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Iran distributes racist books at German book fair
The Transatlantic Intelligencer (www.trans-int.com) reports that Iran has distributed racist and intolerant literature at a book fair in Frankfurt, Germany:
Iran oficially prints and
distributes racist and intolerant books
[...] Now, it is well known that the Iranian leadership is dedicated to wiping out the existence of a state member of the United Nations, namely Israel. And it is also well known that to this end, Tehran exports a crude anti-Semitism throughout the world.
I attended the Frankfurt book fair back in 1996. At the time I was working for an Israeli company and together with another couple of employees we prepared some demonstrations of our products. I was fairly junior at the time, but since I speak English, French, Portuguese and Hebrew fluently and I had the necessary technical skills to setup our demo environment, I was chosen for the trip.
It's a huge book fair, where literally hundreds of thousands of people will walk from booth to booth in one day. Iran could easily spread its message of hate, intolerance and fanatical Islamic Supremacism among many of the fair's visitors.
Update: In a related story, the president of Iran has called for the destruction of Israel, click here for more details.
I copy the full story and another report below; found it on the excellent LGF. Read it all there are a lot more details and pictures of how Iran was able to openly distribute such intolerance and hate at the 2005 Frankfurt, Germany, book fair.
The "Arab World" was guest of honor at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair and the anti-Semitic literature on display - not to mention the participation of a notorious Holocaust denier at the opening ceremonies - caused a bit of controversy. But what a difference a year makes. Matthias Küntzel visited this year's edition of the fair and found that it was the Islamic Republic of Iran that had the most impressive offering of anti-Semitic classics on display. - JR
In fact the international publishers in Hall 5 at the Frankfurt Book Fair were not on my program. Having a few minutes before my train was to leave, however, I dropped by and was astonished to see the extent to which Iran was represented in the hall. The Iranian stands seemed to take up as much space as those of all the countries of the Arab League together.
Now, it is well known that the Iranian leadership is dedicated to wiping out the existence of a state member of the United Nations, namely Israel. And it is also well known that to this end, Tehran exports a crude anti-Semitism throughout the world.
Nonetheless, I was astonished how openly this occurred at the Book Fair.
I am not talking about the some hundreds of meters of shelves of Iranian literature that were set up in Hall 5. I am talking about the brochures that Iran presented here in English - not in order to promote the country's own literature, but rather to disseminate anti-Semitism of European and American provenance.
Interesting Reading from the Frankfurt Book Fair
There was, for instance, under the heading "Jewish Conspiracy", the text that influenced Hitler's anti-Semitism like no other work: The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", here in an edition published by the "Islamic Propagation Organization" of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The first pages of the brochure display a map of what is described as "Greater Israel": an area demarcated in the form of a snake composed of triangles and including large parts of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, as well as part of Turkey and the northern half of Saudi Arabia. Each single triangle, it is explained, symbolizes the "Freemasonry Eye", a supposed "symbol of Judaism". On the next pages, the "International Relations Department" of Iran explains the purpose of the publication: "to expose the real visage of this satanic enemy" in order to "awaken the Moslems to this great danger". Zionism, the authors continue, is a "deadly, cancerous tumor" that must be completely eliminated. A citation from the Ayatollah Khomeini is given to support the killing of Israelis. There then follows a collection of citations, such as "The United Nations is Zionism. It is the Super Government mentioned many times in the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion promulgated between 1897 and 1905." After a call to "Jehad against this menace", the text of the anti-Semitic tract follows.
A second notorious classic of anti-Semitic literature was also available. A 200-page abridgment of Henry Ford's The International Jew:The World's Foremost Problem was presented and sold in Hall 5 of the Frankfurt Book Fair "in the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful". The publisher of the edition is the "Department of Translation and Publication, Islamic Culture and Relations Organization" of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the preface, the editor writes:
The grip of the Jewish parasitic influence has been growing stronger and stronger ever since [Henry Ford's time]. The Jewish danger - now called Zionism - is not only threatening one nation. As a matter of fact, it is directed against the entire humanity.
