Israel’s Exposition Opened
T️his year's guest of honour at the Book World book fair is Israel - a very distinguished and welcome guest indeed, judging not only from the amply attended ceremonial opening of its book fair display. The symbolic ribbon was cut by the ambassador of the State of Israel to the Czech Republic Daniel Meron, with Book World Prague director Radovan Auer and Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers chairman Martin Vopěnka in attendance.
The ambassador's speech stressed that our two countries have more in common than we are often aware of. We share numerous historical junctions and influences. Czech literature is also in many respects similar to the Israeli one. Perhaps all the more reason for the official opening act to be performed using not scissors but words - a symbolic fact for a book fair in which words play the leading role. Mr. Meron chose a poem entitled Franz Kafka's Prague. "Why has the dawn not broken above Prague? It has run out of strength for the third time. Why has the city square, so hospitable, turned dark? This is my dream song about the city of Prague, which will live to see another dawn," he quoted from a poem drawing its inspiration from the August 1968 military invasion. The grand opening of the guest of honour stand left nothing to be desired. Come and see for yourselves that our relationship with Israel is indeed special.