Editor’s Note: A year ago (the issues dated Dec. 27, 2002 and Jan. 17, 2003, to be precise) The Jewish Press featured a pair of front-page essays by a librarian who, under the pseudonym N. Leonard Tolkan, examined a phenomenon we called ”Librarians Against Israel.” The author documented case after case of anti-Israel (and, not incidentally, anti-U.S.) bias in the ranks of America’s librarians and demonstrated how that bias affects the selection of books, films, and lecture presentations on the part of our public libraries.The situation has not changed for the better, as former library administrator George Baker (also a pseudonym makes clear.)

Are you ready for this one? Hamas and Fatah are not terrorist groups, but rather political organizations. That is what it says on a website, and, sadly, you do not have to be very naive to believe it. You see, a librarian put it together, and people tend to trust librarians. They think of them as knowledgeable and fair-minded. Well, maybe they shouldn’t.

The website is the handiwork of Christof Galli, Middle East resources specialist at Duke University’s Perkins Library, and member of the Muslim Networks Consortium, a group run, in part, by Ebrahim Moosa, who teaches at Duke. As reported in the April 23 edition of The Chronicle, a Duke University newspaper, Professor Moosa has exclaimed: ”I think the language of ‘terrorism’ is going to go out, and it’s going to be replaced with ‘resistance’ and ‘liberation’ from American power.”


In its original form, Galli tellingly entitled the website ”Palestine Internet Resources,” and it contained a map on which Israel was nonexistent. The website — defended in writing by head librarian David Ferriero — is hardly limited to bashing Israel and spouting the usually subtle anti-Jewish asides employed by so many of those who despise the Jewish state. In fact, it can be quite overtly anti-Semitic, linking to a racist cartoon, for example, in which the Star of David is crafted from barbed wire.

I consider myself to be on the center of the political spectrum, but must give considerable credit to the Duke Conservative Union. It was the DCU whose members first exposed the website’s bigotry, as well as the overwhelmingly pervasive anti-Bush sentiments found on a second Perkins Library website, likewise constructed by Galli.

A recent editorial in New Sense, a DCU magazine, summed up this sorry state of affairs: ”Mr. Galli and Mr. Ferriero should be deeply ashamed of their actions. The former ‘librarian’ misused his post as a bully pulpit to preach to unsuspecting students. The latter is too foolish to realize this. Neither man deserves a position at a serious institution of higher learning.”

But what has occurred at the Perkins Library is by no means unique. Ponder what has been taking place at the Boulder Public Library in Boulder, Colorado. The outreach librarian there is Lebanon-born Ghada Elturk, who has been active in the American Library Association’s International Relations Round Table. Her published writings reveal someone who is a passionate advocate of the Palestinian cause. But has Elturk used her job to propagandize for it? You be the judge:

In April of 2002 alone, at least six pro-Palestinian films — and not one that even by a stretch of the imagination could be considered pro-Israeli — were shown in the library’s main branch. The distributors of one of those, ”The Bombing,” describe their creation as a motion picture that does not take sides, but that is simply not the case. Its narration unequivocally blames Israel for homicide/suicide bombings, without a hint of placing any of the onus on the Palestinian Authority’s unrelenting indoctrination of its young people into the “glories” of jihad.


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