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(photo credit: AP)
The new Director of the world-famous Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos, met last week with senior officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for International Human Rights to guarantee that all forms of anti-Semitic literature would be absent from the 2006 Fair.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center and Dr Shimon Samuels, Center Director for International Relations were angered that books such as, The Jewish Role in the 9/11 Destruction of the World Trade Center (Syria) and The End of Israel (Libya) had been so prominently displayed this year. This, despite the fact that Dr. Samuels had made an official complaint about similar Arab and Iranian literature after the 2004 Fair.
Samuels affirmed that, "Protests by the Wiesenthal Center to the previous Book Fair President that German anti-hate laws were openly being violated elicited the response that "we cannot tell whether German laws against incitement have been violated as the books are in Arabic."
Among other works displayed were: The World Jewish Conspiracy (Egypt), A Tribute to Hamas Leader Sheikh Yassin (Lebanon), Three Thousand Years of Jewish Iniquity (Egypt), and a CD ROM for teachers, The Divine Word of the Holy Koran: The Jewish State Will Die in 2001 (Egypt).
Boos conceded that certain publications had violated German anti-hate laws and that there now needed to be a change in the contractual obligations of the exhibitors to prevent the display of similar literature next year. Cooper was satisfied with this new revised attitude and concluded that, "We are convinced that the new leadership of the Book Fair understands the danger that such mainstreaming of anti-Jewish hate would have on Europe, the Middle East and beyond."