News Releases 2018
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.
“After 37 years of waiting, justice delayed in this case is truly justice denied... Madam Minister, we demand an appeal and the continued detention of Hassan Diab.”
Paris, 12 January 2018
In a letter to French Justice Minister, Nicole Belloubet, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, chided today’s Paris tribunal ruling to free Copernic Synagogue bomber suspect from detention, on the decision of the investigating magistrates, thereby rejecting the evidence and arguments brought last summer by the magistrates of the civil parties – in the name of the victims.
Samuels had accompanied Aliza Shagrir, wife of the Israeli film-maker, to the corner of rue Copernic. She had entered the street of the synagogue where she met her death.
The following morning, Prime Minister Raymond Barre stated “a bomb set for Jews killed four innocent Frenchmen...”
Paris, 9 January 2018
In a letter to the French Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed concern that "this morning’s fire-bombing of the Kosher mini-market, Promo and DeStock, in the Paris suburb of Creteil, is following a pattern in the aftermath of last week’s swastika graffiti on two Kosher shops in the same city. What begins with words, then deeds, lead on to violence."
The letter noted that "we have just marked the third anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket massacres that resulted in armed military placed outside Jewish establishments."