Historically, the Jewish people have always prided themselves on being “people of the book.” Jews have always treasured the written word and regarded books as precious items in our daily lives. Therefore, it was shocking to learn that Israel during its summer, 2006 bombardment of Lebanon had targeted 20 publishing houses and research institutes. Most were destroyed in the Israel air attacks on Lebanon. Lebanon publishes about 70% of Arabic books sold in the Middle East.
There is no excuse for this blatant violation of Jewish tradition in destroying thousands of books. The government of Israel is honor bound to provide compensation to these publishers and help them get back to publishing books.