News Releases 2018
Paris, 1 February 2018
Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in an interview with Radio France International, highlighted the deteriorating situation of Jews in France.
- There are almost daily incidents of antisemitism, especially in the Paris suburbs where there are high-density communities of French born youth of North African origin living cheek by jaw alongside smaller Jewish neighbourhoods.
Turned on by Jew-hating internet sites, social media and radical Imams, they play out a Middle Eastern scenario of Palestinians and Israelis transplanted to France.
- Once identified and arraigned, magistrates are loath to view those who have been targets of racism now themselves become perpetrators of hate. Hence, the resistance to name these assaults as antisemitic.
UPDATE: In response to the Wiesenthal Centre and other protests, friendly MEPs present at the session challenged Boroujerdi on Iranian Holocaust denial, human rights violations and threats to Israel. He responded lamely, "We do not accept the Zionist regime."
"Bringing the wolf into the chicken-coop is an incentive to lone-wolf terrorists across Europe."
Paris, 25 January 2018
In a letter to European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, stated that "our membership was aghast at the temerity of those Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who had invited Alaeddin Boroujerdi, an Iranian alleged associate of top Hezbollah officials and other perpetrators of terror to speak in the session."
The letter protested in outrage that, "Boroujerdi was invited to address the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, and to speak in a seminar on 'Counter Terrorism'. This travesty is equal to bringing the wolf into the chicken-coop. Indeed, an incentive to 'lone wolves' across Europe, awakened by Iran, the terror-master."
According to MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), Boroujerdi, was a speaker at the 2014 New Horizon conference in Tehran, "a gathering of Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists and BDS and other activists from around the world, also featuring the notorious French antisemitic 'comedian' Dieudonné."
The Centre argued that " 'Boroujerdi at the EU Parliament' sends a horrific message to all Iranian exiles, political prisoners in Iran, Jews and peace-lovers everywhere, that Europe is united on a path to the abyss."
"Mr. President, we urge you to cancel this outrageous invitation forthwith," concluded Samuels.
Paris, 19 January 2018
Senior Wiesenthal Centre officials, Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper and International Relations Director Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed alarm at meetings in the French Ministries of Interior and Justice, regarding the latest antisemitic hate-crimes in the Paris suburbs. These included yesterday’s 2 a.m. home attack on a Jewish man and, a day earlier, the slashing of the face of a teenage Jewish girl leaving her high school.
“We expressed our frustration over French Judges’ continuing failure to impose adequate sentences to perpetrators of violent assault on Jews,” stressed Cooper.
“Bluntly put, the French judicial system currently appears to be failing to deter such crimes,” added Samuels.
Response from Booking.com:
“At Booking.com, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and if we find that an accommodation listed on our site engages in discriminatory behaviour, we investigate the matter fully, potentially ceasing our working relationship and removing them from our site. As soon as we were made aware of this case, we immediately reached out to the customer, offered to cover the costs they incurred in finding an alternate place to stay, and have removed this property from our site.”
Paris, 14 January 2018
Despite a confirmed reservation through Booking.com, the owner of Hostel Buena Vista, located in Valizas, Rocha, Uruguay, refused two tourists when he discovered that they were Israelis travelling through Latin America.
He berated them on “the policies of your country,” adding, “you are not welcome in my house.”
The owner, Marcelo Piñero, had posted on Facebook that he would reject especially “young Israelis who served in the army as one such guest had, years ago, told him he was trained to kill in 15 seconds.” Piñero is convinced that his behaviour is “not discriminatory nor antisemitic.”
Paris, 14 January 2018
Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, on Friday morning had protested to French Justice Minister, Nicole Belloubet, the Court ruling effectively exonerating the 1980 Paris Copernic Synagogue Bomber suspect, Hassan Diab, and granting him imminent release (see Algemeiner report):
“The Centre now salutes the French Justice system for its last minute reversal in accepting a new appeal on behalf of the survivors and the victims’ families and the requirement for Diab’s renewed detention,” commended Samuels.
“The Paris tribunal now has the opportunity to finally bring justice to those who have waited for almost 38 years, thus strike a blow against the proliferation of terrorism today,” concluded Samuels.