For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Seventy-eight years after Joseph Goebbels consigned the works of Heinrich Mann, Ernst Glaser, and Erich Kastner to the flames, a regional council in Scotland has approved a disturbing law that will ban newly published Israeli books from public libraries in West Dunbartonshire. These include books written by Israeli authors, as well as translations of novels produced in Israel.
The large Scottish city of Dundee also joined West Dunbartonshire (though to avoid potential lawsuits, the city won’t technically enforce the boycott). Instead, Dundee officials will hang posters throughout the city, asking residents to refrain from purchasing Israeli products. According to Ynet, the city will also “apply a special mark on Israeli products, in order to make them easily identifiable.”
By banning books, the boycott movement reveals itself for what it actually is. It’s not a campaign to pressure the Israeli government economically. It’s a campaign to isolate and dehumanize the Israeli people, including its artists, writers, and intellectuals. This is aimed at ultimately creating a culture of resentment and hatred for the Jewish state, and all of its citizens.
“A place that boycotts books is not far from a place that burns them,” said Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Prosor is right. The two forms of censorship are frighteningly close. And as the German writer Heinrich Heine presciently noted a century before the Holocaust, “where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also.”
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"