A Beirut school has removed a textbook containing excerpts of The Diary of Anne Frank from its syllabus after Hizbullah claimed it promotes Zionism.


Anne Frank

“The book focuses on the persecution of Jews during the war, but even more dangerous is the theatrical and dramatic method employed to narrate the diaries in an emotional way,” MP Hussein Hajj Hassan said on Hizbullah’s TV station, Al-Manar.

“These respected, established schools are teaching the so-called tragedy this girl lived — how long will Lebanon remain an open arena for this Zionism?”

Attorney Naim Kalaani, a member of the Committee for the Boycott of Zionist Goods, told the channel the use of the book in a school constituted a violation of Lebanese law, which bans the import of Israeli goods and cooperation with Israeli institutions, and is “tantamount to a step toward normalisation” in ties with Israel.

Soon afterwards, a private English-language school removed the book. Others are still discussing the possibility. The Diary of Anne Frank was recently translated into Arabic and Farsi by the Paris-based Aladdin Project, which aims to spread awareness of the Holocaust among Muslims.

The project said in a statement that it “condemns this campaign of vilification and intimidation by Hizbullah’s TV.”

Thousands have downloaded the project’s translated versions from over 50 countries, including Lebanon.

This marks the second campaign by the group in as many weeks against material in textbooks, after it forced a leading Lebanese school to remove pages from a history book that described Hizbullah and Hamas as terrorist organisations.