by Motasem A Dalloul
First edition of the children’s book titled “P is for Palestine” authored by Dr Golbarg Bashi sold out within days of its launch in November, 2017.
However, a number of Zionist mothers in New York, the city of Zionist Jews, were infuriated and charged that the book is nothing but anti-Semitic propaganda disguised as a kids’ alphabet book.
Commenting on the complains of the Zionists New York mothers, Bashi said that she wanted to write an ABC rhyme book with lots of references to the Holy Land and Palestinian culture.
On Saturday, the Columbus Avenue branch of New York bookstore Book Culture held a “special storytime” to let parents and children have a look and read the interesting book.
Writing on the page of the invitation for the event, Bashi wrote:
The story of Palestine is the story of our humanity. It is story of all people, all nations, throughout history, seeking a pride of place. Anyone who has ever been to Palestine (to some also known as the Holy Land) or who has Palestinian friends, colleagues, or neighbours knows that this proud nation, located on the western-most point of Asia, not that many nautical miles away from Cyprus, Alexandria (Egypt) and Greece, is at the centre of our world. It is home to the sweetest oranges, most intricate embroideries, great dance moves (Dabkeh), fertile olive groves, and sunniest people!
Inspired by Palestinian people’s own rich history in the literary and visual arts, specifically by children’s authors and illustrators such as Naji al-Ali (1938 – 1987), Ghassan Kanafani (1936 – 1972), and Mohieddin El Labbad (1940 – 2010) among others, an academic and children’s author and a socially conscious illustrator have teamed up to create P is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book—a book for children of all ages where the story of Palestine is told as simply as the English ABC…in an educational, colourful, empowering way, showcasing the beauty and strength of Palestinian culture.
We were able to publish P is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by financing its publication through the crowd-fundraising platform LaunchGood.com. We are grateful to them and to every single person, bookstore, and institution that took a chance with our newly established publishing house and pre-purchased this book and thus made its publication a reality.
A Jewish parent, who attended the reading, commended the Bashi’s children book.
Rafael Shimunov, of the group “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice,’’ brought his 7-year-old daughter. He said he did not find the book anti-Semitic.
“We wanted to be present and make sure that we can be mindful of what anti-Semitism truly is,” he said.
The book features colourful illustrations of Palestinian families, associates each letter of the English alphabet with Palestinian culture: “A is for Arabic, my tongue, a language that’s the 4th biggest ever sung!”
Some of the phrases and illustrations also infuriated the Israeli officials as they spoke and illustrated scenes and ideas about the Palestinian resistance.
“I is for Intifada, Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!” It shows a child on her father’s back standing before barbed wire and flashing peace signs.
Intifada refers to the two Palestinian uprisings against the Israeli oppression, in the 1980s and early 2000s.
The issue is that the Zionist Jews and Israelis along with their supporters do not tolerate to see anything recognising Palestine’s true history and does not recognise Israel’s fake history.