“Of the six Arab Book Fairs we annually monitor, antisemitic texts are sadly the most numerous in Riyadh."

"We urge you to adopt the necessary measures to vet participating publishers for all forms of hate, on the same level as offences to Islam... We suggest that a paragraph be included in the contract signed by the stands with the Fair, prohibiting all incitement to hatred and violence.”

"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.”

Paris, 31 March 2019

In a letter to the Saudi Arabian Minister of Information and Media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabbana, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, protested the volume of anti-Jewish hate at this year’s Riyadh Book Fair.

Samuels addressed Minister Al-Shabbana as the Fair Organizer, noting, “We are well aware that, in view of Iranian aggressive intent, Saudi Arabia is changing its operational policy toward Israel and the Jewish people.”

He added, “This welcome rapprochement, based on mutual interests, is however impugned by continued incitement to hate among the broader Saudi public, as in the case of displays on the stands of the Book Fair.”

The letter stated that, “While the Kingdom vets all displays for any texts that may offend Islam, the shelves are replete with antisemitic conspiracies, Holocaust denial and slandering of the Jewish State.”

“Below is a small selection of this hatemongering based on our monitoring:

31 March 2019

1. Middle East Zionism, by Ina’am Ra’ad, Al Matbuat Publishing and Distribution, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2. The Biblical Aspect of Israeli Terrorism, by Wajdi Najib al Masri, publisher unknown

3. The Freemasons - a State within a State, by Henry Coston (notorious French Nazi collaborator and antisemite), Al Matbuat Publishing and Distribution, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

4. The Zionist Octopus and the US Administration, by Ali Wahab, Al Matbuat Publishing and Distribution, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

5. Zionist Terrorism and the Arab Peace - between Martyrdom and Extermination, by Rana abu Zaher al Rifa’ee and Muhammad Qubaisi, publisher: The Modern al Rahab Institution

6. The Holocaust Industry, widely considered offensive to Holocaust memory, by Norman Finkelstein, publisher: Dar al Adab, Beirut, Lebanon

7. Zionism and Slanders, by Ahmad Sosa, publisher unknown

8. The Jewish Question: The Judeo-Christian Struggle from 576 to 1900 A.D., by Ghassan Samih al-Zein, publisher: Birsan, Turkey

9. Do the Jews have a Religious and Historical Right in Palestine?, by Youssef Ayub Hadad, publisher: Birsan, Turkey

10. Zionism, Turkism and the Karabakh Conflict, author unknown, publisher: Birsan, Turkey

11. Assassination of History - a Response from Netanyahu’s “Place under the Sun”, by Hamdan Hamdan, publisher: Birsan, Turkey

12. The Israelites between their Great Upheaval and their Recent Collapse, by Muawiya Shafiq, publisher unknown

13. The Myths of Jewish Belief, False Religion, Pagan Belief, Conditional Jurisprudence and Satanic Ideology, by Maher Hanun, Al-Ma’amun Publishing House, Baghdad, Iraq14. Mein Kampfeditions, illustrating how Hitler continues to hold a fascination for the Arab world.

14. Mein Kampf editions, illustrating how Hitler continues to hold a fascination for the Arab world

15. The Israelites and Falsification of the Bible, by Naf’I Ghaleb Abdul Rahim, Al Waraq Publishing House, Damascus, Syria

16. Jewish Role from Artaxerxes to Balfour, by Fahd Hijazi, publisher: Al-Farabi, Beirut, Lebanon 

Samuels advised the Minister that, “of the six Arab Book Fairs we annually monitor, antisemitic texts are sadly the most numerous in Riyadh", urging him “to adopt the necessary measures to vet participating publishers for all forms of hate, on the same level as offences to Islam... We suggest that a paragraph be included in the contract signed by the stands with the Fair, prohibiting all incitement to hatred and violence.”

The Centre offered “to assist Riyadh in identifying violations of such contractual obligations, just as we do with the Frankfurt Book Fair and Embassies represented in each Fair.”

“Indeed, our findings in Riyadh are shared with the Frankfurt Fair authorities and the United States Embassy to take appropriate steps regarding the 2020 Fair,” concluded Samuels.