News Releases 2018
"Kuwait Airways rejection of Israeli passenger violates your organizations' non-discrimination principles,thus requiring Kuwait's suspension."
Paris, 8 April 2018
In letters to World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo, and to International Air Transport Association (IATA) CEO Alexandre de Juniac, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed "the deep concern of our members at the ban on Israeli passengers practised by Kuwait Airways, a state-controlled company of the government of Kuwait."
Samuels argued that "a government may determine the right to entry into its sovereign territory and to whom it may issue a visa... It is patent discrimination, however, when a passenger is refused embarkation - due to ethnicity, gender, religion or national identity - on flights profiting from International Air Services Transit Agreement (IASTA), known as the 'Seventh Freedom': 'The right to carry passengers or cargo between two foreign countries without any continuing service to one’s own country'."
Perhaps the grisly stabbing and burning of Mireille Knoll has awakened a new conscience regarding Judeophobia in France. The question was: for how long? But were we naive: the very same day of the march, the French Jewish Student’s office at the Paris Sorbonne University was sacked and covered with stickers proclaiming: “Death to Israel,” “Long Live Arafat,” “Zionist racist anti-Goy office.”
A disturbing response to a hopeful day.
Paris, 28 March 2018
Thousands marched this evening, from the Place de la Nation to the home of the murdered 85 ye ar-old Holocaust survivor, under the banner: “United we Stand Against Antisemitism.”
The many Simon Wiesenthal Centre members present accepted the ban on institutional placards.
Plain-clothed police put on armbands to head off scuffles with members of the extreme right National Front and the extreme left champions of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel. These activists had been warned against participating but refused the ban, and were finally forced to withdraw.
Marchers of every background were very emotional, especially faith leaders. All walked in silence.
“Rest in peace Mireille.” Photo SWC-France
It should be recalled that the last such demonstration against antisemitism was the 250,000 strong outraged at the 1996 exhumation of a recently deceased man from his grave in the Jewish cemetery of Carpentras. The body was left hanging from an umbrella.
Since then, the kosher supermarket massacre was protested, but only in conjunction with the previous day’s atrocity at the Charlie Hebdo satirical journal headquarters.
All other such marches have been “Palestine” solidarity antisemitic hatefests, with calls of “Death to the Jews, Out with the Jews” and the Muslim threat “Khybar, Khybar” (in recollection of the Prophet Muhammad’s massacre of a Jewish tribe in Arabia).
These demonstrations often concluded in violent attacks on synagogues and Jewish-owned shops.
Perhaps the grisly stabbing and burning of Mireille Knoll has awakened a new conscience regarding Judeophobia in France.
The question was: for how long? But were we naive: the very same day of the march, the French Jewish Student’s office at the Paris Sorbonne University was sacked and covered with stickers proclaiming: “Death to Israel,” “Long Live Arafat,” “Zionist racist anti-Goy office.”
A disturbing response to a hopeful day.
“Reported police negligence must be investigated and penalized.”
Paris, 26 March 2018
Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended the Paris Court “for acknowledging within 24 hours that the brutal murder of 85 year old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was motivated by antisemitism.”
The Centre noted that “her murderer – two suspects have now been detained –, one name made public as Youcine, was apparently the victim’s neighbour. He had allegedly threatened her on several occasions over a long period... This has been confirmed by her son.”
“Rounded up at the 1941 Vel d’Hiv arrest of Jews, Mrs. Knoll had survived the Shoah to be stabbed and burned to death,” stated Samuels, continuing, “the police who, reportedly, received notices of the danger to Mrs. Knoll and the threats from her neighbour, must be investigated and be penalized for their unbelievable negligence.”
“The gravity of this case is even more shocking in the aftermath of a similar scenario in the April 2017 murder of 66 year old Sarah Halimi. For months, her brutal murder by her neighbour who threw her from a balcony to her death, to the cries of ‘Allahu Akhbar’, was denied an antisemitic character... In the case of Mireille Knoll, at least the Court has granted Mrs. Halimi a posthumous victory.”
“How many more defenceless French Jewish victims will it take for the police to enact the necessary measures?” concluded Samuels.
"A publisher's display at the Fair was closed down for selling Muslim Brotherhood books, considered to incite to violence and terrorism...Indeed, the Fair supervisor warned that, 'any publisher who breaks the rules of the Fair will be banned from participating in it forever'..."The Centre urged the Minister to treat antisemitic publishers in the same manner."
Paris, 24 March 2018
In a letter to Saudi Culture Minister, Dr. Awad bin Saleh Al Awad, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels,noted that, "we monitor book fairs as arenas for the propagation of hatred, including six in the Arab world. Our findings are then shared with the Frankfurt Book Fair, where delinquent publishers may be blacklisted for violating the terms of their contract with the Fair".
The letter added, "Mr. Minister, we are delighted at the initiatives of Saudi Arabia towards Muslim reconciliation with the Jewish people and even contacts with the State of Israel...We are therefore distressed to discover vicious conspiracy texts on display, at the Riyadh Book Fair, that counter-productively inflame antisemitism among the visitors and readers."
Salford, United Kingdom, 13 March 2018
This exhibition, authored by the late Hebrew University Professor Robert Wistrich, was first launched at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in June 2014 and then displayed at the UN in New York, followed by the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C., the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, the Vatican in Rome, the Copenhagen Town Hall, the Gandhi Centre in New Delhi, at the British Parliament, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, with the support of 42 member states.
The 24 panels display the Jewish narrative from the Biblical Prophets to the Kingdoms of David and Solomon, from the Babylonian and Persian exiles to the return to rebuild Jerusalem, from the Roman occupation of Judea to the birth of Christianity, from the Crusades to the Muslim conquest, from the Diaspora to the pioneers bent on redeeming the land, from diplomacy to recognition of a modern Jewish nation in construction, from the near annihilation of European Jewry in the Shoah, until the establishment of the State of Israel and the return of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland.