We are in terrible trouble when publishers kow-tow to those who want to prevent free speech under the rubric of not wanting to put out books that “cross the line into spreading harm.” The only books that seem to meet that criteria are books that put Islam and/or Muslims in a negative light. That is simply not allowed in our Progressive world.
I want to thank Barbara Kay for exposing this in her article. “I read the novel they don’t want you to read.”
Seems a publisher was attacked for promoting a book about a reality-inspired “what-if” Middle East scenario, “The Siege of Tel Aviv.”
“Plot teaser: Under cover of a bogus pan-Islamic peace initiative, Iran leads five Arab armies in a surprise attack on Israel. The entire national leadership is mowed down, air force planes are decimated on the ground and the IDF is herded into POW camps. The surviving Jewish population of six million (yeah, he goes there) is transported to “Ghetto Tel Aviv,” to languish and starve.”
Look people, Muslims have tried to annihilate the Jewish state since 1948. And had no problem murdering Jews in the area while the land was called Palestine; we can thank the Romans for that name. They tried their best to obliterate the Jews and the Jewish state called Israel at that time. Even with the aid of Nazis and the British in 1948 and the Russians in 1967, the Muslims lost. Oh the shame. And it is. Islam is a culture that is firmly rooted in honour/shame; vengeance, which is diametrically opposed to the Judeo/Christian ethic that underpins all democracies.
Now comes a book that plays out another scenario where the Muslims in Iran lead five armies into Israel. They should win.
Stephen King calls Hesh Kestin’s The Siege of Tel Aviv “scarier than anything Stephen King ever wrote!” He also said “This novel will cause talk and controversy. Most of all, it will be read.”
So what was the response to this book? Horror. It is Islamophobic and racist. It might even promote Zionism! And, of course, the poor Muslims lose face and we cannot have that, today. “One Twitter scold who read Siege said he found it ‘indistinguishable from right-wing Israeli propaganda.’” Well, we certainly cannot have anything that remotely resembles right wing Israeli propaganda! Now that’s harmful! How dare anyone write “right-wing Israeli propaganda”!
So the publisher pulled the book. He caved. Yes, it is a small publishing house. But not only did he cave; he put the author under a bus. Dzanc ( a small indie press) declared that Siege “perpetuates harmful narratives regarding Muslims that we cannot support.”
The author Hesh Krestin said he harbours no ill-will.
“They did what they were expected to do in society today. They abandoned the norms that we old guys used to believe were sacrosanct: That you can have unpopular opinions.”
And that is catastrophic. And that is not hyperbole.
The mind boggles. Harmful narratives? What makes them harmful? The plot is based on the calls of Iran that we hear every day. Al Quds day is coming; the number one hate fest against Jews and Israel. Parades will take place all over the world. And that’s OK. But a book about Muslims losing to the JOOOOOZ. Oy. And if Israel had been wiped out? Would that have been acceptable?
And if the author, Hesh Kestin, had written a book about the Nazis doing the same thing; trying to wipe out the Jews, would the publisher pull the book?
We all fall when our publishers are weak kneed. And we are falling. Look what has happened. We fear upsetting Muslims. But not Jews, or Hindus or Christians. No, no, no.
I have no empathy for this publisher. Because I have a publisher, Howard Rotberg, Mantua Books, “which goes beyond political correctness and moral relativism to enlighten readers on the great ideological issues of our times.” He does not care what is tweeted about him or his company. He is the only Conservative publisher in Canada and he is unafraid. He publishes politically incorrect books and authors; from Giulio Meotti to Jamie Glazov, Salim Mansur, Paul Merkley, Farzana Hassan and Pamela Peled.
Where are the other brave publishers? Think about that. The Gutenberg press made it possible for knowledge to be shared. And in the 21st century we have publishers bending the knee to #Groupthink and Islamophobia; as if fear of Islam were irrational. Ask the Israelis.
We must support publishing houses that are fearless. That is the least we can do. And we must support authors that are fearless. Like Hesh Kestin. Get his book on Amazon. And support authors who don’t worry about being labeled Islamophobic or racist or white nationalists when all we do is write the truth-that is right in front of our eyes.
From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”