Rabbi Hirsch Asks Book Culture to Rescind Support for Children's Book That Glorifies Palestinian Intifada

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November 21, 2017

Rabbi Hirsch Asks Book Culture to Rescind Support for Children

In an email today to the owners of local bookstore Book Culture on Columbus, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch demanded that they publicly rescind their support of P Is for Palestine, a book by Golbarg Bashi that glorifies the Palestinian intifada — or Stephen Wise will cancel its upcoming book fair featuring Book Culture scheduled to take place December 7, 8, and 10. 

Book Culture on Columbus hosted a reading by the author on November 18 and donated $650 to help fund the book. In an email to Book Culture co-owners Annie Hedrick, Chris Doeblin, and Rick MacArthur, Rabbi Hirsch wrote: 

Of particular concern to me is the glorification of the Palestinian intifada — a cruel, murderous, and terroristic campaign that purposely targeted innocent Israelis, including children, in restaurants, buses, hospitals, schools and shopping malls. The book states that “I is for Intifada, Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!” The illustration shows a child on her father’s back in front of a barbed wire. The intifada was not “a rising up for what is right.” It was a mass descent into immorality.

Our synagogue, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, is scheduled to host a book fair featuring Book Culture on December 7, 8, and 10. Please clarify your views on Dr. Bashi’s book on your blog or in a public statement and share this with me. If you still stand by your sponsorship of P is for Palestine, we will be unable to accommodate your participation in the book fair.

I would be pleased to meet with you or speak by phone, whatever is most convenient for you. Since our book fair begins December 7, if I do not hear from you by Monday, November 27, I will assume that you stand by your endorsement of the book.