We commend Book Culture in their declaration of Israel’s self-evident right to exist!

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We, Columbia University’s faculty and student body, fully support and commend Book Culture in their declaration of Israel’s self-evident right to exist as a sovereign nation. Furthermore, we encourage Book Culture to reject the inflammatory children’s book, “P is for Palestine” by Dr. Golbatg Bashi: a clear promotion of hatred and violence targeting the most vulnerable in our society. This book overtly ostracizes and offends so many individuals within our community and praises “intifada,” during which 887 (second intifada) + 175 (first intifada) civilians were murdered and 8,341 wounded in cold blood. A book like this one should have no place in our community. We praise Book Culture for recognizing Israel's right to exist and know ask them to stand up again against the promotion of blatant violence and hatred in a children's book.

The intifadas were periods of senseless killing during which attacks ranged from suicide bombings, planted bombs, shootings, stoning, stabbings, lynchings, rockets, and other various other methods of attack. A 2007 study of Palestinian suicide bombings that took place from September 2000 through August 2005 found that 39.9% of the suicide attacks were carried out by Hamas, 25.7% by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), 26.4% by Fatah, all these terrorist organizations recognized by the United States and Nato. The youngest victim of the Second Intifada was an Israeli infant who was nine hours old and had not yet been named, though several pregnant women have also been killed.

The Israeli civilians' deaths do not show a high regularity in their age or gender distribution, as Palestinian militants chose to attack whichever civilian targets were accessible. The targets included the Dolphinarium disco attack, a place frequented by Israeli youth, and open-air markets and public buses, which are disproportionately used by women and the elderly. A number of attacks against Israeli civilians have been considered massacres while others, such as the murder of a pregnant woman and her four young daughters, have been called crimes against humanity.

Praising these incorrigible attacks and marketing them to children as "revolutionary" is unfathomable and inhumane. We commend and will continue to praise any and all businesses, organizations, and communities who speak out against blind senseless violence, as it is our collective moral responsibility to speak truth to ignorance.



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