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Booksellers Call for Gaza Ceasefire

by | Feb 21, 2024 | News

There were calls for the American Booksellers Association (ABA) to address the situation in Gaza at the organisation’s annual Winters’s Institute meeting, this year held in Cincinnati.

At various sessions, booksellers voiced their frustration that the body has, so far, not backed calls for a ceasefire.  One member, identifying as “a Jewish person for Palestine,” said: “Please understand there are a lot of us, and [the war] is not in our name.”

A poem by the Palestinian-American poet Noor Hindi was read out.  It begins:

‘Colonizers write about flowers.

I tell you about children throwing rocks at Israeli tanks

seconds before becoming daisies.

I want to be like those poets who care about the moon.

Palestinians don’t see the moon from jail cells and prisons.’

Afterwards, the ABA’s CEO Alison Hill said:  “That was a lot for this community to just hear.  People are coming in with some important things to say related to a painful topic.”

One bookseller commented: “It is a painful topic, including for the Palestinians in the room.  We’re all here to learn from each other.  A ceasefire resolution by a national organization like this will carry weight”.

Danny Caine, ABA board member and co-owner of the Raven Bookstore (Lawrence, Kan.), was quoted by Publishers Weekly saying: “We have realized just how urgent this is to people in this room.  I’m sorry it didn’t happen sooner, but we are here, and we are learning.”

 

 

 

 

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