Following protests by Jewish organizations, a major Belgian bookstore stopped sales of a novel containing the “Protocols of
the Elders of Zion.”CEJI-a Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe and the Simon Wiesenthal Center had called on the Relay-Press Shop chain to stop carrying the book, a novelized version of the “Protocols.” CEJI also called on the Belgian
government to investigate the launch of the book, which partly blames the
Holocaust on the United States and implicates Western states in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The authors, Belgians Patrick Henderickx and Patrice De Bruyne, claim in the book that
they added the full text of the “Protocols,” “so that everyone can reach their own judgment.”
The “Protocols,” a 19th-century forgery, describes a supposed Jewish plot to take over the world. The basis for much subsequent anti-Semitism, its publication has been prohibited by many
countries under incitement laws.
CEJI called on the Belgian Center for Equal
Opportunities and Opposition to Racism to investigate and press
charges against the authors on the grounds of incitement to hatred. While the prohibition of books is seemingly impossible under
Belgian law, the authors of
hateful literature can be prosecuted.
“The Protocols have been linked to many anti-Semitic incidents, and as such have been the cause of much harm,” CEJI Director Robin Sclafani said. “The fact
that they resurface disguised as a novel is frightening. We hope the Belgian
state will make clear that this work, which is banned in neighboring
countries, is not welcome here either.”