Egypt Library Removes Anti-Semitic Tract (The Guardian
Saturday December 6, 2003 10:01 PM
By NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD
Associated Press Writer
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - The Alexandria Library has withdrawn the first Arabic translation of the ``Protocols of the Elders of Zion'' from an exhibit after U.N. cultural officials questioned the display of the 19th century anti-Semitic tract.
In a statement faxed to The Associated Press on Saturday, library director Ismail Serageldin denied allegations that the book was displayed next to the Jewish holy book, the Torah.
Youssef Ziedan, who as director of the library manuscript center made the decision to display the book, noted the exhibition including the book was only open to researchers doing postgraduate studies.
``My professional view is that it is a silly book,'' he said. ``Its only significance is that it is the first Arabic edition of the book that has influenced the Arab mentality to a great extent.''
Given his Al-Usbu' interview, this sounds like furious backpedaling to me, but it will probably be let go.
I don't, incidentally, have any trouble with the idea of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being included in a Judaica exhibition, as long as it is clearly labeled as a notorious forgery and its real origins are explained. In that sense it is a work of historical importance (for the history of anti-Semitism) and education about its true nature would be useful.
Score another one for MEMRI.