Days after it began selling the political doctrine The National Left, written by playwright Shmuel Hasfari and attorney Eldad Yaniv, which was sold for NIS 1 ($0.27), Tzomet Sfarim bookstore chain on Sunday announced it will stop distributing the book.
According to information received by Ynet, right-wing elements have been pressuring the chain's management in recent days to stop distributing the book in which the authors make harsh accusations against settlers and the settlement enterprise, calling to dismantle it and "stop the occupation." Ynet also learned that sources at Tzomet Sfarim expressed concern that the affair will harm the chain.
The bookstore chain's spokesperson said, "Tzomet Sfarim is a chain for all of the people of Israel and has no political affiliation. It is never responsible for the content of the books that are distributed in its stores. Because we received many complaints that the book hurts the feelings of some of our customers, we decided to stop selling it."
Last September, the authors began distributing the book, which contains ideas on how to resurrect the social-democratic dialogue, and is written in a witty language, interwoven with provocations.
The authors described the settlers as "the lords of the land, hardly pioneers. They never planted a tree or built a house. It’s the Ahmeds that did all that for them. For years the settlers have been forcing us to build the future Palestinian land – at our expense."
The authors continue to slam the settlers and write, "The settlers operate on a different type of fuel, which is called messianism. Their god appeared at once and defeated their enemies. After his mishap during the Holocaust – he is back and mightier than ever. They graduated from yeshiva high schools and stormed Judea, Samaria and Gaza with unconquerable messianic passion.
"No one realized that the 'new pioneers' were possessed by demons of messianic madness. Think about the brainwashed minds, hypnotized zombies, gangs of horny teenagers forcing themselves on the country. The young generation of settlers forgot what it's like to be a Zionist."
In the book, the authors also describe the differences between the Right and the Left, "A rightist is conservative. A yapper. Polemicist. Resistor. Especially in the face of change. A leftist is a revolutionist. Practical. Leads the way, dares and is victorious. The Right believes that if we continue having the upper hand, we will be saved by the heavens. The Left believes that we must redeem ourselves, by ourselves. That is the reason that Zionism is leftist."
Shulamit Aloni, former chairwoman of the leftist Meretz party, said in response to the chain's decision, "Israel has not been democratic for some time now. Our declaration of independence promised equality. I there equality? This is a racist state in which savages do what they want in the name of G-d and their rabbis."
"The settlers rule the land. The government supports them so much; it's a disgrace," Aloni told Ynet Sunday night. Tzomet Sfarim succumbed to the pressure because everyone is afraid of the settlers. They are savages, racists and hate all those who do not support them.
"This country is not democratic anymore. The fact that there are political parties and elections – there are political parties and elections in Iran also. There are zealots in Iran and there are crazy zealots here. The police must deal with the settler threats. We cannot surrender to them," she said.
Yaniv also expressed resentment about the decision to remove the book from the chain's shelves, but promised to fight back.
"Just as they twist the prime minister and defense minister round their little finger, just as they control the state's entire budget – they also think they can control which books get sold," he said. "They are trying to terrorize commercial bodies."
Their response, he said, would be creative. "We intend to take hundreds of thousands of copies left after they sold 5,000 in three days, and distribute them for free at the weekend on campuses and at universities," he explained.
"We intend to print another few thousand, and distribute them in all sorts of places for free, throughout the country. If the settlers think they can shut people up, they're confused. They don't really understand who they're dealing with.
"I think that today they proved that what the book says about them is justified. For many years they have held Israeli society and the state by the balls, and it's time to put them in their place, and say that we are Zionist and Israeli and want to stop the occupation."