A recent article in the Los Angeles called Babylon & Beyond: Israel: Reading with the Enemy caught my eye.
Not many know, but obtaining an Arabic copy of Harry Potter in Israel requires a special permit under the pre-state Trade with the Enemy Ordinance.It’s not because it’s Harry Potter or by a British author. It’s because it’s published in Lebanon. If you import books from countries Israel is not at peace with, you have to have a license from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. And that license can be withdrawn under the 1939 Trade with the Enemy Ordinance.
This may sound really odd to Americans.
But did you know that it wasn’t until 1988 that the U.S. allowed books, papers, music and art to be imported from Cuba? And it was after that that an amendment and court case “freed American publishers from the need to secure permission from the governments of Cuba, Iran and Sudan for publishing the works of authors from those countries.”