Publishers keep trying to trump religious authority in Israel. An AFP report states today that Arab translations of Harry Potter and Pinocchio are not welcome there. Some Arab classics have also been banned from Israeli bookstores.
The ban apparently dates back to a 1939 British mandate that prohibits the importation of books from countries at war with Israel.
This isn't the first time the beloved and bespectacled boy wizard has caused trouble in Israel. Last summer, some bookstores opened during the Sabbath to sell "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final installment of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Timing the release in Israel with the rest of the world disturbed the Industry, Trade, and Labor department, which maintained that respecting the Sabbath was more important. Some bookstore owners shrugged off threatened fines, and many found other ways around the restriction.
We certainly haven't heard the last from J.K. Rowling. The fantasy author is preparing to release a collection of fairy tales for charity in December. A July 31, 2008 Bloomberg article states:
"The Tales of Beedle the Bard," a book of five wizardry fairy tales mentioned in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,'' is one of seven copies Rowling handmade after finishing the Potter series.... Amazon plans to produce as many as 100,000 copies of a collector's edition that will mimic the look and feel of the handwritten original ... [for] $100.
The need to deal with Harry Potter and his legacy certainly isn't going to go away any time soon.
Marjorie Kehe is on vacation this week.