Fifth Annual Wiesenthal Centre Report on Antisemitism at the Casablanca Book Fair (SIEL)

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"Fifth Annual Wiesenthal Centre Report on Antisemitism at the Casablanca Book Fair (SIEL)"

Paris, March 3 2014

"The Minister claimed in 2013 all contested books related to Palestinian resistance.  2014 examples express hate for Jews and Judaism past and present, with little reference to the Middle East."

"Genocidal Syria and anarchic Egypt are still able to distract attention by scapegoating the Jews"

In a letter to the Moroccan Culture Minister, Mohammed Amine Sbihi,  the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, presented his fifth annual monitor of anti-Jewish incitement at the SIEL (Salon International de l'Edition et du Livre), held in Casablance from 13 February. 

Samuels recalled to the Minister that, following our 2013 Report "his telephone call to the Centre to consider adopting the Turkish security method of bar-coding all legitimate volumes admitted to their stands at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which had resulted from our intervention." The letter also informed the Minister that "all 27 exhibitors named in the Centre's 2013 Casablanca report were unsurprisingly absent from the next Frankfurt Book Fair".

Samuels also referred the Minister to his 27 June 2013 letter to the Centre assuring us that "the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of
Morocco will remain vigilant and reinforce its control measures so that not one book inciting to hate and racial violence may be found at
the Casablanca Book Fair and in any other functions held under this Ministry."

The Centre noted that "despite this commitment, the SIEL inter-ministerial vetting committee had
missed the following volumes:

—The Jews' Roots of Violence, Saher Rafi, published by Dar Midr alMahrusa, Damascus, Syria (stand 2014F Photo1)
- The Great Deception: Are the Jews Really the Chosen People?,
Muhammad Jamal Tahhan, published by Dar Safahat, Damascus, Syria
(stand 2014 B Photo2)

- How the Jews Fabricated the Holocaust (an embellished version of
Norman Finkelstein's "The Holocaust Industry"), published by Dar
Safahat, Damascus, Syria (stand 2014C Photo3)
- The Torah: The Fierce Enemy of the Semite, Yusuf Rashad, published
by Dar al Kitab al Arabi, Cairo, Egypt (stand 2014K Photo4)

- The 13th Tribe that Governs Israel
and the World, (an embellished version
of "The 13th Tribe" by Arthur Koestler)
published by Dar
al Afak, Cairo, Egypt (stand 2014N Photo5)
- The Hidden Face of Hitler, Farid al Faluji and Hassan Hamdi,
published by Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, Cairo, Egypt (stand 2014 Photo6)

Syrian and Egyptian books appear on joint Lebanese/Syrian/Egyptian publishing consortia stands, such as Maktabat Hassan al Asriria (Lebanon/Syria) or Mouassasat Atfalouma ad Dawli (Egypt). These stands and publishers are thus also in direct violation of the SIEL mission statement and the Constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco".

Samuels stressed that "it is even more disconcerting that genocidal Syria and anarchic Egypt are still able to distract attention by scapegoating the Jews,"  continuing, "such hatemongering cannot fail but poison the very atmosphere of culture and education, as was made evident by Professor H. Kably of the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty of the Mohammed I University of Oujda, who on 24 June 2013 presented to his students an English inter-faith essay examination with the following two questions:

- How does the history of the Jews prove their hatred towards other people?

- How would you justify the fact that immorality and misconduct in Judaism are basically due to spiritual gap?
Use historical facts to highlight your answers' " (English Exam Photo7).

The letter highlighted Moroccan blogger, Fahd Yata, writing for, who commented on
our 2013 Casablanca report and on the Oujda University exam as cited
in LeMonde (Paris) of 5 June 2013: "This form of antisemitism expressed as literature complacently displayed to the public as also in the framework of a Moroccan University, must cease immediately, as it profoundly harms the image of Morocco and its traditional tolerance. Contrary to the reality that prevails among us, this must be openly inscribed as in total opposition to the position and commitment taken at the highest level of State. Thus, all these books must be banned as quickly as possible!"

Samuels also pointed out that "this year's SIEL became the platform for an indirect form of Judeophobia: a programmed discussion of Moroccan claims on Spain for compensation and for the return of Muslims expelled from 'Al-Andalus' (Andalucia) in 1492. Historian, Hasan Aourid, asked if  'the suffering was lower for Muslims than for
Jews?'  A representative of the Association for the Historical Legacy of Al-Andalus suggested that Spanish preferential treatment for Jews made Muslims victims of 'selective racism'. Such statements can only further inflame and reinforce prejudice."

Samuels rejected the Minister's claim in his letter of June 2013, that "the books displayed last year were legitimate in that they were related to the Arab-Israel conflict and Palestinian resistance," by arguing that, "all the examples listed in our 2014 report are expressions of hate for Jews and Judaism from the past to the present with little reference to the Middle East."

The Centre urged Minister Sbihi to "turn your commitment into a reality that 'not one book inciting to hate and racial violence will be found at the 2015 Casablanca Book Fair'. "

The Report was shared with the Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair "to suggest that the listed delinquent publishers be banned from its November 2014 Fair."

"In view of the fact that the SIEL 2014 Honoured Guest was the 15 member-state regional group ECOWAS (Economic Community of West-African States) - reportedly, as a mark of Morocco's African identity - this letter has also been sent to ECOWAS Chair, H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Ivory Coast" concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 00 (33) 609770158, join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).