representatives of 25 professional associations in Cairo sent the French Foreign Ministry a note protesting the decision to make Israel the guest of honor because of the Jewish state's alleged violations of Palestinian rights over its 60 years.

I claim that I only support the Palestinians and condemn the Zionist state because I am a righteous person and not because I am an Arab or a Muslim, but you don't have to take my word for it. Therefore, I will not mention my personal opinion on the subject, but rather the opinion of two Israelis:

Yael Lerer (An Israeli Publisher): "This is a clear message by the French government in support of the Israeli Aggression, Occupation & Apartheid."

Aharon Shabtai (An Israeli Poet): "I do not believe that a State that maintains an occupation, committing on a daily basis crimes against civilians, deserves to be invited to any kind of cultural week. That is, it is anti-cultural; it is a barbarian act masked as culture in the most cynical way. It manifests support for Israel, and even to France that sustains the occupation. And I do not want to participate."

I rest my case.

No comments: