Middle East studies in the News
New York's Jewish Mothers Outraged by the Children's Book 'P is for Palestine' [on Golbarg Bashi]
Golbarg Bashi, a History Professor and former Rutgers University Iranian Studies Instructor, published her children's book "P is for Palestine: A Children's Palestine Alphabet Book" in New York this month, stirring feelings of outrage amongst Jewish mothers in the Big Apple, who described the book as "anti-Semitic," according to the New York Post.
On the book's official page, Bashi announced that she is "relieved" after 2000 copies of her book safely made it to New York.
During her bookstore reading on Saturday, the Jewish parents who attended the session were less than happy.
It wasn't just the book's illustrations that upset them, but the written content as well.
While, in the book, A was for "Arabic, my tongue, a language that's the 4th biggest ever sung!," I was for "Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what's right, if you are a kid or grown up."
One parent described the book as "nothing but anti-Semitic propaganda disguised as a kids' alphabet book."
Another outraged parent told Bashi that "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."
However, one Jewish parent who attended the bookstore reading on Saturday was supportive of her project.
Rafael Shimunov, of the group "Jews for Racial and Economic Justice," who was there with his 7-year-old daughter, said he did not find the book anti-Semitic.
Meanwhile, on the book's official Facebook page, users' comments varied between those who supported and others who attacked Bashi.
One user, Zeina Masri, said: "This is wonderful! I don't understand the uproar by some here. It is Palestine, and my forefathers were born as Palestinians for over 3 centuries. Why are these others trying so hard to erase and deny the Palestinian people existence."
On the other hand, Yael Mason wrote: "What an awful book! To brainwash and incite little kids! Remove it from shelves."
During the reading, Bashi said that she came up with the idea for her book after "I couldn't find a book about Palestine for children.'"
Bashi succeeded in crowdfunding more than $15,000 from 525 donors for her book.
What's next for Bashi? The author is now trying to raise funds for a children's Hebrew language alphabet book.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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