News Releases 2018
"As the only UN Agency with a special mandate for the protection of the integrity of the Holocaust, it is obligated to speak out and condemn Abbas for his desecration of the victims.”
Paris, 3 May 2018
In a letter to UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, stressed that “UNESCO is the only UN Agency with a special mandate for the protection of the integrity of the Holocaustits commemoration and education.”
Samuels lamented, “Yet, our constituency, especially in Europe, is asking one question: ‘Where is UNESCO when Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian President - in an address to the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah - launched an antisemitic tirade desecrating the memory of the Holocaust and its victims?’"
The letter noted that, “Abbas’ lesson in Holocaust denial has been deemed unacceptable by the European Union, but where is UNESCO?”
“Of the sixteen Steering Committee members, 14 voted for, 2 abstained.”
Liège, Belgium, 27 April 2018
The UNESCO-affiliated network of 150 European municipalities, ECCAR (European Coalition of Cities Against Racism), founded in 2004, at its annual Assembly in Liège, Belgium, today admitted its first two Israeli members. Of those present and voting members of the Steering Committee, 14 approved and two abstained.
(left to right) Shimon Samuels, Ruth Wasserman-Lande, Moti Dotan, Benedetto Zacchiroli, Naem Shibli and Graciela Vaserman-Samuels
Update: as a result of our press release below, Sao Paolo Governor, Marcio França, has apologized for his reception of the reported “Ambassador of Hezbollah in Brazil” and will attend the 24th Commemoration Ceremony of the AMIA bombing on 18 July in Buenos Aires. We suggest that Brazilian President Michel Temer similarly express regret for his welcome to the Iranian Foreign Minister.
“Brazilian officials claim legitimate commerce in a culture of corruption.”
Buenos Aires and Paris, 24 April 2018
“At the same time as former President and Brazilian national hero, Lula, was sent to jail for corruption and Hezbollah was drug running and money-laundering across the Brazil borders with Argentina and Paraguay (the lawless Triple Frontier), President Michel Temer gave a state welcome to Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, in Brasilia,” noted Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.
“Lazio Football Club positive measures have been ineffective against recidivist hate fans... innovative face recognition technology, like for biometric passports, must be employed at stadium gates.”
Paris, 18 April 2018
In a letter to UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, highlighted “the many years that the Centre has been monitoring antisemitism and other forms of hatred on the football terraces in cooperation with UEFA.”
Samuels recalled how “last October, S.S. Lazio football club abused the tragedy of Anne Frank (photo), the Dutch diarist of the Holocaust for an antisemitic attack against the A.S. Roma team, with which they share the same stadium.”
Paris, 12 April 2018
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Permanent Observer to UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels, reported:
- Two resolutions were passed today, in the 204th UNESCO Executive Board, without debate or vote, based on consensus and resulting in great kudos for the new Director-General, Audrey Azoulay.
- Three spoiler statements followed passage:
. Turkey called for a fact-finding mission to Jerusalem.
. Indonesia expressed concern for the state of educational institutions in “Palestine”.
. Jordan accentuated that Jerusalem was in danger and would ruin the mandate of UNESCO.
On the other hand:
- The United States expressed gratification at the achievement of consensus, suggesting that these are resolutions that have torn UNESCO apart and that consensus should be the procedure for the World Heritage Committee and the next Executive Board.
- St. Lucia hoped that this be an example for depoliticisation also at the UN in New York.
- Israeli Ambassador, Carmel Shama HaCohen, congratulated the United States, the European Union, other states and the Secretariat, that had been involved in the negotiations.
The Israeli delegation made clear that this was a good kick start, but a tiny step in a long walk. One occasion is not sufficient to indicate change. Israel is still the only state singled out, but we trust the Director-General to keep the commitments made.
The session returned to its established agenda.