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Drumont`s Jewish disciple
By Adam Keller
June 2, 2008
The Shocken Publishing House
Dear Sir or Madam
Yours is one of the oldest and most respectable publishing houses in Israel. Every year, you are undertaking the translation into Hebrew of books from other languages. Your choice in such matters is dictated (or so I was led to believe) not only by the commercial consideration of which books might sell well among the Israeli public (a completely valid and legitimate concern for a commercial publisher) but also by your judgement of which books might make a useful and constructive contribution to the Israeli public discourse.
In 1886 the French antisemite Edouard Drumont published `La France Juive` (Jewish France), creating the false nightmarish image of a France dominated by Jews, and sowing the poisonous seeds which came to fruit when Vichi French officials collaborated in the mass murder of French Jewry. Drumont`s book was never, as far as I know, translated into Hebrew - either by yourselves or by any other publishing house. That is to be regretted, since making Drumont`s book available to Israelis in their own language might have considerably contributed to their understanding of the disastrous effect of modern antisemitism on Twentieth Century Jewish history - as well as their perception of the workings of populist racism in general, whoever its target.
This year, however, you have seen fit to select - out of tens of thousands of potentially interesting and useful books published worldwide - to produce and present to the Hebrew-reading public a translation of `Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis` by Gis?le Littman aka `Bat Yeor`, a British inflammatory writer who presumes to be a historian and who, I regret to note, is Jewish.
In this book - which, like the other works of this writer, is little more than a rabid anti-Muslim tract - `Bat Yeor` follows in notorious footsteps indeed by creating the false nightmarish image of a Europe dominated by Arabs and Muslims. As Edouard Drumont sought to arouse the French people to persecute and kill their Jewish neighbours, so does Ms. Littman intend to drive Europeans into a continent-wide orgy of hatred and violence against the Muslim immigrants who are now a significant ethnic minority throughout the continent, and the great majority of whom seek nothing but to live useful and fruitful lives in their new homelands.
Ms. Littman`s reasons for writing her racist and inflammatory book are all too obvious. The reasons why you, a respectable publishing house, have chosen to present it to the Israeli public are far more obscure. Whatever these reasons might be, surely - now that you already taken this step - it would be appropriate to complete your task and produce also a companion volume, i.e. a Hebrew translation of `La France Juive`? After all, the informed Israeli reading public deserves to be given the chance of comparing the classical work of a master racist demagogue with that of his loyal present-day disciple and successor.
Gush Shalom Spokeperson
POB 2542, Holon 58125
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