Joshua Saidoff's Open Letter To Claudia Lux Re: IFLA's Israel-Bashing

Posted: 3/29/2008 8:00:00 PM
Author: Joshua Saidoff
Source: This letter is published here for the first time.

Claudia Lux, President
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
P.O. Box 95312
2509 CH The Hague
E-mail: _ ( )

Dear Ms. Lux,

I am writing to express my concern regarding IFLA’s announced meeting at the Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies. I am a student in Jerusalem. I spent the last finals period in the Islamic reading room at the National Library. A visit to the RCHRS website from the library computer will take you to press releases, including this one: Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies condemns the Knesset (Israeli parliament) attempts to legislate compensation for "damages" resulting from the fall of Palestinian primitive rockets which calls,” International Civil Society Organizations and the International Community to take an immediate action to prevent the adoption of this law.” Further investigation of the RCHRS website reveals a strange contempt for the human rights of people living on the Israeli side of the border, whereby even legislative activity aimed at providing financial redress for civilians bombarded by rocket fire must be opposed. The Palestinian national struggle is a cause-celebre, causing many in the international community to overlook the fact that its most celebrated dimension in Palestinian society is its lethal military campaign against civilians and that it’s goal – both according to the policy of the majority party in its parliament and according to popular opinion polling – is the eradication of my country, the State of Israel. From my view at the Islamic reading room at the National Library on the Hebrew University Campus it appears clear that Israeli society is engaged in an intense effort to address the rights of the other, even at the cost of personal security. It is demoralizing when even the “human rights” organizations of the other affirm the righteousness of murderous acts against us and denounce our efforts at redress. If the world’s libraries are to become politically active, let them be true defenders of human rights, and partisans in a war where the grievances and aggressions of one party are draped in the heroic mantle of “human rights”. For us, this is not an “academic question”. We need to be seen as humans too. Please do not make the world’s libraries another forum for the “War of Ideas” against us.

Thank you,

Joshua Saidoff