Middle East studies in the News
'P is for Palestine' Children's Book Under Fire [on Golbarg Bashi]
by AARON BANDLER
A children's alphabet book about Palestine is under fire from several Jewish mothers for its anti-Israel slant.
The book, titled P is for Palestine, uses illustrations and each letter of the alphabet to tell the Palestinian. For example, one section of the book states, "E is for Eid, it means festival, like the Muslim Eid al-Fitir when we eat enticing eats, get excited over gifts, and enjoy seeing our extended families!" Another section promotes Gaza by stating that is has "generous casas!"
The part of the book that is the most controversial is the section states, "I is for Intifada, Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!"
The book was subjected to severe criticism on Facebook, including one commenter named Bryce Gruber-Hermon who wrote that "my husband has 2 bullets in his back from those intifadas you're justifying."
"If you think these are okay or fair or reasonable or just part of politics, you're flat out telling me my family deserves to be dead," wrote Gruber-Hermon. "You're not that bad of a person, are you?"
Another commenter called the book "politically insensitive."
Critics have also noted that the author of the book, former Rutgers Iranian Studies Professor Golbarg Bashi, has denounced Israel as "a racial and religious apartheid state."
Bashi defended her work to the New York Post.
"I love ABC books personally, and I have so many of them at home about all kinds of places — Mexico, United States, Italy, everywhere," said Bashi, adding that she's working on obtaining funding an alphabet book in Hebrew.
On her website, Bashi wrote that she got the idea for the book when she couldn't seem find a book like it for her children. Her website also promotes a poster stating, "Palestinian Children Are Stronger Than The Occupation."Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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