A handout picture released by the Qatari ministry of culture shows a man browsing through a book at the Doha International Book Fair in the Qatari capital on November 25, 2010.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO/HO)
Qatar's 46-year-old international book fair kicked off on November 29 with the theme, "Doha, A City of Knowledge and Conscience." the Anti-Defamation League
finds the theme a bit ironic.
In an open letter to William Grant, the US Chief of Misson and Chargé d’Affaires at the US embassy in Qatar, the ADL blasted the Doha International Book Fair for its inclusion of antisemitic texts.
These included books like, Lies Spread by the Jews, The Myth of the Nazi Gas Chambers, and Talmud of Secrets: Facts Exposing the Jewish Schemes to Control the World.
The fair will also promote David Duke’s seminal antisemitic text on Jewish influence in the US and Henry Ford’s The International Jew, which builds on the arguments laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
“Once again, this high-profile, government-sponsored book fair is being used to promote blatantly antisemitic books that deny the Holocaust and accuse Jews of controlling the world and trying to undermine Islam,” ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said. “We call on the US embassy to make clear to Qatar’s government that this hate is unacceptable.”
The event will take place from November 29 to December 8 and will see the participation of 30 countries, including the US embassy, and the exhibition of over 100,000 texts.
The book fair management described the event as “not just a market for book sales and trading, it is a powerful platform of promoting intercultural exchange, and dedicated human values, and community development.”
“The 28th edition of the Doha International Book Fair is being held in an extraordinary context.
Our beloved country Qatar is passing through the siege, making this cultural event a special influence for intellectuals who believe in the role of writers in raising social awareness and confronting the challenges of the stage,” said Qatar’s Minister of Culture and Sports, Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali.
“This course is intended to enhance the value of both books and reading in a society that is witnessing a smooth transition towards progress in the areas of cultural innovation and industry,” he added.
Greenblatt has called on the Qatari government to remove the hateful texts.
“I ask that you use your contacts with the book fair’s governmental organizers – and with the Qatari government more broadly – to ensure as soon as possible that this sort of hatred is no longer propagated at an event that boasts of the participation of the US Embassy,” Greenblatt wrote to Grant in his letter.
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