Thursday, May 21, 2009


UNESCO explains its selection of the World Book Capital City 2009:
Beirut was chosen in particular thanks to its efforts for cultural diversity, dialogue and tolerance as well as for the variety and dynamism of its programme.
Dr Bill Anderson isn't convinced Beirut is worthy of the honour:
Earlier this year, when preparing a teaching unit on literature, academics at the American University of Beirut discovered that The Diary of Anne Frank was banned by the Lebanese government.

Researching further, they found that all forms of culture and the media were subject to the most horrendous censorship.

The list of banned DVDs, for example, included Schindler’s List, Life is Beautiful, anything with Paul Newman and/or Jane Fonda in it, the television show The Nanny, The Life of Brian, The Sopranos, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, The Battle of Algiers and Independence Day.

Analysing their research, the academics noted that the most shocking censorship categories/rationales operating in Lebanon are “sympathy for the Jews” and “Jew content” -– interestingly, there were separate categories for “sympathy for Israelis” and “publicity for Israel”.
Anderson further noting:
Everyone who values freedom of speech and artistic freedom should protest this outrageous decision.
Hey, it's not like a Jew has ever written anything worth reading.


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