Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Jerusalem bookseller at risk of deportation

Five Leaves has signed a protest letter against the Israeli government deporting Munther Fahmi, who runs the bookshop at the American Colony Hotel in (Arab) East Jerusalem. The background to the story is in the article below from Haaretz, an Israeli daily. Anyone visiting the shop will know it is the best bookshop in the whole of Jerusalem, with a wide choice of books representing all religious and political viewpoints as well as a terrific range of Jewish and Arab fiction from across the world. The shop is always busy, and its customers have included many members of foreign governments and the press staying in the Hotel. Most people will also know that Israel is full of people with dual nationalities, though Munther, unwilling to accept an imposed Israeli nationality has lived in Jerusalem for 17 years using his American passport. Jerusalem is the city of his birth, where he lived for 20 years before going to America, returning later. The bookshop is known and respected internationally and this attempt to deport its owner will bring Israel nothing but criticism.

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