November 9, 2009
Hezbollah pressures school into pulling Anne Frank
Hezbollah pressured a private school in Beirut to drop from its curriculum a textbook containing excerpts of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
The English-language school, which asked not to be identified, caved to pressure after Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station ran a segment railing against the school for including the posthumously published Holocaust memoir in its lessons, the French news agency AFP reported.
Hezbollah, which Israel and the United States consider a terrorist group, called the diary’s inclusion part of “an open arena for the Zionist invasion of education.”
Attorney Naim Kalaani, a member of a committee to ban Zionist products, told Al-Manar the use of the book in a school constituted a violation of Lebanon’s penal code and “tantamount to a step toward normalization” in ties with Israel. Hezbollah could not be reached by the station for comment.
The Paris-based organization Aladdin’s Project, which fights Holocaust denial and was first to translate Anne Frank’s diary into Arabic, issued a statement condemning Hezbollah’s “intimidation campaign.”
The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors denounced what it called a disgraceful act as a “twin blow against decency. It is a blatant expression of Holocaust denial, and an assault on one of the great works of modern literature and civilization.”
This marks the second time in a month Hezbollah has pressured a school into censoring information it dislikes. In October, International College, one of Lebanon’s most renowned private schools, agreed to put opaque stickers over pages of a textbook that named Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad as terrorist organizations.