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US Must Condemn Anti-Semitism at Doha International Book Fair

US Must Condemn Anti-Semitism at Doha International Book Fair
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Friday, 14 December 2018 01:05 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The International Book Fair in Doha, Qatar, is famous for its sheer size. Book dealers, merchants and publishers come from all over the world come to scout new books and products.

The first fair was held in Doha in 1972 and continued as an on-again, off-again, event for a few years. In 2002 it was decided to hold the International Book Fair, dedicated to promoting the book industry, every other year.

This year the Book Fair took place between November 29 and Dec 8. Over 31 countries participated. 473 publishing houses featured over 100,000 titles. The United States was represented. On the surface, this year's Book Fair seemed much like all previous fairs held in Doha. Until, that is, participants began to scrutinize the titles on display.

Nestled among the books were copies of "The Lies Jews Spread" and "The Myth of Nazi Gas Chambers" and "Talmud of Secrets: Exposing The Jewish Schemes to Control the World." These works were not hidden in drawers and available only to those who sought them out, they were nonchalantly nestled among all the other works at the Fair. Also featured were books denying any Jewish link to Israel and to the Temple Mount. Those books are entitled "The History of the Al-Aqsa Mosque" and "The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Purported Temple."

It did not stop there.

Old, evil books like Henry Ford's "International Jew" which draws heavily on the infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" — the most virulent of all anti-Semitic works in modern times — were also present at the Book Fair in Doha.

The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has asked the United States to pressure the Qataris to remove anti-Semitic publications from the shelves of the Fair. Included on their list is David Duke's book written in Arabic. Duke, the former International head of the KKK, has run as the KKK candidate for President of the United States on more than one occasion.

On their website, the ADL is demanding that the United States take action to prevent the unacceptable spread of anti-Semitism.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, released a statement saying: “Once again, this high-profile, government-sponsored ‎book fair is being used to promote blatantly anti-‎Semitic books that deny the Holocaust, and accuse ‎Jews of controlling the world and trying to ‎undermine Islam. We call on the U.S. embassy to make clear to ‎Qatar’s government that this hate is unacceptable.”

The ADL has also sent an official letter to the U.S. Embassy in Qatar asking that the United States apply diplomatic pressure on their “contacts with the book fair’s ‎governmental organizer — 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 U.S. Embassy.”

The International Book Fair in Doha is both sponsored and organized by the Qatari government. Nevertheless, there should be a way to pressure the Qataris to clean up their act and clear out the anti-Semitic.

Over the past year Qatar has been trying to resuscitate its reputation with the West. To that end they have invited a long list of notable American Jewish leaders and personalities on official visits to their country with the specific intent of illustrating to the world that they are not anti-Semitic.

And then they pull this stunt.

Qatar is being pulled in different, and very opposite, directions. As urgently as they are courting the West, that's how diligently they are courting influence in the Arab and Muslim world — especially Iran. As monetary support of Hamas has dried up, Qatar has stepped up to keep the coffers of Gaza's terrorists full.

The alliance between Qatar and Iran has created a huge rift in the Sunni Arab world. Saudi Arabia is taking the lead in a boycott of Qatar. Egypt and most of the Gulf States, including Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, have joined the boycott. Together they are expressing their condemnation and rejection of Qatar.

Qatar is feeling the sting. Even Al Jazeera, the Qatari television network which once found a home in the United States, has become more and more radical over the past year. Now they regularly host vitriolic preachers and lash out at those who disagree with the direction their country is taking.

Gutenberg's printing press changed the world far beyond anything we know — even the internet. The printed word has enormous power, a power that e-books do not even come close to. Historically, we have always respected the written word and the publishing world. There will always be haters even among publishers, book buyers and book sellers. There will always be bigots and anti-Semites and those who wish to destroy others. And their sentiments will find their way into the world of literature. But the United States should not stand idly by and, by so doing, become complicit in propagating those despicable ideas.

The United States must take a stand and speak up about the 2018 International Book Fair in Doha. Our free society must pull back all support for this Book Fair and for all other institutions that do not reject these hateful ideas.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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The International Book Fair in Doha, Qatar is famous for its sheer size. Book dealers, merchants and publishers come from all over the world come to scout new books and products.
doha, book fair, qatar
922
2018-05-14
Friday, 14 December 2018 01:05 PM
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