United States Again Participates in Arab Book Fair Promoting Antisemitic Literature
The United States is once again participating in an international book fair – this time in the United Arab Emirates — rife with antisemitic titles, pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon reported on Monday.
As is illustrated in the report, the US Embassy in the UAE capital posted an invitation to its display at the 26th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair on Facebook.
“Come see the great books and creativity Spark! Lab at the US Embassy booth at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. We are in Hall 7, section C – directly under the banner,” is how the post is worded, with an added smiley emoticon.
According to Elder of Ziyon, books at the fair – held, as reported by the government-owned UAE English-language newspaper The National – “under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and inaugurated on Wednesday by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs” – include the following categories and titles:
Jewish Danger – The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, That Al Salasil Company
Jewish Influence in the Media, by Fouad al-Rifai, Dar Al Yakeen publishers
Jews and contempt of religion, by Hanafi Mahalawy, Alam Al Kotob publishers
Great Deception: Are the Jews Really God’s Chosen People? by Dr. Mohammed Jamal Tahan
Secrets of Jewish Supremacists, by Yuri Mukan Aladdin
Is the Jewish Religion Heavenly? by Abdul Majid Hamu
Human sacrifice and the Talmudic Sacrifices by Pagans and Jews, by Fathi Mohamed Zoghbi
This is not the first time that the US has participated in book fairs held in the Arab world that promote antisemitism.
As The Algemeiner reported last month, a similar event in Saudi Arabia in March – at which titles such as antisemitic propaganda tome The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Jews and Freemasonry and Hitler’s Mein Kampf were on display and for sale – was attended by US Deputy Chief of Mission Timothy Lenderking at the US Embassy in Riyadh and Cultural Attache David Edginton, who was quoted by Arab News as saying, “First, I would like to congratulate Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Ministry of Culture and Information for professionally organizing this large event. We are very happy to participate in this major Saudi culture event because of its importance to our bilateral cultural relations. The fair is a good opportunity for us and all participants and visitors to exchange ideas and information freely.”
Following the expose, AP’s Matt Lee confronted State Department spokesperson Mark Toner during his daily press briefing. Toner, as The Algemeiner reported, responded:
So, first of all, this is a – actually, first of all, we condemn antisemitism in all of its forms, as well as any other hate speech. Second is, representatives of the US Embassy in Riyadh have participated in the International Riyadh Book Fair for multiple years as part of an effort to essentially distribute books to Saudi citizens that include books about democracy, tolerance, diversity, human rights, et cetera. The book fair itself is run by the Saudi Government’s Ministry of Culture and Information. So what I want to clearly state is we were just a participant. We weren’t aware that these books were going to be featured in this book fair. So we’re not a partner, we’re not a funder, we’re not a sponsor. We’re just simply a participant and we obviously, as I said, condemn any kind of antisemitic literature.
After Lee noted that he recalled the book fair also featuring antisemitic titles in previous years, Toner said the US was “not aware of the history here. My understanding is that we were not aware that these books were going to be featured at the fair. And I can also check on whether we raised this directly, our concerns, with the Saudi government.”
When asked whether the US intends to participate in the fair next year, Toner replied: “I think we would weigh this very heavily, considering this incident.”
As The Algemeiner reported two years ago, however, the State Department was listed as a “cultural partner” of the 24th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which also featured antisemitic works. Among these were: Holocaust Denial, The International Jew, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
As of press time, The Algemeiner had not received a response from the State Department.