It is amazing how our politicians, journalists and social commentators choose what troubles them and what doesn’t even deserve a mention.
The 2010 Göteborg Book Fair – the 26th such event and one of the largest of its kind in Europe – came to an end on Sunday September 26. The theme this year was Africa – spotlighting African writers and African culture. Here’s how the organisers of this excellent, well-attended, popular and highly renowned international event describe the annual event: “The Book Fair is a four day long literary festival. The many stages and over 800 exhibitors’ stands host meetings between writers, Nobel Prize winners, publishers and booklovers who explore the power of the written word together.”
Scarcely controversial, in fact entirely laudable.
But as usual it’s spoiled by that perpetual Jew-baiting, Israel-bashing and anti-US virus that seems to have successfully invaded every forum, every workplace, every media site – and every book fair. A quick look at the Islamic Alhambra publishing house’s stand reveals no less than six titles claiming that no Muslims were involved in the 9/11 attacks, that world Jewry/Israel/the US/three-headed aliens from Jupiter were actually behind the attacks. Six books – that’s about 5 to 8 percent of the titles on display on the stand.
Then there was a stand dedicated solely to convincing book fair visitors of the right of Palestinian Arabs to take over the State of Israel, part of the terrorism-linked Ship to Gaza propaganda drive. What on earth any of this has to do with spotlighting African literature or “writers, Nobel Prize winners, publishers and booklovers who explore the power of the written word” is beyond the ken of anyone with a modicum of intelligence and common sense. And there must have been an awful lot of sensible, intelligent visitors attending the book fair this year because both these stands were virtually empty for most of the time. People have come to the realisation that the way ahead – whether at a book fair or elsewhere – is not via corruption, threats, violence, bombings, the destruction of churches and synagogues, and unlimited massive donations of international tax dollars and euros to a culture that has systematically refused to encourage its people to work and achieve but instead to sit and demand. The empty stands spoke volumes.
There were no loud protests, however, against Alhambra’s books, no loud protests against the Ship to Gaza stand and the underlying demand that Jews and Israelis be killed to satisfy some sort of Palestinian Arab macho culture that is not so macho as to embrace the concept of actually working for a living. Nonetheless, the silence that surrounded these two stands spoke clearly, which was extremely gratifying to note.
However, there is another silence that is very worrying. It can all be summarised in the following Dry Bones cartoon.
Thanks to Yaakov Kirschen who runs the Dry Bones blog.
Our politicians and media are not troubled over the judenrein, ethnically cleansed, apartheid state that the Palestinian Authority (PA) demands the right to build – with US, European, UN and other international assistance and financing. But there is uproar because Jews want to build in their own nation – a nation whose borders will never be defined as long as the PA refuses to recognise the Jewish nation or indeed its population’s right to live and breathe.
Just what does this say about our political leaders and media commentators?
For a wider perspective, read the analysis of an African analyst, politician and commentator, Aayan Hirsi Ali: “How To Win The Clash Of Civilisations” first published in the Wall Street Journal. Aayan Hirsi Ali also established the AHA Foundation, which works to protect the lives of women vulnerable to Islamism both in the Muslim worlds and in the West.