New York – With its colorful pictures and its rhyming prose, it looks like so many other books aimed at young children, but Jewish mothers have been expressing their outrage on social media about P is for Palestine, a recent release authored by Pace University professor of history Dr. Golbarg Bashi.
Bashi’s post on the UES Mommas Facebook group inviting mothers to bring their youngsters to a reading of the book held Saturday at a Columbus Avenue bookstore had members of the group up in arms as reported by the Algemeiner (http://bit.ly/2mFY7wW).
While Bashi has lauded the book for carrying on the rich tradition of alphabet books highlighting cultures, themes and cities throughout the world, members of the group described pages that included text saying “I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!”
Among those who responded angrily to Bashi’s post was Bryce Gruber-Hermon who wrote, “Hey everyone! Let’s talk about one of those intifadas! Real family members of mine were MURDERED. Innocent women who never carried a gun, knife, or anything more than a book. My husband has 2 bullets in his back from those intifadas you’re justifying. If you think these are okay or fair or reasonable or just part of politics, you’re flat out telling me my family deserves to be dead. You’re not that bad of a person, are you?”
But Bashi categorized her detractors for displaying “naked racism” and “class-based prejudice,” saying that it was unfair that her post was singled out for criticism while others could advertise their own products freely.
“I was attacked for deliberately trying to cause a ‘firestorm’ about an ‘insensitive’ ‘political’ book in an ‘exclusive’ NYC Facebook page,” wrote Bashi on Facebook, calling herself the victim of apartheid-like discrimination.
In addition to her academic career, Bashi has sells products on her website, www.drbashi.com, which proclaims itself as a “unique brand of sustainably-made, heirloom, gender/race conscious educational materials with a focus on languages with the Arabic script.”
The site’s products include wooden building blocks emblazoned with letters in either Arabic or Persian script as well as P is for Palestine, printed with the aid of a successful $15,000 crowd funding campaign.
The book retails for $19.99, and according to the site, it attempts to right the wrongs of exposing children to “a barrage of psychologically damaging disinformation that violates the sanctity of their young life and compromises their trust in the world” by telling “the story of Palestine” in a manner that “enriches their hope for the future.”
Bashi claims that members of the UES Mommas Facebook group have left negative reviews on her website in a deliberate attempt to threaten her livelihood, have harassed her Facebook followers and have sent her threatening emails, leaving her wondering if in addition for P being for Palestine, it might also stand for the need for two other words beginning with the same letter: police protection.