Monday, July 02, 2012

Truth Magnified: Award-Winning Arab Author Denied Cash Prize Because He Visited Israel

Boualem Sansal is a well known Algerian writer who just received a prestigious French literary award, The Editions Gallimard Arabic Novel prize.

The prize is sponsored by the Arab Ambassadors Council, which is based in Paris, France. It consists of an award and a cash prize of 15,000 euros.

Sansal won the prize for his book “Rue Darwin” (Darwin Street). However, after being named the winner he made a big mistake before he collected his award.

Last month, Sansal was invited as the guest of honor to the Jerusalem Writers Festival in Israel and attended.

When it came time to award Sansal the prize he had won, the Arab ambassadors engaged in a protracted argument over whether he should receive the honor he'd won after actually consorting with Jews. In the end they grudgingly decided to let him have the award, but withheld the cash prize:

Commenting on the decision to withdraw the prize money, laureate Sansal said it was “completely unacceptable,” adding that Arab countries – and his home country, Algeria, in particular – had “shut themselves in a prison of intolerance.”

Sansal added that in order to truly help the Palestinians, individuals like himself should be able to visit Israel freely. “Yes, there are complicated relations with Israel, but we are not at war with them,” he said.

French cultural figures were quick to denounce the council’s decision as a capitulation to Hamas pressure.

France Culture radio director Olivier Poivre d’Avror said the prize money had been withdrawn as a “sordid” consequence of Hamas pressure. “Between being nominated for the prize and actually receiving it, Boualem Sansal visited Israel … Hamas immediately issued a statement calling his presence an act of treason against the Palestinians. The reaction of Arab Ambassadors Council was a direct result of this,” France24 quoted him as saying.

French-Lebanese writer and jury member Venus Houry-Ghata said that although “the ambassadors have to do what their governments tell them … the jury believes culture, and in this case a novel, should not be restricted by borders or by politics.” She added that the jury would continue to grant the award in the future.

This is a small item that is illustrative of so many larger issues.

The first one quite obviously is that those who say there are no Palestinians, only Arabs have received fresh evidence of that fact. Hamas may have called it treason, but since Sansal is Algerian, he could not commit treason against them..unless both the Algerians and the people whom identify themselves as 'Palestinians' are all just one part of the same Arab ummah. An Arab League spokesperson underlined this in response to questions by France 24 saying, “The Ambassadors are subject to the official position of the Arab League which considers itself effectively in a state of war with Israel. The council is obliged to follow directives from the Arab League."

Sansal may not think he's at war with Israel, but the Arab leaders certainly do. They are engaged in a war without end. And they act accordingly.They do it for one reason...because of what it says about Jews in the Qu'ran and Hadiths. And there's no getting away from it.

Contrast this with the attitude of the Israelis, who had no problem cordially inviting a prominent Arab writer to come to Israel as the guest of honor to a literary festival in their capitol.

That's the key to the Middle East situation in a nutshell..not 'land for peace', not 'settlements' or the so-called occupation, but the widespread Islamic hatred of Jews and the very fact Israel exists at all.

It's so deeply engrained as to be almost an automatic reflex. It doesn't even take actual or perceived hostilities. For instance, when Algeria, Sansals' home country received its independence in 1960, one of the first things they did was to expel Algeria's 250,000 Jews forthwith...after plundering all their wealth and property.No one said a thing about it, especially the UN.

Until that attitude changes and Arabs like Boualem Sansal become far more numerous the best that can be expected is temporary, hostile armistices.For Muslims, the Peace of Hubidiyah mentioned in the Qu'ran and Hadiths is a model, a treaty Mohammed made 'in eternity' with the Quraysh tribe that ruled Mecca until he was strong enough to break it with impunity and annihilate them. No less than Yasser Arafat himself made reference to the Peace of Hubidiyah on Jordanian state television right after he signed the Oslo Accords, to answer questions on why he had signed a treaty with the hated Jews.

The west would do well to keep that attitude in mind, because it doesn't just apply to Jews and Israel but to all infidels.The Jews are merely at hand, and first in line.

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