There then follows Henry Ford's 1921 screed in a version that was first disseminated in 1970 in Pakistan by the World Muslim Congress. The numerous footnotes added to the text by the Iranian publisher are particularly interesting. We find, for instance, talk of an "expansion of power" of the Jews during the Second World War (p. 39) and of German "resistance" against this "Jewish control" (p. 52). Salman Rushdie is presented as an example of the insidiousness of Jewish calumny. It will be recalled that in 1989 the Iranian head of state Khomeini called on Muslims throughout the world to kill the Indian author, since he was supposed to have insulted Islam in his book The Satanic Verses. An award of 3 million dollars was offered. In 1998, Iranian authorities explained that the Iranian state would not undertake any steps to kill Rushdie. But the Fatwa remained in effect and thus too Khomeini's appeal to the world's Muslims.
A third anti-Semitic screed caught my eye during my quick tour of Hall 5 thanks to its garish cover: a red Star of David superimposed on a gray death's head and a yellow map of the world. It bore the title "Tale of the 'Chosen People' and the Legend of 'Historical Right'". The volume is written by one Mohammed Taqi Taqipour. The publisher is again the Iranian state. In his preface, the author shows himself to be confident of the victory of his cause: in light of the "global Islamic movement" Israel will soon disappear from the map.
Could it really be the case that nobody else caught sight of these brochures, which could hardly be missed on even just a cursory visit to the Book Fair? What about the employees of the Deutsche Welle or of the German Foreign Office, for instance, who also had stands in Hall 5? They were just a few steps from the Iranian exhibitors. At the Book fair, the Deutsche Welle offered itself as a "bridge to the Islamic World". The Foreign Office distributed its "Dialogue with the Islamic World" pamphlet, in which one can read: "Peace-building, too, may require dialogue with extremists".
Did anybody speak with the Iranian exhibitors about their presentation of this Nazi-style anti-Semitism? Or did one - yet again - keep both eyes tightly shut? What does the director of the Book Fair, Jürgen Boos, have to say about the fact that an exhibitor at his fair was disseminating English-language propaganda calling for the elimination of Israel? What consequences will Herr Boos, as well as the German public, draw from this experience with respect to the participation of Iran at the Book Fair in 2006?
Translated from the German by Transatlantic Intelligencer
ANTI-SEMITIC MATERIAL FEATURED IN THE IRAN PAVILION OF THIS YEAR'S FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR
The official Iranian pavilion at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair prominently featured virulently anti-Semitic literature, in violation of German law.
(Both of these sites are in German; they can be translated into English using either of these Web-based free translation services: IMTranslator, or Free Translation. At either site, paste in the URL of the articles linked to above, then select "German to English." A direct link link to Google's automated translation of the article is here, but the quality of the translation is very poor.)
The translation pages do not always work consistently, so I have pasted Free Translation's rendition of Küntzel's report onto this page to make it permanently accessible.
UPDATE: The Transatlantic Intelligencer blog has just posted an excellent English translation of Küntzel's report; it's much better than the computer versions. [Note from FactsOfIsrael.com: the english transaction is the article above].
Some of the books on sale at the Iranian pavilion at the 2005 Frankfurt Book Fair: The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, The International Jew, and Tale of the "Chosen People." (Photo by Matthias Küntzel)
With 280,000 attendees this year, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's most important (and by far the largest) publishing industry event, with exhibitors, publishers, buyers, agents and authors from over 100 countries arriving every year to make the business deals that keep the book industry humming.
Inside the Iran pavilion at 2005's Frankfurt Book Fair. Somewhere
among those books are the anti-Semitic volumes shown above.
At the time of this writing (Monday, October 24), the media has not yet discovered the story: the only evidence of it is in a blog entry from UK blogger Colin Meade, who provides rough translations of portions of Küntzel's German text, and an article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Crowds at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair.
For reasons that are unclear, no action was taken against the Iranian pavilion by the German authorities or the Fair organizers, even though the illegal material was in plain view.
And it's not as though the company that puts on the Fair ignored the controversy because it tries to steer clear of politics: quite the opposite, in fact. On Sunday, Fair director Juergen Boos told AP, "For 70 years now, the Frankfurt Book Fair has considered itself a platform for political discourse and has been intensively used as such," as he awarded the Fair's 2005 Peace Prize to a Muslim author.
