jq-abstract

2017

Issue . 69
P. 120
Letter from Jerusalem
Books, Not Soldiers
ABSTRACT

As shelves of books are now nicely filled with colourful books at Jerusalem’s Educational bookshop, thousands more are stored in dark rooms in the basement of the Israeli National Library; stolen property of Palestinian dynasties but categorized as “abandoned”. 

Books and the way we arrange them, is not merely a preference or style, but rather, a reflection of the subconscious in our mind. The Bookseller of Jerusalem is looking at the relationship between the works of writers and the action of the Israeli army who looted the Palestinian private libraries in 1948. The essay addresses the ethics of the bookseller and librarians in face of soldiers, and emphasizes the important role of the wider culture in preserving the identity of those living under military occupation.