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Bridget Johnson

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February 20, 2014 - 12:33 pm

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said they fear an organized anti-Semetic effort is behind the shocking tearing-up of copies of The Diary of Anne Frank in libraries across Japan.

Hundreds of copies of the famous book have been vandalized at about two dozen libraries in metropolitan Tokyo.

Anne Frank’s diary is popular in Japan, with anime adaptations of her story and comic books only increasing Japanese fascination with her story.

“The geographic scope of these incidents strongly suggest an organized effort to denigrate the memory of the most famous of the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis in the World War II Holocaust,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“I know from my many visits to Japan, how much Anne Frank is studied and revered by millions of Japanese. Only people imbued with bigotry and hatred would seek to destroy Anne’s historic words of courage, hope and love in the face of impending doom,” Cooper continued.

“We are calling on Japanese authorities to step up efforts to identify and deal with the perpetrators of this hate campaign.”

The libraries include ones in Tokyo’s Nakano, Nerima and Suginami wards, according to Kyodo News. Pages in more than 200 copies of the books were ripped out, which was noticed by the Japan Library Association.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
For the same reason so many Christians voted for a man who holds their deepest beliefs in open contempt, his occasional attendence at church notwithstanding. Their politics trumps their religion.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The world is getting increasingly dangerous for Jews, and yet, at least in the United States, they ally themselves with and vote for people who would do them harm.

I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, but it still baffles the mind why this is so.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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I doubt it's an organized effort. If people wanted to attack Jews in Japan, there's lots better ways to do it than vandalizing a few library books.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not so sure its an "organized" effort, based on the info provided. Mertro Tokyo is big, yes, but its all connected with mass transit. A single person could have done it. Unless someone can show that the pages were ripped within a short time period - short enough that a single person riding on the bus or train couldn't have done it - I'll reserve judgement on whether it was "organized".
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, it does appear organized. It may be the work of Nihon Sekigun (or one of its recent splinters), a pro-Communist, militant Japanese group, founded by Fusako Shigenobu in 1971 in Lebanon (with close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). In May of 1972, Nihon Sekigun was responsible for a terrorist attack on Lod Airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport), killing 26 persons and injuring 80 others.

Though Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been Japanese bestsellers for decades, there’s enough historical evidence to suggest that whatever feelings the Japanese have concerning Jews, anti-Semitism plays a minor part if any (Tokaya and Swartz, The Fugu Plan: The Untold Story of the Japanese and the Jews During World War II. Paddington Press. ASIN: B000KA6NWO).

“As World War II intensified, the Nazis stepped up pressure on Japan to hand over the Shanghai Jews. Warren Kozak describes the episode when the Japanese military governor of the city sent for the Jewish community leaders. The delegation included Amshinover rabbi Shimon Sholom Kalish. The Japanese governor was curious and asked "Why do the Germans hate you so much?"

"Without hesitation and knowing the fate of his community hung on his answer, Reb Kalish told the translator (in Yiddish): "Zugim weil wir senen orientalim — Tell him [the Germans hate us] because we are Orientals." The governor, whose face had been stern throughout the confrontation, broke into a slight smile. In spite of the military alliance, he did not accede to the German demand and the Shanghai Jews were never handed over" (Kozak, Warren. The Rabbi of 84th Street: The Extraordinary Life of Haskel Besser, Harper Collins, 2004, ISBN 0-06-051101-X p.177).
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
We should also mention the amazing story of Japanese Council to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara. He and his wife, against orders of his government, issued thousands of visas to Jews at great risk.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/sugihara.html

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Antisemitism may not not be the only motivator here. If you look at Japanese popular culture, you have to note how fixated it is on young females, on the quality of moi, on innocence, on guileless childish behaviour. On everything not male, let alone masculine........

So this may be a protest not solely on Israel's claim to the West Bank, but also against the 'herbiviorisation' of Japanese youth culture....'>>......
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is very odd. Japan's readers may be fascinated by Anne Frank's story but Japan itself has never been an area where Judaism was an issue, pro or con. By and large, Japanese are secular and have been quite open to other religions in their communities.
Why would some group want to damage copies of the diary?
Could this just be a nation-wide flash mob kind of thing?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
European Christians were depicted with classic Anti-Semitic imagery in the run up to WW2. The Japanese have always hated Jews.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, there aren't many Jews there, has to be the work of a small group, trying to make the Japanese look bad -- maybe North Koreans.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Didn't a Japanese terrorist group shoot up an airport in Israel in the 1970s?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
It did indeed. If I recall correctly, it was the Japanese Red Army allied with a Palestinian faction. 1972 I think.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was just a wee one when it happened, but I learned about it in a college class about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. IIRC, the Japanese were allied with the PFLP (there's an article about it and Oxfam on the board today).
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think I remember that -- I believe it was kind of a sub-contract job rather than a Japanese anti-Zionist group.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lefties back then were pretty much aligned across the globe.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
And still are.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good God, don't these people have more important things to worry about, like, for instance, China invading certain islands??
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The world is getting increasingly dangerous for Jews, and yet, at least in the United States, they ally themselves with and vote for people who would do them harm.

I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, but it still baffles the mind why this is so.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because like Capt Ahab they are blinded by their hatred of Christendom, and wish to see it dismantled and disempowered.....even it if means their own destruction.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Once the Progressive Utopia is complete, all the old prejudices will be gone and the Jews will be safe and have pet unicorns.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you start with pygmy goats that have horns closer to each other than most, and breed carefully (you don't want to inbreed like a Danish giraffe, after all), you could come up with unicorns for pets. There was a fellow doing this surgically some years ago.
As a bonus, they'd be kosher for Jews and halaal for Muslims...
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
For the same reason so many Christians voted for a man who holds their deepest beliefs in open contempt, his occasional attendence at church notwithstanding. Their politics trumps their religion.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm Christian, and I never voted for Obama. Heck, the fact he was pro-Abortion alone crossed him off of who to vote for back in 2008, and his actions in the first term only solidified that he shouldn't have been made president. This was all long before I discovered he was even socialist/communist/Marxist.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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