News Releases 2017
Blog by Shimon Samuels posted in The Times of Israel
3 November 2017
The concept of “nation” has no universal definition, but has been acknowledged as “a population which shares, inter alia: a common history, traditions, language, territory and, sometimes, faith.
The Italian, German and Polish nations existed virtually, while atomized in principalities or partitioned under foreign occupation.War has constantly shifted borders for the French and Russian nations. Britons existed centuries before the consolidation of a Great Britain. Each of these “nations” accrued power by occupying others with a policy of divide and rule.
Thus was born the 1917 Balfour Declaration — highly prized by the nascent Zionist Jewish national liberation movement — but a function of British colonial policy displayed by competing promises to every possible ally of the moment: Muslim and Hindu in the Indian Raj, “Palestinian Jews” and Arab leaders in Arabia.
In the midst of war against the Prussian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, France, Britain and little Belgium carved up Africa with lines drawn on maps cutting through tribal territories or “proto-nations”.
"Centre thanks FIFA President for his letter of 7 August indicating appropriate action."
"Our campaign will end only when FIFA expels the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) for glorifying terrorism..."
Zurich, 29 October 2017
In a letter to Gianni Infantino, International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) President, Simon Wisenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, "thanked him for his 7 August response to the SWC appeal for ending Palestinian abuse of football as a weapon of war."
"For over three years of a campaign, based upon Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) research, the Centre had constantly urged FIFA to quash Palestinian desecration of the ‘Beautiful game’."
The FIFA letter stressed that "FIFA expect its Confederation Member Associations to comply with the principles of neutrality in matters of politics and religion and to avoid any form of political interference. Please rest assured that FIFA upholds these values and on the basis of the FIFA Statutes… (Art.5 of the FIFA Statutes)."
"Our campaign will end only when FIFA expels the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) for glorifying terrorism in naming its stadiums, clubs and tournaments to iconize murderers," concluded Samuels.
Strasbourg, 23 October 2017
The 47 member-states Council of Europe is hosting the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s exhibition, “People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.”
The inauguration was attended by the Ambassadors of the 42 States co-sponsors of the exhibition: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, the Republic of Macedonia, Malta, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco, the Republic of Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
- Our "Worst Offender 2017 Award" Goes to Iran for obsessive anti-American Incitement.
- "Runner-Up" Goes to Egypt for displaying the latest antisemitic conspiracy theory screed.
Frankfurt, 18 October 2017
For the 15th year, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre is the only non-governmental organisation to monitor hate and violence on the display stands of the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF).
"With over 7,300 exhibitors from 150 countries and more than 300,000 visitors, this is the largest annual international gathering of the publishing industry", claimed Jurgen Boos, FBF Director. It is referred to as "The Olympics of Book Fairs".
"We monitor some 300 stands... This year was most encouraging in the diminution of hate material on display. This may be due to our prior monitoring and exposing the huge presence of antisemitic titles at Arab book fairs. We then denounce the delinquent publishers to the Frankfurt authorities as likely to violate their contractual obbligations to the Fair which prohibit incitement to hate and violence," explained Shimon Samuels, the Centre's Director for International Relations.
"Nevertheless the Fair is not hate-free... this is our report," he added.
"Springtime for France and Liberty, Winter for Qatar and Iran."
"Now is not a time for democracies to abandon UNESCO. Their departure will leave a vacuum rapidly filled by the enemies of freedom."
Paris, 13 October 2017
In his congratulations to UNESCO Director-General elect, Audrey Azoulay, the Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, viewed "the thirty votes for her as a hopeful turning point from UNESCO appeasement..."
"Nevertheless", he continued, "twenty-eight states were still ready to cover-up a candidate personally indifferent and even endorsing antisemitism."
The Centre argued that "a vote for Qatar was, in reality, an acceptance of its ally Iran - the greatest public executioner, officially stoning woman, financier of proxy terrorism, declaring its genocidal intent."
"We wish farewell and future success to departing Director-General Irina Bokova and look forward to working with her successor, Audrey Azoulay. Her mandate will, we hope, be suffused with the pristine values of UNESCO and, above all, the World Heritage Committee."
"Now is not a time for democracies to abandon UNESCO. Their departure will leave a vacuum rapidly filled by the enemies of freedom." "For the moment, UNESCO is saved from a Qatarstrophe that success must now be defended," argued Samuels.