SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE - EUROPE
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Wiesenthal Centre 11th Annual Report from the Frankfurt Book Fair
by Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Paris
- 'Worst Offender 2013' Goes to Egypt, and especially Al Ahram Publishers for Continued Display of Conspiracy Theories.
- 'Runner-Up' Goes to Iran - last year's 'Worst Offender' - for Childrens' Literature Glorifying Martyrdom and Jihad.
- 'Hate-Free' Commendation to Turkey for second consecutive year.
Frankfurt, 14 October 2013
For the eleventh year, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre is the only non-governmental organization to monitor incitement to hate and violence on the display stands of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
With over 7,400 exhibitors from 100 countries and more than 300,000 visitors, this is the largest annual international gathering of the publishing industry.
The Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, had acknowledged to the Fair's President, Juergen Boos, that the reports of German intervention - based on our Centre's reports - had impacted on the heavily antisemitic literature displayed on Turkish stands and those of Malaysia, the “Worst Offender” of two years ago.
As a result,the Turkish Publishers’ Association maintains its silver-sticker policy to vet the display materials. Hence Turkey's 56 stands remain hate-free, as were the 19 Malaysian exhibitors, the 2011 "Worst Offender".
“Worst Offender 2013” is unquestionably Egypt, and especially Al Ahram Publishing Centre of Cairo, a consortium which include Egypt’s most influential newspaper (Hall 5.0 D132) and The Arab Publishers Association (Hall 50 E109). Both are annual recidivists, displaying absent publishers that have been highlighted in our previous reports.
On Al Ahram stand, are two examples of conspiracy literature.
"The Palestinians and the Loss of the Forbidden", Imad Sayid Ahmad, Al Ahram Center, Cairo 2010
Israeli soldier sharpening a knife to slaughter two caged chickens in a cockfight, marked Fatah and Hamas respectively
"Iran – The Sleeping Wolves", Mamduh Abdul Mun'am, Al Ahram, Cairo 2012
Iranian conspiracy theory of Jewish control of the United States
Samuels reported that he "felt like an IAEA inspector in an Iranian nuclear installation",adding that "when attempting to photo additional volumes illustrated with similar tropes, they were immediately snatched away.
- Arab Publishers Association (APA):
Left: "The American Hegemony", Niama Hasan al Bakr, APA,Cairo
Right:"Jewish Fundamentalism in France,Israel and the United States”, Manuel Heiman, translated by Saad al Tawil and Jamal Ahmad al Rifai, APA, Cairo
Outside the hall, protesters voiced support for the opposition with campaign materials on:
“Indict Khameini and Rouhani as War Criminals.” “No to Sharia and Martyrdom,” “Stop Stoning Women”
In previous years, we have focused on Iranian childrens' literature extolling suicide and martyrdom.The same and similar texts appear this year at:
- Elmifarhangi Publications, Tehran (Stand 5.0, D35), displaying:
“If I Were a Pilot,” Ahmad Akbapour, Tehran, 2005
“If I were Only Older,” Alkhbar Sahiel, glamourizing 13-14 years old volunteers at the frontlines against Iraq
- Iranian Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (Stand 3.0,H59).
Photo Second shelf
Left: “Kianoosh’s Orchard,” Ali Asghar Ezati Pak, Tehran.
Middle: “My Snail's Lost”.
Right: “Passing through the Livid Mountain,” Mohammadali Oloomi,Tehran
- The National Library and Archives Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Stand 5.0,D8)
Right: “Jews who Abandoned Iran for Palestine"
Left: "Nazi Germans in Iran"
These volumes appear,prima facie,to be legitimate studies but deserve greater attention from the Fair authorities
Qatari Governmental Stand (Hall 5.O D135), this year, displayed the same text highlighted in our 2012 Report:
“The Open Veins of Jerusalem”, by Munir Akash and Fouad Moughrabi, Juseer, Doha, 2010.
The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is here deleted by a “Palestinian autochtonous identity."
It is interesting to note that, of the worst offenders highlighted in the Centre’s 2013 Report from the April
Casablanca Book Fair—Libya and Morocco—were this year absent, as were The Palestinian Territories
The report stressed that, although hate materials have this year clearly diminished in number, the above-mentioned stands include chronic annual recidivists, who ignore previous warnings that their publishers are in violation of their Book Fair contracts and German/EU provisions against incitement.
Samuels noted that "German Jihadist schoolteachers have been known to accompany their students to the Fair in search of inflammatory materials."
Samuels appealed, through the Fair, to the German authorities “to vociferously protest to the governments of Egypt and Iran demanding that they adopt the measures that were successful with Turkey: to confiscate offensive texts and unambiguously blacklist their delinquent exhibitors from participation in 2014.”
“Frankfurt’s role as the reference point for regional book fairs could have a major influence on the Tehran Fair’s Holocaust
denial industry and the Cairo and Casablanca Book Fairs’ tolerance for obsessive-compulsive displays of world Jewish conspiracies.”
The Wiesenthal Centre’s cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair has come far. We urge the Frankfurt Book Publishers’
Association to proclaim zero tolerance for hate at the 2014 Fair,” concluded Samuels.
For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 00(33)609770158