“This year, the Fair has blacklisted delinquent exhibitors and confiscated offensive texts.”
“Zero tolerance of hate in 2016 can be achieved if measures are taken with government stands, especially Qatar... The Centre's 'Worst Offender Award 2015' goes to Qatar... Runner up is Egypt.”
Frankfurt, 20 October 2015
For the 13th year, Simon Wiesenthal Centre is the only non-governmental organization to monitor antisemitic hate and incitement to violence on the stands of the Frankfurt Book Fair, (FBF),the world's largest with 7,100 exhibitors from over 100 countries, hosting 2.700 visitors.
“How, then, was this year different? A more sensitive Fair management has taken unprecedented action,” acknowledged the Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.
In August, Samuels submitted to the FBF authorities a list of 56 delinquent publishers it had monitored at the Casablanca, Doha, Muscat, Ryadh and Abu Dhabi fairs: 20 Egyptian, 19 Syrian/Lebanese, 9 Jordanian/Palestinian, 5 Saudi, 2 Kuwaiti, 1 Moroccan and 1 Arab publisher in the United Kingdom. These were accountable for a total of 251 antisemitic titles.
Not one of these - several recidivist in previous Frankfurt Fairs - were listed in the 2015 catalogue. Two, however, gate - crashed as part of the Egyptian and Lebanese collective stands.
On the eve of this year's Fair opening, the authorities made a sweep, confiscating 18 clearly antisemitic tittles of these stands, on grounds of violating the exhibitors' contractual commitment against incitement to hate or violence.
Samuels noted “an apparently removed classic, ‘In Hidden Corners: Revealing Secrets of the Jews’, published by the Egyptian National Library and Archives (Dar Al -Kuteb) in 2014.
(SEE PHOTO N. 1 ON PANEL)
This was based on ‘Jews and Opportunists: Judaism in Egypt and Syria’ by Georges Corneilhan in 1989, translated from the original French into Arabic by Naguib Al- Hajj in 1893. It was showcased at the 2014 Kuwait and 2015 Cairo Book Fairs. It went missing in Frankfurt...” adding, “Our own monitoring uncovered the 7 titles below that eluded the official action,” stated Samuels.
Egypt (Hall 5.1 D150) collective stand:
- “The Israeli Two Seas Canal - the Conspiracy of the Century”, by Jamal Yusef Abdelhamid, published by GEBO, Cairo, explaining that the canal project linking the Red Sea with the Dead Sea is a plot for Israeli domination of the middle East.
(SEE PHOTO N. 2 ON PANEL)
- “Beheading is Judaism”, by Saad Attia Al - Mutawa on Jewish forms of punishment.
(SEE PHOTO N. 3 ON PANEL)
(Hall 5.1 A 147) Al Ahram:
-“Foreign support to Israel” by Ahmed Al - Said Al - Najjar, the Star of David over dollar bills on the cover replays the stereotype of Jews and money.
- “The Hieroglyphic Torah”, by Fuad Hassanien Ali, claims the Pharaonic origin of the Torah, as written originally in hieroglyphics and not Hebrew.
(SEE PHOTO N. 4 ON PANEL)
Turkey (Hall 5.0 C137) collective stand:
- “Israeli Intelligence GAP Southeastern Scenario”. Torah - driven fanatical Jewish lobbyists, companies and Turkish Jews plot to expand Israel's borders from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean, exposed by Turkish intelligence.
(SEE PHOTO N. 5 ON PANEL)
Following the Centre's 2010 report and German intervention in Ankara, the Turkish Publishers Association introduced a silver- sticker barcode policy to vet displays, which rendered their stands hate- free for four years. Sadly, this record is now broken, as the above antisemitic screed bears the silver-sticker seal of approval.
Qatar: (Hall 5.1 E153) official government stand:
- “The Strategic Israeli Mind” by Saleh Al -Naimi, on how Israeli research institutes and think tanks undermined the Arab Spring.
- “The Dripping Veins of Jerusalem” by Munir Akash and Fuad Moughrabi, Jusser, Doha, 2010. Samuels stressed “despite our continued protests, Qatar is showing this book for the fourth year running. The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is presented as a conspiracy to deny Palestinian autochthonous identity.”
(SEE PHOTO N. 6 ON PANEL)
Gaza: (Hall 3.1 K133) presented under the cover of Just World Books, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA:
- “Gaza Unsilenced”, editors, Refaat Alareer and Laila El - Haddad
Totally unlisted in the Fair Catalogue, this stand - under the poster “Gaza Kitchen” - displayed only one book, on the 2014 Gaza war, seemingly in praise of Hamas.
(SEE PHOTO N. 7 ON PANEL)
Iran (all 15 stands, including a Government collective, were closed):
Khomeini’s death-threat victim and author of “The Satanic Verses”, Salman Rushdie, was invited to the Fair as an honoured speaker. Rejecting Iranian pressure, Frankfurt refused to back down.
Teheran ordered all its stands to remain empty as a protest against “this insult to Islam.” The huge central stand was bedecked with posters proclaiming “Freedom of Expression does not permit defamation of religion.”
(SEE PHOTO N. 8 ON PANEL)
Samuels entered into conversation with the government project manager, who defiantly argued, “you have made our denial of the Holocaust a crime. We consider any offence to Islam as much worse.”
A German author commented: “Ten points to Rushdie, Zero to the Ayatollahs”
“Iran's closure probably cut down the number antisemitic titles on the shelves by half,” responded Samuels.
The Centre commended the FBF's President, Juergen Boos, stating “It is apparent that the our annual appeals to the Fair to act, are now bearing fruit in the blacklisting of delinquent exhibitors and the confiscation of offensive texts from private publisher stands” ... continuing, “Zero - tolerance of hate can be achieved in 2016 if measures are taken with the Qatari government and other state-sponsored stands.”
Samuels recalled, “as we warned in last year's report 'German and other Jihadist teachers are known to bring their students to the Fair, seeking inflammatory materials, which can result in potentially dangerous consequences” ... “This year, I witnessed such an engagement in Hall 5.1 ...The Frankfurt Book Fair must not be abused for lo-tech recruitment to Jihad.”
“The Wiesenthal's Centre's 'Worst Offender Award 2015' goes to Qatar and 'Runner Up' to Egypt,” he announced.