Ninth Response Directed to Librarians and Archivists to Palestine

Posted: 7/16/2013 3:16:00 PM
Author: Librarians for Fairness Research Committee

Our Ninth Response is primarily directed to Jenna, a Zine Librarian who was one of the organizers of Librarians and Archivists to Palestine. Jenna's cousin, whom we will refer to as Mitch (a few of us, in LfF, know him personally), is one of the most prominent librarians in the world. He is also a former president of the American Library Association. We doubt that anyone would call Mitch an ardent Zionist, or for that matter, a Zionist. But Mitch accepts Israel's right to exist. We believe Mitch to be a fair-minded man, and as an aside, we would like to thank him for his long advocacy of higher salaries for librarians. Librarians, to a very large extent, control the flow of information. They deserve to be well-compensated.

Mitch communicated to Jenna in December of 2012, during the early planning stages of Librarians and Archivists to Palestine. He asked Jenna if respecting the BDS Movement was a requirement for acceptance in the delegation. Mitch wisely asserted that if it was, that in and of itself would be "oppressive." Well, we in LfF know that supporting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) Movement is, indeed, one of the mandates for inclusion in Librarians and Archivists to Palestine. And the BDS Movement (founded by Omar Barghouti, who, ironically, holds a graduate degree from Tel Aviv University) does, in fact, call for the annhilation of Israel. Mitch also expressed his view that the de-legitimization of Israel was "deeply wrong." And he further pointed out that Israeli Arabs are treated a lot better than Jews in Arab lands have been treated, since the 1940's. Moreover, in his critiscism of BDS, Mitch noted that he does not see anyone doing a BDS against Saudi Arabia.

Jenna, why haven't you listened more to the wise words of your cousin? Jenna, do not your father's admonitions indicate that he may very well feel that Librarians and Archivists to Palestine is more about de-legitimizing Israel, than helping Arab libraries and archives?