Oxfam apologises to Israeli ambassador for selling antisemitic book

The charity's chief executive says: 'This should not have happened'


Oxfam has apologised to Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev after the diplomat called out the anti-poverty charity for selling copies of the antisemitic pamphlet The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The chief executive of Oxfam GB Danny Sriskandarajah tweeted on Friday: “It was good to talk to Ambassador Mark Regev to apologise in person for the listing of antisemitic books on our online shop last week.”

“The books were destroyed & we are looking to learn lessons. This should not have happened,” Mr Sriskandarajah continued. “We are sorry that it did and for the offence caused.”

Mr Sriskandarajah and Mr Regev spoke over the phone.

Mr Regev wrote afterwards he had “appreciated the call and the apology... Agree that important lessons need to be learned.”

The Ambassador had noted Oxfam’s sale of the antisemitic text, which was originally published in Tsarist Russia in 1903, on March 13 and said on Twitter: “Why is Oxfam selling antisemitic literature?”.

Copies for sale included a 1936 edition for £100, as well as a 2002 editions selling for £12.99. Products on Oxfam’s online shop are priced, photographed and put online by volunteers.  

Oxfam removed the copies from its website after it was made aware of their sale.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fictitious account of a meeting chronicling Jewish world domination.

It has become a touchstone for antisemitism globally.

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