A female Arab author claims a "cherished victory" by forcing the University of Texas to scrap the publication of an anthology of women's voices from the Middle East – because two of the twenty-nine writers were Israeli.
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UT Austin was planning to publish the book in honor of the late American scholar Elizabeth Fernai, a professor there whose life and work were focused on the Middle East.
At first, novelist Huzama Habayeb was delighted to contribute as one of fifteen Arab writers. But that turned to "horror," as a Gulf News editorial put it, when she realized that the collection would also feature two Israeli women, Yehudit Hendel and Orly Castel-Bloom. Habayeb withdrew her manuscript, complaining to the Center that Israel is an "occupier" of her land "Palestine" – although she was born in Kuwait, raised in Jordan, lives in Dubai, and has never set foot in Israel.
"I cannot accept, ethically and morally, that my voice be shared equally with writers who reflect the voice of an obnoxious occupier."
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Racist Arab Author Gleeful She Forced University of Texas to Cancel Book Project That Included Israelis
The racism within the Arab world, even within what some people would call "moderate" elements is astounding. Two Israeli women were to be included in an anothology of women's voices from the Middle East and one of the Arab writers completely flipped out. It didn't matter that 27 out of 29 authors weren't Israelis, all that mattered was that those two were. Also, note from the story that there doesn't seem to be any personal reason why either of these Israeli writers need to be excluded, other than their nationality. Also, both writers live in Tel Aviv with Yehudit Hendel arriving in 1930 (almost two decades before the founding of Israel) and Orly Castel-Bloom was born to a family of Egyptian Jews (who probably lived in the area for thousands of years). Neither writer seem to have anything to do with "settlements" or "occupation". Their only crime seems to be that they are Jews in the middle east.