Blog post

Authors speak out to save owner of Jerusalem bookshop from deportation

Sarah Shin 4 April 2011

The bookshop at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem is known worldwide for being the best place to buy English-language bookshops in Israel or Palestine. Its owner Munther Fahmi has run the bookshop for 13 years, but now faces deportation despite being born in Jerusalem. In addition to the injustice of this, the closure of the bookshop would impoverish the cultural life of Jerusalem, and to debate and dissent in Israel. Please sign the petition to stop Munther being deported. 

Munther Fahmi is a well-known figure in Jerusalem's diplomatic community and among the city's foreign press corps. A visit to his small bookstore at the American Colony Hotel is a must for anyone seeking to immerse himself in the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Among his many and well-known patrons are ambassadors, authors and politicians, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

But it appears all the connections in the world are no match for Israel's Interior Ministry, which is now seeking to have Fahmi deported.

Visit Ha'aretz to read the full article.

Many well-known from across the political spectrum have signed the petition or spoken out against the attempt to deport Munther Fahmi, including Amos Oz, David Grossman, Shlomo Sand, Ian McEwan, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Henning Mankell and Avi Shlaim: 

Avi Shlaim, professor of international relations at Oxford University, described the treatment of Jerusalem's most famous bookseller as symptomatic of the "chauvinistic and intolerant" behaviour of Israel's current government under Binyamin Netanyahu: "Things have come to a pretty pass when a Palestinian, born in Palestine, who has a business, who has done no harm to anyone, is hounded out of his bookshop because he does not toe the party line."

Visit the Observer to read the full article.