November 23rd 2013
Dears Ms.Marisol Manaut
FIL General Director and Team Members,
The Palestinian Section of the International Board of Books for Young People expresses its shock and disappointment to know that the prestigious Guadalajara International Book Fair has invited Israel to be the “guest of honour” for this year.
Such an invitation means rewarding occupation, colonization and oppression by giving them a human face! It means assisting the racist State to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people!
Having Israel as a “guest of honour” and Shimon Peres, who in conjunction will lead a business delegation, at the head the Israeli delegation to the fair, will not honour Guadalajara Book Fair, but will be a black page in the history of culture! The majority of people around the world are now aware of Israeli horrific policies and consider Peres, the initiator and mediator for Israel’s atomic bomb, a war criminal. Peres is responsible for many massacres against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and children in particular. This is a documented historic fact.
It is shocking to see FIL choose Israel to be the first ‘guest of honour’ outside Latin America, Caribbean and Western countries your guests of honour since the beginning in 1993, knowing that Israeli colonialist and aggressive policies are fully rejected and condemned by the people of the ‘third world’ countries.
We know that this is not in congruence with the Fair’s honourable history. We deeply appreciate the position* of the Mexican and Latin American writers and intellectuals around the world who protested against the Fair’s unwise decision. We join them in requesting ‘that the next country to be invited to the International Book Fair be Palestine, with the presence of writers, filmmakers, musicians and painters’, as a necessary positive step to limit the damage done.
IBBY Palestine is confident that this harmful invitation will not over shadow the long history of solidarity of the Mexican people with the Palestinian people, this solidarity which is in harmony with the long history of the struggle of the Mexican people for freedom and justice!