Korean Publisher Withdraws Controversial Antisemitic-Themed Book

March 15, 2007

KOREAN PUBLISHER WITHDRAWS CONTROVERSIAL ANTISEMITIC-THEMED BOOK

GIMM-YOUNG ALSO AGREES TO PUBLISH  KOREAN-LANGUAGE VERSION OF WIESENTHAL CENTER'S BOOK DEBUNKING THE NOTORIOUS PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION

The publisher of Far Countries; Near Countries, a bestselling series of illustrated world guides, announced that it was recalling all remaining copies of its volume on American society which contains numerous antisemitic caricatures and accusations that Jews stand in the way of Korean-American success.  The publisher, Gimm-Young, is also committed to removing these images and accusations from future editions of the work. “We deeply regret and apologize to all those who were hurt by these images and we commit to working with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to educate the Korean people about the threat of antisemitism and the history and true values of the Jewish people,” said Gimm-Young CEO Eun Ju Park.
       
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center's associate dean met Thursday inSeoul with Ms. Park and the book’s author, Professor Won Bok Rhie. Cooper directly confronted Rhie withantisemitic imagery and conspiracies from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union similar to those incorporated into his book, including the charges that Jews were behind all wars.  “Although Professor Rhie apologized, it is clear that he has a distorted understanding of Jews” said Cooper. “This book, presented as the guide for young Koreans to understand America, left unchallenged, would harm relations between our two communities. We commend Ms. Park for removing and destroying all remaining copies of this work.”
       
Richard Choi Bertsch, a California leader from the National Korean American Coalition who along with Asia expert Dr. Ted Gover, also participated in the 2 1/2 hour meeting. Mr. Bertsch challenged the author, saying “I don't know where you did your research but it does not reflect the reality of Korean-Jewish relations today.”

Ms. Park also announced that Gimm-Young Publishers will distribute a Korean language version of the Wiesenthal Center's Dismantling the Big Lie: the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and will lead a delegation later this year to the Museum of Tolerance and Los Angeles to learn first-hand the reality of the two communities. “We are buoyed by her commitment to have one of Korea’s leading publishing houses become a proactive gateway of information about the Jewish people and grateful that so many of our Korean American friends helped lead the protest,” said Rabbi Cooper, adding that he would work with the publisher to develop a list of renowned Judaic books to be translated into Korean.

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