Itongadol.- At a meeting today with Frankfurt Book Fair Director, Dr.Jurgen Boos, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, discussed the continuous abuse of the Book Fairs to spread antisemitism.
For twelve years, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has monitored hate on the shelves of the Frankfurt Book Fair – the largest in the industry – identifying books that incite to hatred and violence, in violation of the exhibitors contractual commitments and the occasional banning of recidivists exhibitors.
This year, the Centre has also monitored the Book Fairs of Casablanca (Morocco), Doha (Qatar), Muscat (Oman), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and Abu Dhabi.
"We were shocked to discover the obsessive – compulsive default mode of antisemitism at each, and the ubiquitous presence of the same publishers , mainly Egyptian, Syrian (under the cover of Lebanon), Jordanian (as a cover for Palestinian) and Saudi Arabian", Samuels.
The Centre presented the Frankfurt Fair authorities with a list of 56 merchants of hate, of which 20 from Egypt, 19 from Syria/Lebanon, 9 from Jordan/Palestinian, 5 from Saudi Arabia, 2 from Kuwait, 1 from Morocco, and 1 Arab publisher in the United Kingdom.
These were based on 80 offensive titles monitored in Riyadh, 67 in Abu Dhabi, 53 in Muscat, 35 in Doha, 16 in Casablanca, a total of 251.
"These, tip of the iceberg findings, are a minimal indication of the problem, as their stands become focal points for local and foreign Imams who bring their Madrassa school classes with them. These hateful titles, can serve as a low tech recruitment instrument for youth to Jihad," argued Samuels, continuing, "in Riyadh, some 420 titles were removed by the \’Religious Police as contrary to Islam…\’ yet the conspicuous number of volumes inciting to violence against Jews were left in place."
The Centre noted that, "In Frankfurt, it annually announces a \’Worst Offender\’ award. This went for 3 years running to Turkey, 2 years to Iran, and then successively to Egypt, Qatar and Malaysia. In Arab Book Fairs, the award goes to a publisher, Dar-al-Kitab al-Arabi of Egypt, which published 78 of the total 251 books identified as antisemitic."
Samuels added that "this publisher has an obsession with Henry Ford\’s \’International Jew\’ \’The Protocols of the Elders of Zion\’ and Hitler\’s \’Mein Kampf\’ – none of which can be excused as \’anti-Israeli rather than anti-Jewish."
The Centre expressed concern at "English, French and Spanish versions of the Arabic texts on display – reportedly for distribution in schools of the Muslim diaspora.Â This requires teachers\’ unions and professional organizations to denounce noxious titles and act to bar them from Muslim and other schools in their countries," emphasized the Centre.
Samuels requested Dr.Boos "to mobilize his staff to analyze the publications of the 56 hatemongering publishers, urging that they be blacklisted and excluded from the October 2015 Fair. There is no doubt that many of them – and especially, Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi of Egypt – deny and trivialize the Holocaust, which is a crime under German law", concluded Samuels.