ASSOCIATION FOR WORLD EDUCATION
URGENT APPEAL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DAY (10 DECEMBER 2003)
To UN Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr Bertrand Ramcharan
Islamist and Arab Judeophobia as a Growing Phenomenon of a revived Culture of Hate: The Continuing Use of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Medieval Blood Libel
On the 55th anniversary of the General Assembly”s adoption of the UDHR, we wish to express to you and to all your colleagues in UN bodies our deep dismay and grave concern over the continuous use of a genocidal century-old forgery, The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, as well as the medieval “˜blood libel” accusating Jews of killing Christian children each year to mix their blood in the Passover Matzah. Two very recent examples highlight this revived culture of hate, which is regularly propagated in Arab/Muslim lands — uncondemned.
The new Alexandria Library was recently renovated with the help of the governments of Egypt and Italy and the collaboration of UNESCO — and in memory of the great Hellenistic Library of antiquity that had been a unique foundation of world knowledge and understanding. Thus, it was with consternation and sadness that we learned of the first exhibition in its manuscript museum that purported to display the sacred texts of the three monotheistic religions, while including an Arabic translation of The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, exhibited alongside the Hebrew Bible or Torah [sic] in the display case concerning Judaism. As director Dr Yusef Ziedan has explained: “it is only natural to place the book [The Protocols] in the framework of an exhibit of Torah [scrolls]”, as “it has become one of the sacred [tenets] of the Jews, next to their first constitution.” (Al-Usbu , Egypt, 17 Nov. 2003).
This Arabic translation by Muhammad Khalifa Al-Tunsi (from an English version of The Protocols) was first published in 1951 in Egypt, and often reprinted (1st Arabic edition from the French forgery: 1925/1927, Cairo).
In Syria, and elsewhere, there has been a continued rehash of the 1840 Damascus “˜Blood Libel” accusation, particular by Defence Minister Mustafa Tlass in his 1983 book, The Matzah of Zion, constantly reprinted since as
a Tlass-editions best-seller in several languages, and confirmed by him again in 2003. This, even after the grisly scandal at the Commission on Human Rights in 1991 when Syria’s delegate brandished an illustrated and gory Arabic edition of The Matzah of Zion — to prove “the historical reality of Zionist racism.” General Tlass actually wrote in the preface to his book: “The Jew can kill you and take your blood in order to make his Zionist bread.”
During last month’s Ramadan, Hizbollah’s satellite TV channel Al-Manar “” viewed worldwide “” broadcast “Al-Shatat” (“Diaspora”), a 30-part Judeophobic/antisemitic “Syrian TV series recording the criminal history of Zionism” (as described in the Syria Times, Damascus, 11 Nov. 2003). Episode 20 depicts a rabbi teaching Jews of the perennial, spiritual need to cut a Christian child’s throat, mix in his blood and “taste the holy Passover matzo.”
Fortunately, a protest from UNESCO”s Director–General Koichiro Matsuura early last week led to the withdrawal of The Protocols from the Alexandria Library display on 6 December (IHT of 8 Dec. 2003), a welcome example of the power of enlightened protest. We await a protest against this Syrian “˜blood libel”.
On 17 June 2003, at a symposium in Vienna on “Antisemitism,” you stated: “Denial is not an option. Many people of course would like to deny the reality of anti-Semitism.” Your message then was clear: “So when you reflect on anti-Semitism as a continuing concern, I would invite you to consider programmes of educational activities that can help deal with this phenomenon.” In your posted “˜Human Rights Day Message”, dated 5 Dec. 2003, you “plead for stronger messages of protection, nationally, regionally and internationally,” asking: “what more can be done to strengthen human rights protection “¦ Today I plead for stronger human rights protection.”
Therefore, we solemnly call upon you as Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights “” and to the whole Human Rights community “” to speak out and redouble UN efforts for the elimination of all hate-generating, especially genocidal, forgeries on websites and in the media, and to engage in wide educational programmes which will develop understanding and mutual respect among peoples and between religious communities.
David G. Littman
DOCUMENTATION: MEMRI — SPECIAL DISPATCH SERIES NÂ° 619 (3 Dec. 2003) NÂ° 623 (8 Dec. 2003) “˜URGENT APPEAL”: HUMAN RIGHTS DAY (10 DECEMBER 2002) TO UNHCHR SERGIO VIEIRA DE MELLO FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR WORLD EDUCATION IN 2002 (E/CN. 4/2003/NGO/4)
Pierre-AndrÃ© Taguieff, Les Protocols des Sages de Sion: Faux et Usages d”un Faux (pp. 378- 80)