by Charles Mouratides, Exec. Director, CHI
As I entered the enormous library of Alexandria, Egypt, six-years ago, I was struck by the soaring pyramid-like glass structure, the researchers working along rows of computers, and a thought about the distant past.
The thought: How is it possible that the fanatics of a 7th century advancing army intentionally burned down the famous Alexandria Library established by the heirs of Alexander the Great and considered the world’s grandest book collection? It contained hundreds of thousands of scrolls hand copied by an army of scribes from originals borrowed from libraries around the known world. The conquering army asked Caliph Omar for instructions on the library. The Caliph was quoted as saying of the library’s holdings, “they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.”
To be sure, most religions and political systems have had their day burning books or authors they considered distasteful. Hitler did his part in 1933 when he burned the Jewish books he could find.
Today little has changed except for style. At the dawn of the 21st the Modern Language Association and the American Studies Association are innovating on book burning. They are led by an international political cabal determined to eliminate from academia books published in Israel. Their libricide aims to take out of circulation all present and future books published in Israel – no matter how valuable the writings may be in their fields of knowledge.
I venture to say that books written and published in Israel are much more advanced in most fields of knowledge than those in other Middle Eastern countries. The world would be so much poorer if such books disappear.
The fanatics and their proxies in this style of book burning are active propagandizing this form of discrimination in the U.S. and in European countries that cherish the knowledge contained in these writings.
Therefore, I have a proposition: All Jewish scientists of the world should publish their writings in Israel even if they have to be commissioned through surrogate publishing houses in other countries.
Some Jewish academics in the U.S. and elsewhere feel they demonstrate political largess and intellectual chic when, wishing to differentiate themselves from Israeli policies, they endorse libricide.
But I would like them to understand where they are headed. Do they realize what their position will be when they hear the knocking on their own door? Libricide is not an isolated, passing activity; it is one of the symptoms of deeply rooted jealousy, hatred and violence as in ancient Alexandria. Throughout history it is accompanied by other monstrosities.
In one of the rare occasions when I find myself in the uneasy position of fully agreeing with ultra conservative columnist Charles Krauthhammer, he writes, “To apply to the state of the Jews (Israel) a double standard that you apply to none other, to judge one people in a way you judge no other, to single out that one people for condemnation and isolation — is to engage in a gross act of discrimination.
“And discrimination against Jews has a name. It’s called anti-Semitism.”