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March 4, 2014 10:33 pm

Wiesenthal Center Calls on Moroccan Culture Minister to End Anti-Jewish ‘Hatemongering’ at Casablanca Book Fair

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Great Deception: Are the Jews Really the Chosen People? by Muhammad Jamal Tahhan, published by Dar Safahat, Damascus, Syria. Photo: SWC.

Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) once again called on Moroccan Culture Minister Mohammed Amine Sbihi to end the proliferation of anti-Semitic literature at the Casablanca Book Fair, following his previous failed commitment to do away with the hate books.

The center published examples on Monday of offensive titles at this year’s event in its fifth annual report on anti-Jewish incitement at the Fair, known as SIEL (Salon International de l’Edition et du Livre), which was held from Feb. 13- 23, 2014.

Director for SWC International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, said, “Such hatemongering cannot fail but poison the very atmosphere of culture and education.”

Pointing out that many of the titles in question were published in Egypt and Syria, he said, “It is even more disconcerting that genocidal Syria and anarchic Egypt are still able to distract attention by scapegoating the Jews.”

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Samuels referred the minister to his June 2013 letter to the SWC assuring that “the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Morocco will remain vigilant and reinforce its control measures so that not one book inciting to hate and racial violence may be found at the Casablanca Book Fair and in any other functions held under this Ministry.”

The Center noted that “despite this commitment, the SIEL inter-ministerial vetting committee missed a number of volumes,” including, The Great Deception: Are the Jews Really the Chosen People?

Samuels also rejected Sbihi’s claim in his June letter that “the books displayed last year were legitimate in that they were related to the Arab-Israel conflict and Palestinian resistance.”

“All the examples listed in our 2014 report are expressions of hate for Jews and Judaism from the past to the present with little reference to the Middle East,” he said.

SWC urged Minister Sbihi to “turn your commitment into a reality that ‘not one book inciting to hate and racial violence will be found at the 2015 Casablanca Book Fair.’  ”

Samuels’ report was shared with the director of the Frankfurt Book Fair to suggest that the “listed delinquent publishers” be banned from its November 2014 event.

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