This is not the first time anti-Semitic material has been discovered at the Frankfurt Book Fair. A similar incident happened at the 2004 fair when publishers from several Middle Eastern countries were found to be selling intensely anti-Semitic material.
But what do the Iranians have to say?
Exterior of the large Iran Pavilion at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iran's official government propaganda department, unambiguously declared that the Iranian authorities selected all the material that was displayed at the pavilion: "Meanwhile Barazesh pointed out the good quality of Iranian books which followed an extensive and strict selection process by several literary expert working groups prior to the Frankfurt Book Fair." That IRNA press release also describes how the publishers made contacts with Iranians living in Europe: "He added Iranian publishers at the book exhibit had also been successful in establishing cultural links with Iranian expatriates, especially the third generation of Iranian immigrants, in not only Germany but also throughout Europe."
In fact it seems the Iran pavilion was heavily attended throughout the Fair, according to a press release from another Iranian governmental department, the "Cultural Heritage News Agency": "There were also some meetings with some of the publishers of children's book from Islamic countries such as Indonesia, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria. Iranologists welcomed Chinese publishers, and some foreign reporters and deputies and authorities of Germany's Islamic Centers visited Iran's pavilion. Another accomplishment for Iran during the Fair has been signing a contract for introduction of Iran's carpet design with German publishers through the publication of a joint book."
Could it be possible that the Germans simply never noticed what was going on at the Iran pavilion? Doubtful. Aside from the meeting that led to the carpet design book mentioned above, IRNS reports that one of Germany's biggest publishers made a deal at the Frankfurt Book Fair to publish a major new translation of the Quran: "A new translation of the Holy Quran is one of the major future projects of the German Suhrkamp Publishing House, a company spokesman told the press on the sidelines of the 57th Frankfurt Book Fair. The project is to begin in fall 2007 and an advisory board of renowned scientists will work on the project for such new Quran translation, according to Suhrkamp spokesperson Thomas Sparr. Suhrkamp is one of the biggest publishing houses in Germany."
One would think that the Germans would distance themselves from Iran, considering its government-sanctioned anti-Semitism and current drive to build nuclear weapons. But no. Instead, according to another article from an official Iranian site, Germans are having a veritable love-fest with Iran: "'With the year halfway through, Germans have made up the largest number of tourists arriving in Iran so far,' explained director of Iran's Tourleaders' Association, Ibrahim Pourfaraj."
Not only did the German delegation at the Fair not confront the Iranians, but, according to Matthias Küntzel, they handed out pamphlets encouraging better contacts between Germany and the Islamic world.
Is Germany, by blindly adhering to a universal tolerance of all views, unwittingly opening itself up again to a new wave of anti-Semitism -- the very thing that their ultra-tolerant society was created to ensure would never happen again?
If you would like to send a letter of complaint concerning the anti-Semitic material displayed and sold by Iran at the 2005 Frankfurt Book Fair, send one to the main offices of the Frankfurt Book Fair or to Anne Qureshi, the Fair's public relations officer.
If you'd rather send a snail mail letter or a fax, here is the contact info for the Iranian Embassy in Frankfurt:
Generalkonsulat der islamischen Republik Iran Raimundstrasse 90 60320 Frankfurt am Main Germany Fax: +49 69 56 000 713
And here is the contact info for the Frankfurt Book Fair offices:
Ausstellungs- und Messe GmbH Frankfurter Buchmesse Reineckstr. 3 60313 Frankfurt am Main Germany Fax: +49 (0) 69 2102-227 or -277
Cover of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion at the Iran Pavilion.
Copyright notices inside various anti-Semitic tracts
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Bonjour,je trouve cela scandaleux de la part d un gouvernement quelqui soit de parler comme cela de haine envers un autre peuple et d en faire une guerre de religion ,en Europe il veulent nous impser leur islam c est eux qui veulent la suprematie de leurs religion et n on aucune tolerence vis avis des autres religions ou bien est ce seulement une facade pour cacher quelque chose de plus profond comme une faillite de leur economie?car le petrole deviendras bientot du sable ou un mirage.ceci est mon opinion et je vous salue.merci d avoir pu m exprimer.
Posted by: MAGEN WINAND at October 29, 2005 02:40 PM
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