Stop Targeting Publishers!
- Stop Targeting Publishers!
(please sign and forward to plumenclume @ yahoo.com)
The Parisian publisher Al Qalam ('The Quill' in Arabic) has been
taken to court on a complaint by LICRA on a charge of anti-Semitism,
for having published Israel Shamir's book L'autre visage d'Israel
(The Other Face of Israel, known in English as Galilee Flowers), a
translation of essays in defence of equality and democracy for Jews
and non-Jews in Palestine/Israel. The court case will take place at
Nanterre Court, near Paris, on September 6th, at 13.30.
The judicial harassment of publishers who have enough courage to
publish authors critical of the State of Israel has thus attained a
new level, following the case against La Fabrique for having
published L'industrie de l'Holocauste (The Holocaust Industry) by
Norman Finkelstein (the case was won against Avocats sans frontières,
represented by W Golnadel, who has launched an appeal). This latest
charge is based on a list of sentences taken out of context, in the
usual inquisitorial fashion, with the aim of creating an image of the
author as a dangerously extremist individual. Al Qalam's catalogue is
focussed on the culture of the Arab-Muslim world. This prosecution is
a part of the process of de-legitimising Arab-Muslim thought, as a
part of the hysteria orchestrated by the US and Israel, for their
expansionist, hegemonic plans.
We are appealing to publishers and readers to demonstrate their
devotion to freedom of thought and expression by supporting Al Qalam
Publishers. Otherwise, the publishers of Molière, Baudelaire, Céline,
or Voltaire may be next in the line. Unless, in the colonial mood,
only the heirs of colonisation should be prevented from participating
in the influence of francophone culture?
The targeted author, Israel Shamir, is an Israeli writer, originally
from Russia, whose works had been translated into all the languages
of Europe, and who is not the subject of prosecution, neither in his
own country, nor in France.
Those who practice judicial harassment under the pretext of combating
anti-Semitism, hope that the sort of social corporatism inspired by
the Israeli model will gain ground in France, unravel the fabric of
republicanism, and involve us in a pseudo-war between civilisations
which would only be a new stage in the war between the haves and the
have-nots. Nobody is obliged to support the plan for a democratic
society, respectful of the beliefs of all its members, as Israel
Shamir is arguing for the territory of historic Palestine (i.e.
British Mandated Palestine). However, the principle of a democratic
society, respectful of the beliefs of all its members, is where the
great strength of secular, republican France has lain to date. We
deem that the defence of the publishers, Al Qalam, comes under the
protection of thought of all. We are thus appealing for support to
its courageous editor, Mr Cherifi, at the Librairie du Monde Arabe,
220 rue Saint Jacques, Paris. We will not let him be ruined by an
inquisitorial trial, which would then be followed by redoubled
attempts at stifling everyone's freedom of thought.
Support Editions Al Qalam!
I support the French publisher Al Qalam, as I would support La
Fabrique publisher last year, because they publish important books
about Israel/Palestine, for I value freedom of expression. I forward
this call to other persons and send some financial support for the
trial expenses to:
CCP 30041 - 00001- 1382554G020- 70
Works by Israel Shamir available in French:
L'autre visage d'Israel I « Fleurs de Galilée », 430 p, Paris, ed. Al
Pardes, une étude la Kabbale, 159 p., Paris, éd. Al Qalam 2005 ;
(order it by writing a message to : Association Entre la Plume et
The books of Israel Shamir Galilee Flowers, Our Lady of Sorrow and
the Pardes are also available in English from Surge Books,
The Galilee Flowers is available also in Norwegian, Italian,
Hungarian, German, Swedish, Spanish, Russian etc see details on
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