Jewish rights group decries sale of Nazi books at Saudi book fair

The Arabic translation of Hitler's Mein Kampf and other anti-Jewish books showed up at the annual Saudi international book fair, raising fears of indictment to violence form a Jewish group.

April 1, 2019 16:47
2 minute read.
Mein Kampf sells in Poland

Mein Kampf sells in Poland_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Those who attended the annual Riyadh International Book Fair in Saudi Arabia which ended last week could pick up a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in Arabic along with a host of books bordering on outright incitement such as The Zionist Octopus and the US Administration by Ali Wahab.

In response, a Jewish human right organization is calling on the fair to remove certain books it considers incitement to violence.

"We urge you to adopt the necessary measures to vet participating publishers for all forms of hate, on the same level as offenses to Islam," stated Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations at the the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organization based in the United States and named after Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. 

"We suggest that a paragraph be included in the contract signed by the stands with the Fair, prohibiting all incitement to hatred and violence," he suggested for next year's fair.
“Of the six Arab Book Fairs we annually monitor, antisemitic texts are sadly the most numerous in Riyadh," he stated in a letter to Saudi Arabian Minister of Information and Media Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabbana. "Our findings in Riyadh are shared with the Frankfurt Book Fair authorities and the United States Embassy to take appropriate steps regarding the 2020 Fair.”

Held every year in March, the ten-day book fair is under the supervision and organization of the Saudi Ministry of Information and includes over one million titles from Saudi Arabia and foreign countries from more than 500 publishing houses.

Along with such classes as Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, one can find books of overt antisemitic nature.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has listed several of the books which it fears could inspire judeophobic hate crimes around the world. These include both original Arabic works and antisemitic diatribes from other countries translated into Arabic.

Such titles include: The Biblical Aspect of Israeli Terrorism by Wajdi Najib al Masri, Do the Jews have a Religious and Historical Right in Palestine? by Youssef Ayub Hadad, The Myths of Jewish Belief, False Religion, Pagan Belief, Conditional Jurisprudence and Satanic Ideology, by Maher Hanun, Al-Ma’amun and Zionism and Slanders by Ahmad Sosa,

Also for sale were works by the French Nazi collaborator Henry Coston, and a Lebanese translation of The Holocaust Industry by American activist Norman Finkelstein.

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