JERUSALEM (May. 11)
The Foreign Ministry suspended at the last minute, distribution of a special 30th anniversary edition of its own magazine “Ariel” because it contained a poem deemed subversive.
The magazine was about to be shipped overseas in four languages as part of the Ministry’s information program when it was held up on grounds that the poem “Lamentations” by the Druze Communist poet, Samih el Kassem, was an allegoric presentation of Arab nationalist and anti-Zionist feeling. Kassem is one of Israel’s best known Arabic poets.
A Ministry spokesman said there was nothing untoward in the Ministry’s insistence that its own publication must reflect the government’s information and policy lines. The special edition of “Ariel” consisted of 23,000 copies published at a cost of IL 1 million.