Middle East studies in the News
Kids' Book 'P is for Palestine' Lauds Violence, Outrages NY Moms [on Golbarg Bashi]
Some parents from New York are slamming a new children's book titled 'P Is For Palestine' as an anti-Semitic text that condones terrorism.
The illustrated text, authored by Dr. Golbarg Bashi, a Pace history professor and former Rutgers Iranian-studies instructor, is an alphabet-based book which supposedly teaches children about Palestine.
The book contains several controversial ideas, including a line that says "I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!"
The accompanying illustration shows a child on her father's back standing before barbed wire and flashing peace signs.
"Intifada" is an Arabic word meaning "tremor," "shivering" or "shuddering" that is most commonly used to describe two violent Palestinian uprisings against Israel in recent decades that included numerous bombing, shooting and stabbing attacks.
"Omg. Crazy. I'm livid at this," one woman wrote on Facebook. "I can't believe it's real and in NYC!"
"You must have known you would be igniting a political firestorm by posting that in the hopes of drumming up sales for your ridiculous book . . .It's disgraceful," another mother responded.
"A children's book on Palestine that doesn't recognized the State of Israel . . . is very sad," another social media user wrote.
One responder to Bashi's book, Bryce Gruber-Hermon, wrote, "Hey everyone! Let's talk about one of those intifadas! Real family members of mine were MURDERED. Innocent women who never carried a gun, knife, or anything more than a book. 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. You're not that bad of a person, are you?"
Bashi defended her book by saying that she "came up with the idea for this book after I couldn't find a book about Palestine for children."
She told The New York Post after a reading of her book on Saturday that she loves "ABC books personally, and I have so many of them at home about all kinds of places — Mexico, United States, Italy, everywhere."
Bashi's critics point out that she has written anti-Israel blog posts.
At least one takes direct aim at Israel. "By all measured historical accounts . . . Israel is a racial and religious apartheid state," Bashi wrote.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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