CBNNews.com - Seven Muslim countries boycotted this year's Paris Book Fair to protest choosing Israel as its "guest of honor."
During his state visit to France, Israeli President Shimon Peres was asked to open this year's book fare, which features 39 Israeli authors and publishers.
Peres called the boycott "the most ridiculous thing I have heard in my life."
"I am against the boycott of books," the Israeli president said. "Books are written to awaken reflection, to try to make sense of ideas," he said.
Algeria, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemin boycotted the fair at the request of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
"The crimes against humanity Israel is perpetrating in the Palestinian territories constitute, in themselves, a strong condemnation of Israel, making it unworthy of being welcomed as a guest of honor," read a statement by ISESCO.
David Martinon, spokesman for French President Nicholas Sarkozy, said France regrets the Islamic organization's promotion of a boycott.
"There is nothing to fear from books," he said.
Among the Israeli authors traveling to France to participate in this year's book fair are David Grossman and Amos Oz.
Source: YNet news service