U.S. State Department Listed as ‘Cultural Partner’ of Abu Dhabi Book Fair Featuring Anti-Semitic Titles
by Shiryn Ghermezian
The U.S. State Department is listed as a “cultural partner” of the 24th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which features a number of anti-Semitic publications, the Canada-based Shawarma News blog reported.
A listing of English and Arabic titles on display at the Fair, which is currently underway, include Holocaust Denial, The International Jew and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Also exhibited is The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, the second most published book in the Arab world, which promotes the anti-Semitic notion that Jews are planning global domination.
According to the Book Fair’s official website, the U.S. Department of State is among the event’s “cultural partners.” Others include Ikea, France 24, The National Geographic and the French Embassy.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), said the discovery “should surprise no one” and urged the U.S. to disassociate itself from the fair.
“First we call on the State Department to condemn their presence and to condition further sponsorship on assurances it doesn’t happen again,” he told The Algemeiner. “Secondly we urge the Book Fair, which seeks to be viewed as a major world class book-selling venue, to ensure its bookstalls will be hate free. The Wiesenthal Center is prepared to meet with organizers to assist.”
In March, the SWC called on Moroccan Culture Minister Mohammed Amine Sbihi to end the proliferation of anti-Semitic literature at the 2014 Casablanca Book Fair. The Center also reached out to the director of the Frankfurt Book Fair suggesting that “delinquent publishers” of anti-Semitic writings be banned from its November 2014 event.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately reply to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment.
Abu Dhabi’s Book Fair also features titles for the first time about the Holocaust, a subject that has long remained taboo across the Arab world. Arab translations of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man and other works related to the Shoah are on display, according to Aladdin Project, an international organization focused on promoting peaceful intercultural relations, particularly among Jews and Muslims.
Other books on display include The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman and The Destruction of the European Jews, Raul Hilberg’s documentation of the Nazi genocide of European Jews.
The Aladdin Project, which has nine of its own books on display at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair, said numerous visitors were for the first time coming across books about the Holocaust in their native Arabic.
The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which runs from April 30 to May 5, features over 1,000 exhibitors, 500,000 book titles in 30 languages and an International Conference for Translation.