'I is for Intifada': anger at Palestinian children’s book in New York

Alphabet book published last week is attacked for apparently referencing Palestinian uprisings in Israeli-occupied territories


A new alphabet book for children has been attacked after one of its pages appeared to reference the Palestinian intifada.

The book, “P is for Palestine”, was published in New York last week after raising nearly $16,000 (£12,000) in an internet crowdfunding campaign.

Pages in the book include “A is for Arabic”, “G is for Gaza” and “Q is for Quds”, the Arabic word for Jerusalem.

But it was the entry for the letter I – “I is for Intifada” – that triggered heated debate on social media.

Beneath a drawing of barbed wire, the page text reads: “Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!”

The Arabic word intifada literally means “tremor” or “to shake off”, but in the Middle East it is widely associated with two Palestinian uprisings against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians died in violence across the region between 1987 and 1993, and again between 2000 and 2005.

An image of the page caused a storm when it was distributed online.

One Facebook user, Marianne Davies, wrote: “How are promoting a book that invites children to murder Jews.”

“I am very disappointed,” added Schtalman Michael. “You are promoting the ‘literature’ that is turning human beings, even innocent little children, into enthusiastic suicidal murderers, bloodthirsty androids of the misanthropic ‘Palestinian Intifada’.”

The author, Golbarg Bashi, an academic of Iranian heritage who teaches history in New York, said in a post on her own Facebook page that the wave of anger had been triggered when she tried to promote the book on a group for New York City mothers.

She added: “Because of the serious level of threats aimed at me in that page (according to one member, the worst she'd ever witnessed in the years she's been a member of that particular page) I may need police security for my reading of a children's ABC book. In New York City. In November 2017.”

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