Hadassa Ben-Itto: The Lie That Wouldn't Die ... The Protocols of the Elders of ZionRoundup: Talking About History
FP: What inspired you to write this book?
Ben-Itto: During my years on the bench I was occasionally invited to represent Israel in various international bodies (UN, UNESCO), and like many Israeli delegates and representatives, I was routinely attacked by hostile delegates. Although I represented a sovereign Member State these verbal attacks were not limited to Israel, but very often targeted the Jewish People. Anti-Semitic expressions sometimes used old libels, which one would have thought had been delegated to the scrap heap of history.
Unlike all other delegates, we Israelis were compelled to use daily our right of reply.
Among other libels against my people, like the infamous blood libels, openly attributing to Jews the murder of gentile children in order to use their blood to bake matzot for Passover, some delegates often mentioned The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
I usually made short shrift of these false allegations, but I regret to this day that in my reply I never alleged to the Protocols, convinced that such an absurd libel did not deserve to be addressed, even in passing.
It took me twenty years and many similar occasions to realize that I could not ignore this subject any longer.
When I finally took the time to read the Protocols, I felt the need to follow this story and learn how such an absurd libel had been launched upon the world, how and by whom it had been concocted, and how it was still circulating around the globe, in every language.
It started as a private investigation, to satisfy my own curiosity, and the more I read the more intrigued I became. Using up all my free time and all court vacations, I read all available literature on the subject, and soon learned, to my surprise, that all available books that tell the truth about the Protocols, in every language, were footnoted academic studies, not meant for the general readership.
When I realized how this libel was being published in millions of copies in every language, poisoning minds and causing real damage, I decided to write a popular book, setting out all the facts of this hundred year old story, for those readers who are open minded enough to learn the truth.
The more I learned, the more urgent it seemed, which is why I just couldn’t wait for my formal retirement age (compulsory for judges in Israel). As I had been appointed to the bench at a quite young age, I served thirty-one years before taking early retirement to research the story of the Protocols and write my book The Lie That Wouldn’t Die.
It took me six years.
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