THE SPINE SEPTEMBER 14, 2009
Well, it seems that Osama bin Laden likes English books. Of course, he can't read them in English. He reads them in Arab translation. And there are good reasons for there to be Arab translations of two of his very favorite books. The first is already marking the second anniversary of its publication. It is Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
The second is Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In the video, bin Laden exhorts Americans to “read what your former president, Carter, wrote regarding Israeli racism against our people in Palestine.”
As the U.N. Arab Human Development Report indicates, there are precious few translations into Arabic from other languages. This is one reason why the Arabs have stood still in history for the last 700 years.
These two books have been published in Arabic because they correspond completely with the Arab world view.
My advice to their publishers is that they should put bin Laden's praise on advertisements for the books and on the back cover of any new editions. Don't you think that Osama’s endorsement will push up sales?