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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The 10th annual Palestine International Book Fair is being held now in Ramallah.

As with seemingly every event that happens there, the focus of the fair isn't literacy or building communities or education. It was resistance.

The point was given by PA prime minister Rami Hamdallah in the opening ceremony as he emphasized how wonderful it was to have such a fair even though Israel builds walls and tries to isolate the Palestinians. "We affirm the unity of our people and our land and our identity, and protect their cultural and national liberation...

"We celebrate with you today, a new spirit of the steadfastness of the Palestinian and achievement, another example of the ability of our people to work and create hope under the most formidable challenges, and the scene of a large international rally around our people's right to live in freedom and dignity in their homeland shows...On behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas and myself, I thank all of you, the owners of publishing houses and intellectuals, visitors and guests of Palestine, who have turned this event into a cultural gathering, challenging the occupation and its repressive practices, and breaking the siege and isolation Israel wants us to be under," Hamdallah concluded.

There is not the slightest indication that Israel did anything to stop this fair, which is, again, the tenth one. But literally everything done under the government of Mahmoud Abbas must be couched in terms of speaking negatively about Israel rather than in promoting any Palestinian accomplishments on their own merits.

"Shawarma News" has been the person I rely on for researching these book fairs. So far we have not been able to find any online listing of all titles at the fair so while almost undoubtedly there are antisemitic books being sold, we can't find them yet.

But he did find some titles that include antisemitism within the topics that are not exclusively about Jews.

For example, this book:

Is this book:

Entitled "Chaos Theory - The American Scenario to Fragment the Middle East and the Zionist Theory Adapted by America" by Ramzy El- Menyawi.

In the introduction to the book Menyawi makes an analogy between the US army invading and fragmenting the Muslim world and matzah made from the bodies and blood of the people Jews murdered.

This sort of thinking such as the blood libel is not on the margins of Palestinian society - it is mainstream. Think of it this way: It is unthinkable that any Palestinian, or Arab for that matter, would stand up and condemn such a book for including the blood libel as well-known and obvious.

Shawarma News found other conspiracy theory titles that include chapters on Jews, such as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the Rothschilds and Jewish conspiracies against Mohammed.

I do not see any participation of the US Consulate in this book fair.

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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