The Salon du Livre, the international book fair in Paris that has drawn protests from several Arab nations for honoring Israeli literature at this year's event, was shut down briefly yesterday by a bomb threat, the Associated Press reported. Festival organizers received an anonymous phone call indicating that an explosion would occur at five PM, according to Jean-Daniel Compain, director of REED, the company that organized the event. Compain said that the caller made no specific mention of the fair's Israeli focus.
Twenty-five thousand attendees evacuated the venue just before
five in the evening. An hour later, after special police forces found no explosives on the premises, the fair reopened.
The event, which honors the work of thirty-nine authors from Israel, is being boycotted by member nations of the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization citing "crimes against humanity that Israel is perpetrating in the Palestinian territories."