NEW YORK (EJP)---The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) joined widespread calls Thursday on American technology giant Apple to ban a recently-developed Arabic language app of the notorious anti-Semitic text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman objected to the availability of the app in politically sensitive Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt and Turkey, “where anti-Semitic themed cartoons are daily fare in print media and variations on The Protocols’ global Jewish conspiracy myth are woven into the highly watched television shows aired during Ramadan”.
“In that environment, easier access to this vile forgery through an appl only provides reinforcement for hatred of Jews,” he added.
The application, by an Egyptian software developer, is available for download from Apple’s own iTunes download site to compatible technology, which has itself angered several Jewish organisations who claim this legitimises what began life a communist propaganda tool.
The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) called for the legend of the Protocols to be laid to rest and the text to be reserved “for academics to study in its proper context”. However, added CER president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, “to disseminate such hateful invective as a mobile app is dangerous and inexcusable”.
The World Zionist Organisation levelled that it was Apple’s responsibility to ensure all applications it appeared to endorsed were appropriate for distribution. Yaakov Hagoel, head of its departments for Activities in Israel and Countering anti-Semitism issued an open letter to Apple, calling on the company to “remove the racist and hate-filled application from the Apple app store”.
“Just as Apple should not tolerate pornography or violence, it should not support selling an incitement to anti-Semitism,” he added.
The widely discredited 24-section Protocols, thought to have been written by a Russian secret police operative, was first issued in Czarist Russia expounded theories of the alleged Jewish conspiracy to control the world.
Although it was found to be a hoax after a 1921 investigation, it achieved wider circulation throughout the 1930s and was promoted in Communist Russia to encourage anti-Semitism.
Whilst the Arabic language app contains a disclaimer noting its dubious origins similar to those advertised on western sites selling the original text, ADL is concerned that the new format offers “a new opportunity for it to be exploited, further entrenching anti-Semitic attitudes, particularly in Egypt and Turkey where print editions of the Protocols are sold widely”.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is frequently quoted as slamming the “Zionist conspiracy” and earlier this month drew controversy for addressing a group of ambassadors from Islamic countries at an annual al Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) event, emulating Protocols rhetoric:
“It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs,” he insinuated, adding that Zionists are “behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary, and banking organisations in the world”.
Foxman responded by highlighting that Ahmadinejad clearly invoked Jews in his use of the word Zionist, no longer attempting to conceal the anti-Semitic nature of is comments.
“In his bluntness, Ahmadinejad cuts through the false dichotomy of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism when he uses the term ‘Zionist’ to describe the alleged Jewish control of the world for 400 years,” he concluded.