May 17, 2019
News Press Release

Prevent Public Reading of Children’s Book That Promotes and Praises Violence

Members of the Highland Park, NJ community contacted the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) with deep concerns regarding a planned book reading at the Highland Park Public Library (the “Library”) by the author of a children’s alphabet book called P is for Palestine.

P is for Palestine encourages violence and will misinform children. For example, the “Palestine alphabet book” states: “I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grownup!” That’s false.  An intifada is a murderous campaign of terrorism that wreaks devastation and fear on innocent Israelis and Jews, including children. During the Palestinian Arabs’ First and Second Intifadas, hundreds of Israelis were killed and thousands were wounded. The Library should play no part in promoting lies about the meaning of intifada, and in glorifying Palestinian Arab violence against Israelis and Jews.

The ZOA sent a letter to the Library’s Board of Trustees, urging the Board not to permit this book reading, as it would violate the Library’s mission, cause great harm to the community, and would position the Library to appear to support the lies and misinformation of an anti-Israel hate group that embraces terrorist murderers.

At its upcoming June 5 meeting, the Library’s Board of Trustees will consider whether the reading should proceed. ZOA urges our friends and supporters to take action in demanding that the Highland Park Public Library make the right decision and not permit the reading by the author of P is for Palestine. Click HERE to write to the Library’s Board of Trustees!

The book reading is solely in service of the hateful, anti-Israel group “Jewish Voice for Peace,” not the Highland Park community. JVP, appropriately described by the ADL as “a radical anti-Israel activist group” despite its innocuous and appealing name, is behind this book reading. JVP embraces and honors killers of innocent Jews, such as Rasmea Odeh – a convicted Palestinian Arab terrorist responsible for the murder of two college students in a 1969 bombing in Israel – whom JVP proudly invited to speak before its national membership.

The book reading would violate the Library’s mission to be a community resource, a place that is accessible and welcoming to everyone. The Library is supposed to “build community by creating connections among Highland Park’s diverse populations,” yet the very idea of this book reading has already divided, offended and hurt many members of the community. Going forward with the book reading would cause even further division and pain. 

In its appeal to the Library’s Board of Trustees, ZOA wrote, “There are many programs that the library can host that will truly build community, instead of destroying it. This program is not one of them. The ZOA strongly urges you not to permit a book reading of P is for Palestine at the Highland Park Public Library.” 

ACT NOW and make sure that the Highland Park Public Library does not allow the reading of P is for Palestine:

Attend the Board of Trustees meeting and let the Board know that you object to the book reading and why.  The meeting is scheduled for June 5th at 7:30 pm, at a venue to be determined. Call them at (732) 572-2750, or email us, to find out the venue. 

CLICK HERE to write a letter to the Highland Park Library urging them NOT to host the book reading.