State Department ‘partner’ of fair featuring anti-Semitic books

State Department ‘partner’ of fair featuring anti-Semitic books

Abu Dhabi literary event also lists National Geographic, IKEA, and the French Embassy

Mein Kampf dust jacket (photo credit: New York Public Library Digital Collection)
Mein Kampf dust jacket (photo credit: New York Public Library Digital Collection)

NEW YORK —The US State Department is listed as a “cultural partner” of the 24th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which reportedly features a number of anti-Semitic publications. Books in English and Arabic listed on display at the Fair include Holocaust denial, Henry Ford’s “The International Jew” and Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

Also exhibited is “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” the second most published book in the Arab world, which promotes the anti-Semitic notion that Jews are planning global domination.

According to the Book Fair’s official website, the US Department of State is among the event’s “cultural partners” along with Ikea, France 24, The National Geographic and the French Embassy.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), urged the US to disassociate itself from the fair.

“First we call on the State Department to condemn their presence and to condition further sponsorship on assurances it doesn’t happen again,” he told The Algemeiner. “Secondly we urge the Book Fair, which seeks to be viewed as a major world class book-selling venue, to ensure its bookstalls will be hate free. The Wiesenthal Center is prepared to meet with organizers to assist.”

In March, the SWC called on Moroccan Culture Minister Mohammed Amine Sbihi to end the proliferation of anti-Semitic literature at the 2014 Casablanca Book Fair. The Center also reached out to the director of the Frankfurt Book Fair suggesting that “delinquent publishers” of anti-Semitic writings be banned from its November 2014 event.

Abu Dhabi’s Book Fair also features titles for the first time about the Holocaust, a subject that has long remained taboo across the Arab world. Arab translations of Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl,” Primo Levi’s “If This Is a Man” and other works related to the Shoah are on display, according to Aladdin Project, an international organization focused on promoting peaceful intercultural relations, particularly among Jews and Muslims.

Other books on display include “The Last Jew” of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman and “The Destruction of the European Jews,” Raul Hilberg’s documentation of the Nazi genocide of European Jews.

The Aladdin Project, which has nine of its own books on display at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair, said numerous visitors were for the first time coming across books about the Holocaust in their native Arabic.

This report was originally published on the European Jewish Press website.

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