UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louis Arbour reacts strongly to the use of “demonstrably false material” on Lebanese TV, following an “˜Appeal” by four NGOs.
Report by David G. Littman, Representative of the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union of Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) to the UN in Geneva:
Our November 2 “˜Urgent Appeal” (AWE, AWC, IHEU, WUPJ) requesting the UNHCHR Louise Arbour to condemn the criminal culture of hate on Lebanese TV Channel NBN, affiliated to Lebanese Parliament Speaker, was answered by the High Commissioner.
I am writing to you with reference to your letter of 2 November 2007 bringing to my attention the airing of a programme on the Lebanese TV Channel NBN presenting as fact “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.
I have written since to the Director of the Lebanese National Broadcasting Network raising my very serious concerns about the demonstrably false material in a way that could inflame feelings or incite hatred and violence, urging him to exercise leadership to provide factual and responsible programming.
I would like to thank you for bringing the matter to my attention.
High Commissioner for Human Rights
Our December 1 response to the High Commissioner reads as follows:
I am writing to you — and this letter is sent also on behalf of my colleagues, Mr. RenÃ© Wadlow and Mr. Roy Brown, and for the AWE, AWC, IHEU, WUPJ — to acknowledge and thank you for your welcome letter of 12 November, received after a fortnight’s absence.
We appreciate your immediate reaction to our appeal on the continuous use of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion and — as you so pertinently expressed it — “demonstrably false material in a way that could inflame feelings or incite hatred and violence.”
It is to be hoped that the Lebanese National Broadcasting Network will take note of your very serious concern. We would appreciate being informed should your appeal receive a positive response that will be implemented, thus diminishing this ongoing culture of hate. The same would apply to other media in the Middle East which regularly propagate similar forgeries.
The amount of racist and religious hatred that is being taught at schools and aired on TV and by the media in Middle East countries is surpassing that of the 1930s in Europe. To verify this, the OHCHR need only consult the translated documentation to be found on the websites of MEMRI, PMW, CMIP and others. We have referred to this material in our oral and written statements for the Commission and the Sub-Commission, and the Human Rights Council — and several of these texts were made available to UN Special Rapporteurs and your Office.
On the eve of the 59th Human Rights Day celebrations on 10 December at the United Nations, we hope that your initiative may inspire others to act in a manner that will change hearts and minds, thus preparing us all for a future of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.
David G. Littman
On 2 November we delivered to the Palais Wilson in Geneva an “˜Urgent Appeal” by the Association for World Education, the Association of World Citizens, the International Humanist and Ethical Union and the World Union for Progressive Judaism– for the High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion Asma Jahangir, and Special Rapporteur on Racism Doudou DiÃ¨ne. It was faxed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and mailed to the 173 State Members, inter-governmental organizations & delegates to the UN in Geneva — and circulated to the media at the Palais des Nations.
These 4 NGOs — with over seven million members — are of the opinion that it would be highly damaging for the reputation of the United Nations if there is no condemnation of such a criminal propagation of “Judeophobia/ Antisemitism” — especially in view of constant charges and condemnations of “Islamophobia” by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, Doudou DiÃ¨ne. Human Rights Day will be celebrated on December 10, 2007. Silence on this screening of an infamous forgery on a TV Channel affiliated to the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, who visited Geneva just before this reiterated propagation of a culture of hate, would speak volumes.
This “˜Urgent Appeal” to the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner to Condemn this Lebanese propagation of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion follows:
November 2, 2007
We wish to express our deep dismay at the growing culture of hate toward Jews and Judaism in the Arab world, and elsewhere.
On 22 October 2007, the Lebanese TV Channel NBN — closely associated with the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Beri — aired a report which presented as fact the century-old forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that was infamously used by Hitler and by others since — especially on Arab TV channels. The following is a concluding quote from the programme:
“In The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the end justifies the means, and when the forces of society are in a state of disarray, the power of the Jews is stronger than that of anyone else.”
— “I have a final question about what is written in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion:
“˜The Jews are entitled to treat the other peoples as animals, to corrupt them, to tear countries apart, to destroy the other nationalities, and to spread promiscuity and chaos.’ Some believe that the spreading of drugs is one of their means of taking control of non-Jewish peoples.”
— “I believe this is true, we must consider our responsibility — what we should do to overcome this plague, which is killing our society?”
Four years ago the new Alexandria Library was opened with the collaboration of UNESCO. The first exhibition in its manuscript museum purported to display the sacred texts of the three monotheistic religions. It included an Arabic translation of The Protocol of the Elders of Zion, exhibited alongside the Hebrew Bible in the section on Judaism. The Museum Director, Dr Yusef Ziedan, explained that: –¦it is only natural to place the book [The Protocols] in the framework of an exhibit of Torah [scrolls]–¦”it has become one of the sacred [tenets] of the Jews, next to their first constitution.” A protest from UNESCO”s Director–General Koichiro Matsuur led to its withdrawal from the Library a few days before the 55th UN Human Rights Day.
We are calling on you in your capacities as UN Secretary-General and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to speak out against this criminal use of fake documents and the promotion of hatred before the 59th Human Rights Day, and to react swiftly whenever any Member State of the United Nations, or national group such as Hamas, promotes hatred of the Jews, by using The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the 1840 “Damascus Affair” Blood Libel, or other forgeries.
RenÃ© V.L. Wadlow
David G. Littman
Roy W. Brown
NGO Representatives to the United Nations, Geneva (c/o Case Postale 205, 1196 Gland)
cc. Ms Asma Jahangir, UNSR on Freedom of Religion & Belief ; Mr Doudou DiÃ¨ne, UNSR on Racism