Cardiff library backs down on Protocols

By Jessica Elgot, April 26, 2012

Anti-racism campaigners have urged Cardiff City Council to remove a copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion from a city library.

Anti-racism campaigner Dave Shipper, 85, wrote to the library in February that the book was written to "foster hatred of Jews".

The edition of the antisemitic forgery, printed in 2010 in Milton Keynes, is the translation by Victor E Marsden and has no academic annotations or indication that the content is fraudulent, according to Mr Shipper.

He said: "I hope it is by accident rather than design, and that this copy could have been donated and accepted [by the library] unwittingly. I am anti-censorship, and the text should be available for research, but this was on an open shelf, with nothing to modify it. It was alongside many textbooks on anti-racism."

Cardiff Council has now agreed to remove the book from the open shelf, but will not restrict access to it when requested.

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: "Cardiff Library Service does not restrict access to publicly available material, unless it is against the law. We do not therefore exclude material on the basis of moral, political, religious, racial or gender grounds. However, following the correspondence with Mr Shipper, we have decided to remove the book from open shelves and make it accessible on application only."

Mr Shipper, whose father was Jewish, said library staff had told him that the book was clearly categorised as "racism". He said: "If that is categorised as racism, then what on earth are the other books available in that category?"

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust urged Cardiff to remove the book altogether. "It is outrageous that such a prominent antisemitic book should be available in a public library. CST urges the relevant authorities to remove it immediately. Failure to do so would be a moral disgrace."

Last updated: 1:38pm, April 26 2012