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December 17, 2015 1

International Book Fair In Saudi Arabia Features Anti-Semitic Titles

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Adver­tise­ment for the Jed­dah Inter­na­tional Book Fair

The Jed­dah Inter­na­tional Book Fair in Saudi Ara­bia, which hosts more than 350 pub­lish­ing houses from 21 coun­tries, appears to fea­ture anti-Semitic books for sale.

The book fair, tak­ing place Decem­ber 12–22, includes on its “Book Lists” works such as My Awak­en­ing: The Jew­ish Influ­ence in the United States by the noto­ri­ous anti-Semite David Duke. Duke’s book, clas­si­fied as “Polit­i­cal Sci­ence” on the list from the Dar Alfiker Al Mua’sir pub­lish­ing house in Lebanon, is listed for SAR53 (US$14).

Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which served as a blue­print for the exter­mi­na­tion of six mil­lion Jews and mil­lions of oth­ers in the Holo­caust, is listed to be sold at the book fair for SAR45 (US$12). Clas­si­fied as “His­tory,” Mein Kampf, is on the list from Ibn Al Nafees pub­lish­ing house in Egypt. A book titled Free Masons, The Jews and The Torahby Dr. Noman Al Sama­rayi, which pro­motes con­spir­a­to­r­ial the­o­ries about a Jew­ish role in dom­i­nat­ing the world, was listed for sale for SR8 (US$2).

The Jed­dah Gov­er­norate, the Saudi Min­istry of Cul­ture, and a num­ber of pri­vate sec­tor cor­po­ra­tions co-organized the book fair, which attracted more than 150,000visitors in its first three days accord­ing to the fair website.

Unfor­tu­nately, sell­ing anti-Semitic books at book fairs in the Mid­dle East is an ongo­ing prob­lem. For exam­ple, another book fair in the region, the Doha Inter­na­tional Book Fair in Qatar, which ended on Decem­ber 12, also included anti-Semitic titles, such as the Arabic-language anti-Semitic Jew­ish Ency­clo­pe­dia.

Fea­tur­ing anti-Semitic titles in the right con­text may at times serve to expose their vicious nature. How­ever, it is clear that in the case of the Jed­dah Book Fair and sev­eral other book fairs in the region, such books are dis­played to read­ers who may not be aware of the big­oted agenda behind such books. Includ­ing edi­to­r­ial lan­guage or con­tex­tu­al­iz­ing the books appro­pri­ately as hate­ful mate­r­ial is extremely important.

Over the past few years, ADL has doc­u­mented the avail­abil­ity of sim­i­lar prob­lem­atic books at sev­eral book fairs in the region. Below are few examples:

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December 17, 2013 2

Qatari Book Fair Highlighting UK Partnership Marred By Anti-Semitism

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British and Qatari offi­cials tour book fair

The Doha Inter­na­tional Book Fair, held in Qatar on Decem­ber 4–14 and billed as part of “Qatar-UK 2013” — a year of “events to cel­e­brate and develop the part­ner­ship between Qatar and the United King­dom” — fea­tured many anti-Semitic books from sev­eral dif­fer­ent pub­lish­ers and avail­able from mul­ti­ple book sellers. 

A state­ment from the Qatari Min­is­ter of Cul­ture on the fair’s web­site noted that the UK was selected as the “guest of honor.” The fair’s web­site also included a photo of the British Min­is­ter of Cul­ture with his Qatari coun­ter­part vis­it­ing the event.

The anti-Semitic Arabic-language books were avail­able at the fair, accord­ing to the web­site, which included a floor index of where vis­i­tors could phys­i­cally pur­chase the book.

For exam­ple, sev­eral pub­lish­ers from Syria, Egypt, Jor­dan and Lebanon offered dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitic forgery The Pro­to­cols of the Learned Elders of Zion and sold them at var­i­ous prices. Another anti-Semitic book titled, The Secrets of the Tal­mud, Expos­ing the Jew­ish Plot to Con­trol the World, was sold for 75.00 Qatari Rials (about 20 US$).

Books pro­mot­ing Hitler, Holo­caust denial and anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries were on dis­play in var­i­ous sec­tions (e.g., The Facts About the Zionist-Nazi Secrete Rela­tions).

Accord­ing to Qatari media, the British Embassy in Doha and the British Cul­tural Coun­cil helped orga­nize British par­tic­i­pa­tion in the fair. The UK helped orga­nize “work­shops for fam­i­lies, chil­dren and book enthu­si­asts,” accord­ing to the fair website.

The sale of anti-Semitic books is counter to the fair’s mis­sion, as stated on its web­site, of “rais­ing the cul­tural and intel­lec­tual level of the soci­ety.” It also under­mines the larger aim of “Qatar-UK 2013,” which seeks to “increase engage­ment between the peo­ple of both coun­tries in the spirit of inno­va­tion, open­ness and learning.”

Just last month, the Shar­jah Inter­na­tional Book Fair (SIBF) in the United Arab Emi­rates, which report­edly attracted 1 mil­lion vis­i­tors from across the region, fea­tured sev­eral infa­mous anti-Semitic books as well.

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