Major Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday lamented US participation and support of the 19th annual Muscat International Book Fair (MIBF), a literary event which is rife with anti-Semitic texts.
Shimon Samuels, the Center’s director for International Relations, sent a letter to the United States Ambassador to Muscat, Greta Holtz, urging the US Embassy in Oman to condemn the Fair, which is open to the public until March 7. He characterized the MIBF as a “hothouse of antisemitic hate” and asked the Embassy to withdraw its participation and “investigate those in the embassy responsible for this offensive embarrassment.”
“Oman is ostensibly a Western ally, threatened by Iranian mayhem and nuclear intentions. Yet its monarchy incomprehensibly permits on its soil a literary cesspool that can only encourage the most extreme of Islamic jihadists,” Samuels wrote.
He expressed outrage “at the volume of antisemitic texts on bookshelves of the current Muscat Fair and shock that the US Embassy’s participation could be presented as, ‘to support mutual understanding and exchange,'” quoting a statement released by the Embassy in Muscat. The embassy also said it is “honored to have participated in the fair every year since it was founded 18 years ago and looks forward to many more.”
Samuel’s letter included a “tip of the iceberg section” where he listed 38 antisemitic books featured at the MIBF, including titles such as Secrets of the Racist Jews, Get Ready to Fight the Jews, The Truth in the Secret Relations Between Zionism and Nazism and Adolf Hitler’s notorious memoir Mein Kampf. Samuels said “the gory intent to foment anti-Jewish violence is visually self-explanatory at a time of surging antisemitic terrorism.”
Among the books featured at the Fair are those that attack Jewish religious texts, such as The Torah – The Arch-Enemy of the Semite, while others promote anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, like Who is Behind the September Events and the two part series The Great Conspiracy to Control the World. Among the other books at the fair are American literary classics and works on US culture, history, society, politics, business, education, and entrepreneurship, according to a statement released by the Embassy.