Frankfurt Book Fair urged to ban Muslim countries' anti-Semitic tracts

Posted: 10/16/2008 6:35:00 PM
Author: Haviv Rettig
Source: This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post online edition on Oct. 16, 2008.

Frankfurt Book Fair urged to ban Muslim countries' anti-Semitic tracts
by Haviv Rettig

Anti-Semitic tracts can be found throughout the Muslim-world book stands at the Frankfurt Book Fair, including at the displays of this year's "honored guest," Turkey, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

In a report submitted to the book fair's director Jurgen Boos, the center's director for international relations, Shimon Samuels, said he was saddened by "the number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory volumes on the exhibit shelves of Turkish publishers and even on sale at the official Turkish sales stand in the fairground's Forum."

These works included three books published by an Istanbul publisher "speculating on the Jewish origins of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Abdullah Gül, and the founder of their AKP party, Bulent Arinç;" books claiming Jewish control over US President George W. Bush, Kurdistan and Turkey; a book comparing Bush to Hitler and more.

The Wiesenthal Center found a repeat of previous years when "texts expressing hostility to Jews" were seen in the Egyptian, Palestinian and Iranian exhibits. The Palestinian exhibit included books advocating "the inculcation of a culture of death on the Children's Literature displays."

From Iran were the children's books The Tattoos on My Daddy; Hassani, Where Are You Going?; and The Birthday Party of Angel of Death, all of which "glorify war and encourage martyrdom," from the publisher Shabaviz in Teheran.

Ramallah-based Tamer Institute for Community Education presented children's books such as Rasha's Window and The Airplane, which according to the Center "extol violence and propagandize the 'Naqba' and 'Intifada' in the name of education."

According to Samuels, "the above-mentioned publishers are in violation of their contractual obligations to the Frankfurt Book Fair - among them are chronic annual recidivists."

The report calls on the book fair "to promptly confiscate these offensive texts and to blacklist the respective exhibitors from participation in the 60th Fair in 2009."