Jewish Group Calls on Frankfurt Book Fair to Ban ‘Hatemongering Publishers’
Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged leaders of the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair on Thursday to blacklist publishers inciting hatred and violence against Israel.
“These stands become focal points for imams visiting with their Koranic school classes,” the organization said in a statement. “These hateful titles can serve as a low-tech instrument for recruitment of youth to jihad.”
The Center listed 56 “merchants of hate” for the authorities running the Fair, indicating which country each offending publisher was from. Twenty hailed from Egypt, 19 from Syria and Lebanon, nine from Jordan and the Palestinian territories, five from Saudi Arabia, two from Kuwait, one from Morocco, and one from the United Kingdom.
The group identified a total of 251 antisemitic titles being sold by the peddlers at book fairs around the world – 80 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 67 in Abu Dhabi; 53 in Muscat, Oman; 35 in Doha, Qatar; and 16 in Casablanca, Morocco.
The Center said the “worst offender” is Egyptian publisher Dar-al-Kitab al-Arabi, which published 78 of the 251 books identified as antisemitic.
“These, tip of the iceberg findings, are a minimal indication of the problem,” said SWC Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels. “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.”
“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,” Samuels said. “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 Simon Wiesenthal Center has been monitoring antisemitic texts at the Frankfurt Book Fair for 12 years and last year ranked publishers of antisemitic literature displayed at the event, listing Qatar as “Worst Offender 2014.”
The Center also monitored the 2015 book fairs in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. In March the group lamented U.S. support for the Muscat International Book Fair, which SWC described as a “hothouse of antisemitic hate,” and in April slammed Morocco’s culture minister for failing to stop the display of anti-Jewish texts at the 2015 Casablanca Book Fair.