Iranian Nazi-Style Antisemitism
2007-10-01 01:35:57 GMT
Monday, October 24. 2005
The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Posted by Matthias Küntzel
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
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
Translated from the German by Transatlantic Intelligencer
POSTED at 12:01 PM
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