Abu Dhabi Book Fair Praised After Pulling Anti-Semitic Titles
Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Friday praised the Abu Dhabi Book Fair for removing anti-Semitic titles, including the notorious forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, from display at the important Arab cultural event.
“The Wiesenthal Center welcomes the removal of the Protocols of Zion from the Abu Dhabi Book Fair and we commend the organizers of the book fair for presenting for the first time, The Diary of Anne Frank and other other Holocaust texts in Arabic,” SWC director Rabbi Abraham Cooper told The Algemeiner on Friday.
“We hope that this positive develop from the United Arab Emirates will inspire others in the Arab world to learn more about the Jewish people and our history,” he said. “It is an important step in hopefully building better lines of communication and mutual understanding in the Middle East and beyond.”
On Thursday, JTA reported that U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf had said, “We welcome reports the organizers of the book fair removed both anti-Semitic and jihadi texts from display, and that these hateful materials represented only a minuscule percentage of the literature on display.”
JTA reported: “Harf said she did not know what led to the removal of the texts from the fair, which ran from April 30 to May 5, but her comments came after Algemeiner, an online Jewish news website, reported that the books were available at a fair where the United States was listed as a ‘cultural partner.'”
An unnamed state department official also told JTA: “We are concerned that the continued dissemination of the Protocols is fueling anti-Semitism around the world.”
The official noted that it was the Aladdin Project, a Paris-based organization advancing Muslim-Jewish understanding, that was responsible for bringing Anne Frank’s diary and other books on the Holocaust to the event.