News Releases 2017
Blog by Shimon Samuels posted on The Times of Israel
4 September 2017
In 1998, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was called to the German Labour Ministry in Bonn. Since reunification in 1990, followed by the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, the number of war pensions had mushroomed among Wehrmacht veterans and widows, frozen for some 45 years in Communist East Germany, the Baltics, the Balkans and Ukraine.
While the Justice Ministry had cooperated with Simon Wiesenthal regarding the ID’s of war criminals, just down the road the Labour Ministry was sending cheques to their families in the Federal Republic. The Government, now eager to save revenue, asked the Centre’s help. Our expert, Efraim Zuroff was able to identify those military units responsible for war crimes to automatically strip their members of pension rights.
In 2007, the Centre promoted a draft convention, in the same spirit, to prosecute the instigators and accomplices of suicide terrorism. The intent was to criminalize all along the chain of terror from recruitment (especially online and now social media) to ideological radicalization, financing, arming, hosting and glorifying. The convention might have legally prevented the families of Jihadist “martyrs” from receiving “life insurance” benefits and blocked spurious “pension” grants to surviving perpetrators in jail.
"We urge the GCC to expand its measures to also remove antisemitism from all media sources."
"Sowing hatred of Jews in the Arab world or in the Muslim diaspora provokes terrorism against Jewish targets in Europe and beyond."
Paris, 30 August 2017
In a letter to Dr. Abdul Latif Rashid Al-Zayani, Secretary General of the six state Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended the GCC for "its measures to press Qatar to cut its financing of terrorist organisations and to close its Al Jazeera television network for incitement to hate and violence."
Samuels noted that "only this week, on 25 August, Al Jazeera Arabic (Blogs) published an antisemitic article on 'The Jews - That is their Character/Trait'. The author, writer and microbiologist, Mohammed Abdallah, mentions he has a duty as a Muslim and a Palestinian to clarify to people the true nature of the Jews:
Paris, 25 August 2017
Former Argentine Ambassador to Syria, Roberto Ahuad, has testified to the Prosecutor who replaced the murdered Alberto Nisman, to continue investigation into his predecessor's charges.
Nisman was due to present his report to the Argentine Congress the day following his presumed assassination,in which he claimed that in January 2011 former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman met with his Iranian counterpart in Aleppo, in order to negotiate a plan to close the investigation into the AMIA Jewish Centre bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that left 85 dead and more than 300 wounded.
The Wiesenthal Centre noted that "it was hardly surprised by the Ambassador's revelation of Assad hosting the Aleppo meeting.
"Nevertheless, the role of mass murderer of his own people, Bashar Assad, in endorsing Iranian terror against Diaspora Jews, highlights that Jews are targets anywhere and not just Israelis...", argued Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Center´s Director for International Relations, continuing, "Foreign Minister Timerman, a longtime acquaintance, called me to deny the Aleppo meeting hours following its media exposure... in any case, shortly before his death, Nisman personally confirmed to me the details of his charges."
Dr. Ariel Gelblung, Representative of the Wiesenthal Center for Latin America, said: "We hope that Ahuad's statement will be the first in the appearance of more witnesses and of evidence to substantiate Prosecutor Nisman's denunciation."
“Such Jew-hatred undermines the de facto relationship between Egypt and Israel in together confronting terrorism. It legitimates attacks on Jews and further endangers the Coptic Christians victims to continued assault.”
Paris, 18 August 2017
In a letter to Inter-Parliamentary Union (IUP) Secretary-General, Martin Chungong, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, drew attention to antisemitic incitement at the Majlis Egyptian Parliament.
Referring to the IPU “as the “international organization of Parliaments,” Samuels noted its “Strategy for 2017-2021: ‘Better Parliaments, stronger democracy’ with a special focus on ‘peace-building’.”
The letter also recalled the IPU’s connection last February to claims of “demeaning the Egyptian Parliament’s image abroad,” adding that “the examples are in direct violation of encouraging ‘peace-building’, for in fomenting hatred to undermine any hope of Middle East peace.”
“Demand to Booking.com: ‘Remove Aparthaus Paradies from your Directory and explain the antisemitic cause of the removal on your website.”
“We are advising our global constituency, the broader Jewish community and their Gentile friends to blacklist this horrific hotel.”
Paris, 15 August 2017
In a letter to Swiss Justice Minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, reported that the Centre’s membership was “aghast at the antisemitic signs at the Aparthaus Paradies hotel in Arosa, Grisons, that confronted on Orthodox Jewish family upon their arrival”:
- At the front porch: “To our Jewish Guests. Please take a shower before you go swimming. If you break the rules, I am forced to close the swimming pool for you. Thank you for your understanding. Ruth Thomann”