Following are excerpts from a Lebanese TV report on the incorporation of an English reader recounting the diary of Anne Frank in Lebanese schools. The report aired on Al-Manar TV on October 30, 2009.
Reporter: A new book, with indications of normalization [with Israel], has been monitored by Al-Manar TV. The English reader is taught in eighth grade in several schools in Beirut. The 60-page book recounts, in one of its chapters, the diary of a Jewish girl during World War II, who hid, along with her family, in Holland, to flee the Nazi persecution of the Jews, and out of fear of being killed or burned.
To avoid confusion or distortion, we purchased a copy of the book from a Beirut bookshop.
In the bookshop
Reporter: I asked Mr. Abbas to get me “Interactive Reader Plus.”
Saleswoman: What grade is it for?
Reporter: For eighth grade.
Saleswoman: This is English for eighth grade.
Reporter: This is it? He told me it costs 30,000 [Lebanese lira]. It’s “Advantage.” It comes with a CD.
Is it taught in other schools as well?
Saleswoman: Of course.
Reporter leaves bookshop with the English reader
Reporter (holding the book): This is the book that is taught in several schools in Beirut, which recounts the diary of an Israeli girl during World War II. Let’s delve together into the details of this diary.
There is an entire chapter, titled “Drama,” at the top of which there is a Star of David, along with clarification measures not found in other chapters, which aim to focus on the notion of the persecution of the Jews during World War II. Even worse than this is the dramatic way in which this diary is emotionally recounted.
Naim Kalaani, Chairman of the Authority for Banning Zionist Products: Such a book is definitely in violation of the penal code. This is clearly a violation, and they must be prosecuted. This is tantamount to running towards normalization. The prosecution must automatically take action, because this is a criminal offense taking place in a school.
Hizbullah MP Hussein Al-Hajj Hassan: Nobody teaches from a textbook without checking its content first. These respected schools teach the so-called “tragedy” of this girl, but they are ashamed to teach the tragedy of the Palestinian people, the tragedy of the Lebanese people, the history of the resistance, the history of the resistance in Lebanon, and the suffering of the South Lebanese, and the Lebanese in general, at the hand of the Zionist occupation.
Reporter: Al-Manar tried unsuccessfully to obtain the response of the Education Ministry. So it contacted General Wafiq Jazini, Director-General of the General Security, who said he knew nothing about the issue, and ordered an investigation into the details, and into the necessary measures to be taken.
Until then, the question remains: Until when will the cultural scene in Lebanon be wide open to a Zionist cultural invasion, and were those involved in the matter aware of it, or not?