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Frankfurt fair sells anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitic texts are on sale at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said.

The group is urging the fair to confiscate the books and ban the exhibitors from next year’s event, but there has been no response as yet from the fair directors.

In a letter to  book fair director Jürgen Boos, Shimon Samuels, director for international relations for the Wiesenthal Center, reported that several books on display in the stands of Turkey, Egypt, Palestine and Iran are "in violation of their contractual obligations to the Frankfurt Book Fair – among them are chronic annual recidivists."

The center "urges you to promptly confiscate these offensive texts and to blacklist the respective exhibitors from participation in the 60th Fair in 2009," the letter said.

Turkey is the special guest at this year’s fair. The book fair was initiated 59 years ago. For the last several years, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic texts – including translations of volumes banned in Germany, such as the notorious hoax text "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" – have been found at the fair, particularly at the stands of some Iranian vendors.

Among the books found this week on the exhibit shelves of Turkish publishers and on sale at the official Turkish sales stand were: three volumes speculating on the Jewish origins of Turkish politicians, books alleging Jewish control of President Bush and of Kurdistan, a volume comparing Bush to Hitler and a book  alleging Israeli control of Turkey.

In his letter to Boos, Samuels noted that the Wiesenthal Center "has long championed the integration of Turkey into Europe" and has "regularly protested whenever Turks were victims of racism in Europe. We expect no less from Ankara and urge the Turkish government to curb the dissemination of antisemitism, consonant with its commitments as a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe and its aspirations to membership in the European Union."

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