The good people at Hezbollah are offering the world another insight into extremist thought. The militant group has banned “The Diary of Anne Frank” from schools as Zionist propaganda by focusing on the plight of some Jews. I suppose when you are teaching kids to blow up innocent people, an account of an innocent victim can appear propagandistic.
What is striking is that the censorship occurred not over the book but simple excerpts from the book shown to school children in a private English-language school in western Beirut. That led to a shrill attack from Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television channel, which asked how long Lebanon would “remain an open arena for the Zionist invasion of education.”
Hezbollah MP Hussein Hajj Hassan criticized the school for exposing the children to a story about a suffering Jewish girl: “These respected, established schools are teaching the so-called tragedy this girl lived, and yet they are ashamed to teach the tragedy of the Lebanese people, the tragedy of the Palestinian people… the tragedy of the people of the south under the hands of Zionist occupation.”
Notably, the Lebanese routinely prevent citizens from reading unapproved material through its censorship bureau, which actually blanked out the chapter in this textbook. However, a student purchased a book privately that had the chapter, which was shown to other students.
There is even a committee for “the ban of Zionist products” that called for the removal of the book. Attorney Naim Kalaani of the committee says that showing the book is a crime. What a wonderful role for a lawyer — criminalizing free speech and possession of a classic book.
For the full story, click here.