Anti-semitism is known as a type of hostile prejudice targeting Jewish people. Zionism refers to the movement that created a Jewish state in the Middle East, which supports the modern state of Israel. In that sense, anti-zionism is the opposition to the latter movement. It is not meant to be anti-semitic in theory, but in practice it may be perceived in a different way.
Bearing the above in mind, how sad when the Lebanese State Minister of Culture confuses the latter with politics in the most limited sense of the term. Not any Minister. We are talking about an experienced former judge (https://bit.ly/3TByBUf). By the way, since we are at it, why would a former judge become a politician? Bambi thought that the judiciary and the government were supposed to be two separate worlds of power.
Anyhow, when it comes to the world of culture, writers make us dream. They inspire us while making us escape our own realities to imagine a more appealing world. In that sense, why is the Lebanese Minister of Culture preventing his people from access to such magic stemming from the beautiful French literature? The latter is featured in the francophone and international event, shown below AND initially supported by the Official Lebanon:
Why is Bambi writing the above about this Minister? Well, she learned from La Presse and confirmed it with L’Orient Le Jour as well as both French (https://bit.ly/3TyPZJm; https://bit.ly/3DbgC1w; https://bit.ly/3Tzglec) and international English-media (https://bit.ly/3EYI5oG) the following story:
About a hundred Francophone writers from all over the world, including of course the host Lebanon, began meeting in Beirut yesterday (at the “Beyrouth Livres“), an innovative cultural hub event in which the four finalists of the prestigious Goncourt 2022 Award will be announced. Sadly, it turned out that four members of the latter, namely Mr. Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Mr. Tahar Ben Jelloun, Mr. Pascal Bruckner, and Mr. Pierre Assouline, decided not to come to Beirut anymore. Why? Because, on October 8, the Minister of Culture of this country accused some writers participating at this event, without naming them, of supporting zionism. He then removed his message from social media. His words were something like the following: “He would not allow Zionists to come among us and spread the venom of Zionism in Lebanon“.
It seems that a Lebanese media called Al Akhbar, as per TV5 Monde (https://bit.ly/3gpqWdf) applauded the above words with the following terms: “Beirut is standing up to the Zionists”. However, thankfully, there are still courageous free spirits in Lebanon who refused attacks on the freedom of expression and who defended culture with a petition (https://bit.ly/3yWbdJj)!
As per TV5 Monde, this story reminds us of what happened to Mr. Amine Maalouf in 2006. As a reminder he is the winner of the Goncourt prize. What an honour to his birth country! Well, shortly after he had been the target of a vicious boycott campaign in Lebanon for giving an interview to an Israeli media.
The official Lebanon, through its Minister of Culture and at least one of its media, has forgotten that the Lebanese government (with the apparent blessing of Hezbollah) just settled an Israeli–Lebanese maritime border dispute. It means that they officially, both domestically and internationally, recognized the existence and even sustainability of Israel. They did so for economic (or may God forbid potential for corruption) reasons. However, when it comes to “Culture”, in their mind, their country must remain prisoner of cancel culture or boycott. Is there anything more hypocritical than this in life?