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November 20, 2015 6:04 am

Report: ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ on Sale at Arab Book Fair Co-Sponsored by American Library Association

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An image purporting to show copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Ziyon for sale at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Photo: Elder of Ziyon blog

An image purporting to show copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for sale at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Photo: Elder of Ziyon blog.

Arabic language copies of the Russian antisemitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, have allegedly been discovered at a book fair in the United Arab Emirates co-sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) for an annual conference.

Copies of the Protocols were being presented at the Sharjah International Book Fair in the UAE at the Ruslan Publishing House booth, according to a picture obtained by the antisemitism watchdog blog Elder of Ziyon (indeed, a uniquely-spelled spoof on that very manifesto), which apparently shows several copies of the book stacked on a table at the fair.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner on Thursday that it was “deeply troubling that a prominent fair promoting books in the Arab world continues to facilitate this screed to the mainstream Arab culture.”

“I cannot think of a better-known or more notorious forgery than The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” he said. “Perhaps the ALA, its distinguished partner, will take steps such an outrage isn’t repeated.”

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Michael Dowling, director of the ALA International Relations Office and the ALA Chapter Relations Office, meanwhile distanced the ALA from the book fair itself, saying the co-sponsorship was around a joint conference that was held November 10-12. He said the ALA did not have a say in which publishers or what books the Sharjah book fair chose to present.

He noted with certainty that at any book fair there would be some “material that some people find objectionable at the conference,” adding that the Protocols is a book “just like Mein Kampf or any other book” readily available for purchase on websites like Amazon.

Dowling noted that the ALA was against censorship in any form.

But while the ALA may be opposed to censorship, the Sharjah book fair is apparently not, as exhibitors were encouraged to send samples to a censorship office, which could also request copies for review. From the Sharjah book fair’s guidelines:

Forged editions are strictly not allowed. Products that contradict with the religious/social/cultural principles of the UAE are strictly not allowed. Such material shall be confiscated without notice and the exhibitor shall get penalized.

 Exhibitors should send book samples for censorship purposes, if necessary. SIBF will send a request in this regard, if required.

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