Middle East studies in the News
Ex-Professor Who Wrote Pro-Intifada Kids' Book Says 'Christmas is a Palestinian Festival' [on Golbarg Bashi]
by Caleb Parke
A former Pace University history professor has come under fire for writing a children's book that claims "Christmas is a Palestinian festival" and that Jesus was an Abrahamic prophet born in a Palestinian city.
Golbarg Bashi's book "P is for Palestine" has been labeled an "incitement for terrorism" and "anti-Semitic propaganda." But the author told Fox News it's "a fun diverse children's rhyme book" that "tells a social justice story about Palestinian history and culture through each letter of the English alphabet."
Bashi, a "kids' author committed to BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) and empowering, diversifying kids media," was heavily criticized for writing "I is for intifada" and calling intifada a "peaceful resistance."
But B for Bethlehem, C for Christmas, and J for Jesus also raised some flags – for another reason.
"As I have said repeatedly, I believe it is very important for American, Mexican, Canadian, Central and South American, British, Swedish and children from any region and nation whose most important holiday is Christmas to know that Christmas is a Palestinian festival, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, an Abrahamic Prophet who was born in Bethlehem, a Palestinian City," wrote Bashi.
"Americans' news media as well as American school books have never allowed this universal information to be passed on..." Bashi told Fox News, adding that Jesus was an Abrahamic prophet "according to the one Abrahamic religion that followed it – Islam."
She said that Jesus being born in a Palestinian city is "a universal truth denied to the American public." The page for Christmas claims Palestine is "Jesus Christ's country."
Bashi challenges any Christians who might find this offensive or historically inaccurate to "visit the Occupied Territories, attend a Palestinian church in either Bethlehem or Nazareth, and pray with their fellow Christian Palestinian sisters and brothers."
Bashi also posted a Facebook live video of herself with pro-Palestinian activists protesting and singing "anti-apartheid" Christmas carols to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."
"The IDF, it shoots to kill the children raising fists, Israel jails people for their words and daring to persist. Oh, justice for Palestinian women and men. The question is not if, but when."
Last month, Bashi came under fire for posting about the book in a mother's online group.
"I is for Intifada, Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!" the book reads with an illustration of a child on her father's back standing in front of barbed wire sporting a peace sign.
The mother's online group, called UES Mommas, which has about 29,000 members of mostly moms from New York's Upper East Side, was forced to temporarily shut down because of the uproar over Bashi's book.
Intifada refers to the two Palestinian uprisings against Israel, in the '80s and early 2000s, that included numerous bombing, shooting, and stabbing attacks.
Bashi defends intifada as the "resistance and resilience against the global as well as the [United Nation's] condemnation of Israeli occupation of Palestine." She says it's a "daily component of Palestinian life" manifested in "carrying a Palestinian flag, wearing a Palestinian dress, cooking a Palestinian dish, and protecting a Palestinian olive tree from being bulldozed."
The book received an endorsement from Linda Sarsour, a controversial pro-Palestinian activist accused of enabling sexual assault and harassment in the workplace.
Critics have said the book should be outright banned from American bookstores.
Bashi dismissed those critics, saying they are just upset that "Palestine" is in the book's title.
While Bashi told Fox News she is a "part-time adjunct professor of history at Pace University" since 2014, a spokesperson for Pace University said she is no longer employed by or has been teaching at the university since 2015.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.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: email@example.com