Censorship at Barnes and Noble
Joachim Martillo - thorsprovoni @ aol.com
Bayside, NY-- May 24, 2007--Barnes and Noble hosted author Susan
Abulhawa to talk about her book The Scar of David, which was first
published in December, 2006. A book signing followed.
The original event was to have included a reading from the novel, but
Rabbi Bruce Goldwasser of Temple Beth Sholom in Flushing encouraged a
call-in to the bookstore as intimidation. He claimed, "It's an
historical novel based on made-up stuff. The made-up stuff is that
Israelis were forcing the Arabs out of their homes."
Temple Beth Sholom is taking part in the Terror Free Oil campaign of
Joe Kaufman, who is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and CAIR Watch.
The incitement against Ms. Abulhawa and her book started three weeks
ago when Queens Jewish Community Council President Jan Fenster and
Executive Director Cynthia Zalisky circulated a memorandum throughout
the Queens Jewish Community that stated the following.
QJCC does not want to add to the publicity of this book with rallies
or newspaper articles/letters to the editor, but suggests a letter
writing/phone calling campaign to the Bayside Barnes and Noble stating
displeasure with this author's appearance and the lack of balance of
Israel's point of view.
According to a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman the store received about 15
phone calls a day, many negative, and four Queens rabbis faxed a joint
letter of condemnation. CAIR faxed a complaint about the pressure
tactics and asked that the scheduled reading take place.
When the Ms. Abulhawa and her literary agent Mark B. Miller arrived,
they found that the space for an audience had been filled with display
Ms. Abulhawa's book is a tear-jerker in which the metaphor of the
scarred stolen child stands for the theft of Palestine. Ms. Abulhawa
wanted to "show the Palestinian narrative in a human light." She said,
"Art is about finding common human ground and making the connections."
When asked why CAIR attempted to intervene, she stated, "I am a Muslim
and a big supporter of CAIR. They are a civil rights group. They saw a
Ms. Abulhawa stated that the historical backdrop of her novel was
accurate and some of the story like the orphanage chapter was drawn
from her experiences.
She said, "My friends cursed me for making them cry so much."
A Dutch studio has shown interest in producing a movie based on the book.
NY: VISITING 'SCAR OF DAVID' AUTHOR IS CRITICIZED
ELIZABETH GREEN, NY
An author scheduled for two local appearances today - including one at
a city college - has outraged some members of the city's Jewish
community, who say her book misrepresents Israel's treatment of
Susan Abulhawa, author of "The Scar of David" (Journey Publications,
2006), is scheduled to appear first at a Kingsborough Community
College literature class whose professor made the book required
reading this semester. Ms. Abulhawa said she has heard that some
faculty members are unhappy with her appearance, but she had not heard
from any of them. A spokeswoman at Kingsborough confirmed the
appearance, but insisted it is not a college-sponsored event. . .
Ms. Abulhawa, who lives in Pennsylvania, contends the complaints led
the Bayside Barnes & Noble to downgrade her planned book reading to a
book signing. A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman denied the store had many
any change, but said the store has received an outpouring of feedback
- about 15 phone calls a day, many negative, and one faxed letter from
four local rabbis.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations faxed a counter-complaint,
asking that Ms. Abulhawa be given a full reading.
Ms. Abulhawa said the uproar demonstrates a troubling pattern of
ignoring the truth about Israel's actions. "It's 60 years of basically
ethnically cleansing the native people. . .because they're not
Jewish," she said. "That's the story that's missing."
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