Daily Israel Report

Book Store Apologizes for Distribution of Hate-Filled Booklet

Book store chain stops 'gift offer' of a provocative political booklet, following a customer’s complaint and an Arutz Sheva report.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/14/2010, 4:00 PM / Last Update: 4/14/2010, 4:31 PM

The Tzomet Sfarim (Book Junction) chain store has stopped offering a provocative anti-nationalist booklet as a “gift," following a complaint by a customer and an Arutz Sheva report.

The story was reported internationally, though not totally accurately. The Associated Press article, for instance, mentioned that the chain store had pulled the book “from its shelves,” neglecting to mention that the hate-filled booklet was actively offered to customers at the check-out counter by the cashiers.

One customer, Shoshi Solomon of the northern city of Kiryat Ono, told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew newsmagazine that when she approached the counter to pay for her purchases last week, the cashier offered her a “holiday gift” in honor of the upcoming Independence Day holiday. “For the symbolic price of just one shekel,” Shoshi later said, “I was told I could purchase a little blue-and-white booklet in honor of Independence Day, plus a small blue-and-white flag. It certainly was cheap enough, so I bought it. Little did I realize what I would find when I opened it up at home.”

To her consternation, she opened the booklet together with her grandchildren – and was horrified at what they saw under the guise of a lexicon of “Concepts in Zionism.” For instance, regarding the Six Day War, the booklet states, "Let’s not fight about who started it and why. It’s not important now. But when it was over, we were stuck with the Sinai, the Golan, and the Land of Israel of the Bible. Aside from some extremist crazies and wackos, everyone was sure we would fly out of there very soon.”

About the pioneer residents of Judea and Samaria, the booklet says, “They are the lords of the land – real lords; not pioneers nor even close to that… They [their leaders] never planted a tree or built a house; it was the Ahmeds that did it all. It’s 40 years now that they collect the Palestinians at the checkpoints and take them to their fancy industrial zone in Barkan, for instance, that the State built at your expense, Sderot resident – and they don’t even pay them minimum wage, because they’re just 'Aye-rabs.'”

The booklet calls religious Zionists “hypnotized brainwashed zombies,” and says there’s no difference between the “hilltop youth” and anti-Semites. All the hilltop youth know how to do, the “Zionist” booklet states, is “to beat up and shoot children and old men.”

Following Arutz Sheva's report, the chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, Danny Dayan, spoke with the management of the chain store, which apologized and ordered the distribution of the booklets stopped immediately.

In response, several dozen left-wing academics signed a petition calling for a boycott of Tzomet Sfarim.