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.”?