Hezbollah snubs Arabic version of Anne Frank's diary

(Ha'aretz) An international organization fighting against Holocaust denial condemned on Wednesday a campaign of intimidation by the militant Hezbollah group over the distribution of Anne Frank's diary in Lebanon.

The world-famous book was recently translated into Arabic and Farsi by the Paris-based Aladdin Project, which aims to spread awareness of the Holocaust and counter racism and intolerance.

The Lebanese militant group raised a fuss over the diary, the second campaign recently by Hezbollah against books it deems offensive.
The Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar TV last week called on Lebanese judicial authorities to prosecute those responsible for the distribution of the book here, blasting its theatrical and dramatic narration in an emotional way.

Naim al-Qalaani from Hezbollah's Committee for the Boycott of Zionist Goods in Lebanon told the TV the book's distribution was a flagrant violation and a move toward normalization with Lebanon's archenemy, Israel.

The diary of Anne Frank has been sold in Lebanon for years, both in English and in earlier translations into Arabic, and it was not clear why Hezbollah's TV chose to highlight its existence in the country now.

Al-Manar officials were not available for comment on Wednesday.

The Aladdin Project said in a statement it condemns this campaign of vilification and intimidation by Hezbollah's TV.

The Project is an initiative of the Paris-based Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (Holocaust) which aims to spread awareness of the genocide among Muslims. It organizes conferences and has translated key Holocaust writings.

Al-Manar launched a similar campaign against a school textbook two weeks ago, when it forced a leading Lebanese school to remove pages from a history book that described Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Hezbollah, which has fought Israel for more than two decades, is active in the country's politics and holds one seat in the Cabinet and 11 in the 128-member parliament.

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