Egyptian officials are livid over an Israeli book on display at a Cairo book fair, claiming that its presence “constitutes normalization with the Zionist enemy,” Ynet news reported.
Titled Arabian Nights.com, the book dissects Egyptian society and politics. It is authored by Jacky Hugi, the Arab affairs analyst for Israel’s Army Radio.
Its Arabic translator explained to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that Egypt’s publishing houses are wary of Hebrew-language books.
“If I get a phone call from Israel and I’m on public transport, I don’t answer. I don’t carry Hebrew books on public transportation either,” the translator said.
The interview was subsequently translated by the Egyptian media, sparking a country-wide debate. Mohamed Al-Masoud, a member of the Egyptian parliament, even demanded the indictment of the person responsible for bringing the book to the Cairo International Book Fair.
Claiming “the presence of this Israeli book constitutes normalization with the Zionist enemy,” Al-Masoud demanded that the Culture Minister investigate the book’s entry into the ten-day fair, “especially since its author worked as an Arab affairs analyst for the Israeli military.”
However, Arabian Nights.com’s translator said in response: “If we don’t translate Hebrew-language books, how will we know what’s written about us? How long will we keep burying our heads in the sand?”