News Releases 2018
Paris, 12 June 2018
From his campaign for Soviet Jewry to his creation of the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Per Ahlmark, was a contemporary “Righteous Gentile,” a loyal friend of the State of Israel, who came in wartime to manifest his support and concern for its people.
I was invited to Per’s 70th birthday party in Stockholm in 2009. Already in fragile health, but like the late Simon Wiesenthal, he appreciated a good joke. Simon had called humour “an arm of defenceless peoples.” Per would rollick at political jokes, especially on the Soviet Union.
At his party’s table was told the story of Chairman Brezhnev’s request for a State Visit to Finland to lay a wreath at the tomb of the “unknown soldier.” President Kekkonen was in panic as Finland had no such tomb. An aide suggested that the vault of Sibelius be wrapped in canvas for the occasion. The Russians would not know the difference! That afternoon, a storm hit Helsinki and the wind blew the canvas away. Brezhnev turned in anger to Kekkonen, who responded: “Sibelius was a great composer, but as a soldier he was totally unknown.”
Per was a stalwart ‘soldier’ in a Sweden that had, in political circles, rejected his message of justice and his cause for the targets of hate.
The Jewish people and their friends, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Founder and Dean Rabbi Marvin Hier, its Director for Global Social Action Rabbi Abraham Cooper, its staff and members mourn him.
Our Centre is working with the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association to display across Sweden our exhibition, “People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People to the Holy Land.”
Opened in UNESCO, the UN Headquarters, the US Congress, British Parliament, the Vatican, the Israeli Knesset, Copenhagen Town Hall, the Council of Europe... it will now be shown in Sweden, “dedicated to the memory of Per Ahlmark.” May he Rest in Peace and his family be consoled.
Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations
Paris, 5 June 2018
“It is our civic duty to bring to your attention the arrival today of the Gaza solidarity boat Hurriya (Freedom in Arabic) to Brighton, until departure on 8 June,” advised Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, to Brighton and Hove Mayor Dee Simson.”
Samuels noted that “the Hurriya is one of four vessels arriving from Sweden and Norway, on their way to breach the Gaza barricade that prevents the smuggling of advanced weaponry to the Hamas terrorist movement, predominantly from Iran – irregardless of potential loss of life.”
The letter continued, “This campaign is organized by the ‘Freedom Flotilla Coalition’, associated with Turkey’s IHH – accused of ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and under investigation for links with Al Qaeda and ISIS.”
Samuels concluded, “Madam Mayor, the organizers plan to use Brighton as a platform for their hate”... “we therefore urge you to take the necessary measures to hold the vessel, investigate the passengers and ensure that the beautiful city of Brighton – where I lived as a child – is not damaged by potential mayhem.”
“As a vector for antisemitic conspiracy theories, Holocaust revisionism, incitement to hatred and supporting a cause associated with terrorism, GoFundMe is in violation of its own Terms and Conditions... the company is urged to investigate.”
Paris, 4 June 2018
In a letter to GoFundMe.com CEO, Rob Salomon, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, revealed that “the company has been abused as a vector for antisemitic conspiracy theories, incitement to hatred, Holocaust revisionism and a cause, reportedly, associated with terrorism – all in violation of its Terms and Conditions.”
Samuels explained that, “through GoFundMe, a self-acclaimed American journalist, Cat Watters, successfully appealed for money to participate in the Gaza flotilla.”
“Investigate Belgian parole procedures and acknowledge that those who inculcate hate and violence – in mosques, schools, prison or the Internet – are accomplices to murder.”
Paris, 30 May 2018
In a letter to the Mayor of Liege, Belgium, Mr. Willy Demeyer, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that, “in April, we participated in the ECCAR (European Coalition of Cities Against Racism) held in your beautiful city of Liege... We wish to express our outrage at the assault by a radical Jihadist, screaming 'Allahu Akhbar!' while shooting three innocent victims.”
The letter requested the Mayor to “convey our Centre’s sympathy to the families and our respect for the Liege police, who lost two female officers,” continuing, “an investigation into Belgian prison procedures for releasing on parole radicalized convicts, as in the case of this murderer, Benjamin Herman.”
Samuels stressed that “only the rapid response of your counter-terror officers prevented a massacre, possibly from the high school to which he fled.”
The Centre commended Belgium for declaring itself “on red alert, hoping that – whether targetted or indiscriminate, native-born or imported – terror will be quashed.”
“This will require an acknowledgement that those who inculcate hate and violence – in mosques, schools, prison or the Internet – are accomplices to murder,” concluded Samuels.
“The whole operation is an exercise in terror with those who grant their flag, finance, glorify and applaud, as active accomplices.”
Paris, 28 May 2018
“The Porto Alegre-based World Social Forum (WSF), an antiglobalization organization hijacked for the Palestinian cause, has become the focal point for coordination of the BDS and flotilla campaigns,” stated Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, who annually monitors WSF programmes:
- “The Gaza Flotilla” concept was first raised at the WSF in 2008. The 2016 Montreal meeting featured the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (see website <jfp.freedomflotilla.org>), and a proposed “Women’s Boat to Gaza,” led by flotilla activist, David Heap;
- Though less focussed on Palestinian issues, the March 2018 El Salvador meeting, reportedly discussed a flotilla to mark the 31 May 2010, “Mavi Marmara,” as further opportunity to defame Israel;