Over 200 of Columbia University’s faculty, students and alumni signed a pledge to boycott a New York bookstore, which was promoting violence against Israel. The book, “P for Palestine,” by Goldarg Bashi is a children’s book which glorifies violence against Israel.
The pledge was first reported by Campus Reform – and it includes a refusal to buy any book from the bookstore and a ban on ordering any course-related materials via Book Culture and a promise by the faculty to remove their course books from that store.
The petition further calls on the bookshop owners to “retract their statement and issue an apology for choosing to participate in the censorship and slander of already-underrepresented Palestinian voices.”
The co-owners at the Book Culture – Chris Doeblin, Annie Hedrick, and Rick MacArthur went on to apologize in a statement that was published back in November 29th on their website of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue for all the ‘pain and distress’, which was caused by the funding of the publication, all the same for hosting an event for the author of the book.
The particular concern from the book was the entry in the children’s book for the letter “I,” which went on to celebrate the intifada as the “Arabic for rising up for whatever is right, no matter if you are a kid or a grownup.”
The long periods of exchange of violence that have been running from the late 1980s through early 2005, known as the first and second intifadas, were both marked by the Palestinian suicide bombings, shootings, and stabbings of Israelis on buses and in the open-air markets and restaurants. These intifada caused over 1,200 Israelis to be killed.
“There was nothing romantic about the Intifada,” read one of the letter to Book Culture from the Rabbis at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. “It was not some grand uprising to usher in an era of human rights, tranquility, and peace. It was not freedom fighting. The Intifada was the purposeful targeting of men, women, children, and babies in schools, hospitals, restaurants, pubs, dance halls, buses, trains, theaters, hotels hosting weddings, bar mitzvahs, and Passover Seders—any place a crowd of Israelis gathered.”
Doeblin, Hedrick, and MacArthur, further went forth to affirm that they too “oppose terrorism or other forms of violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians during the intifada or thereafter.” They also clarified their stance that they are not endorsing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement to delegitimize Israel.