Blog by Shimon Samuels posted in The Jerusalem Post
4 September 2017
Security personnel chat next to the statue of Genghis Khan at the parliament building in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. (photo Reuters)
In mid-August, at our regular fruit juice stand in Tel Aviv’s Carmel market, I made my order and went to buy a bouquet of flowers. On my return, the fruiterer noted that flowers are bought on Friday but this was Wednesday.
“What’s the event?” I explained that it was our Golden Wedding.
He retorted, “50 years and you buy a bunch of flowers?! Take your wife somewhere special.”
“We’re going to Mongolia,” I said.
“What’s in Mongolia?”
“Desert, camels, tents.”
“So you could go to the Negev! How do you get [to Mongolia]?”
“By train from Beijing.”
He ended triumphantly, “You work for Wiesenthal; there must be Nazis over there?”
Blog by Shimon Samuels posted on The Times of Israel
4 September 2017
In 1998, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was called to the German Labour Ministry in Bonn. Since reunification in 1990, followed by the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, the number of war pensions had mushroomed among Wehrmacht veterans and widows, frozen for some 45 years in Communist East Germany, the Baltics, the Balkans and Ukraine.
While the Justice Ministry had cooperated with Simon Wiesenthal regarding the ID’s of war criminals, just down the road the Labour Ministry was sending cheques to their families in the Federal Republic. The Government, now eager to save revenue, asked the Centre’s help. Our expert, Efraim Zuroff was able to identify those military units responsible for war crimes to automatically strip their members of pension rights.
In 2007, the Centre promoted a draft convention, in the same spirit, to prosecute the instigators and accomplices of suicide terrorism. The intent was to criminalize all along the chain of terror from recruitment (especially online and now social media) to ideological radicalization, financing, arming, hosting and glorifying. The convention might have legally prevented the families of Jihadist “martyrs” from receiving “life insurance” benefits and blocked spurious “pension” grants to surviving perpetrators in jail.
Blog by Shimon Samuels posted in The Times of Israel
27 July 2017
The cancer of antisemitism’s metastasis in the UK and continental Europe can only be treated by the expulsion of pro-Jihadists, antisemites and other bigots from mainstream political parties.
A 1950’s Times of London headline characterized the British post-war sense of security: “Fog over the Channel, Continent isolated…”
Despite the oncoming ‘Brexit’, the UK is an integral part of the European menacing resurgent and violent antisemitism.
Blog by Shimon Samuels posted on The Times of Israel
24 May 2017
Madam Prime Minister,
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre congratulates you on your unrelenting stand against the warped madness of anti-Western terrorism and, more specifically, the Manchester Arena atrocity.
Permit me a few worrying thoughts for you to consider:
– Now that ISIS has claimed credit for the perpetrator, Salman Abedi, we can expect to see heroic obituaries for the Jihadist assassin, perhaps born in the UK
– How then would you respond to the demand for a UK state lifetime pension for his possible dependent British widow and orphans?
– How would you react to the distribution of sweets to school children celebrating this “triumph over the Crusaders” in radical Islamic institutions from the Palestine Authority to Pakistan?
– How would you feel about the naming of a tournament, a football team or perhaps even a stadium in honour of the Manchester suicide martyr?
– Most galling could be the apologetic wave of media excuse for the perpetrator in view of his poverty, marginalization or discrimination, justifying his depravity as depression or even insanity
The Wiesenthal Centre, more than a decade ago, drafted a Convention against the suicide terrorism imported from the Middle East that was becoming viral.
The document’s thesis argued that terrorism in the age of Jihad is characterized by a continuum of participants that ideologize, recruit, finance, train, harbour,arm and heroize the assassin who is the final link.- whether in the mosque, the school or university campus, in jail or the media, both at home or abroad.
All elements along the chain must be deemed as accomplices and treated as such.
Our draft Convention was stamped with his seal ring by the late Pope John Paul in a Vatican audience. It was adopted as a motion by the Australian Parliament and blessed by the then Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Moratinos, a noted friend of the Musilm world. Indeed, it was well-received by then Turkish President, Abdullah Guhl, in our visit to Ankara. He made the point that most suicide – terror victims were murdered in the world of Islam.
Sadly, Muslim demographics in Europe, the Caliphate/Islamic State, radicalization, the Internet and social media – whether a spontaneous lone wolf or planned by a group – have empowered Jihad to arrive at the door to a ‘theatre” in each of our neighbourhoods.
President Trump took a strong anti-terror stance in Riyadh, as have you, Madame Prime Minister, regarding Manchester.
The situation now requires a new anti-Terror Alliance,to concentrate on all its emanations as the venomous tentacles of a giant squid or the poisonous roots of a single tree – whether they be ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas,Islamic Jihad, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Houthi or Boko Haram Profile sharing must flow from Washington to London, Ryad to Jerusalem.
The Terror-Axis targets a consortium of declared enemies that include Western values in America and Europe, Jews, Christians, moderate Muslims, gays, etc., without remorse for women and child victims.
A truly integrated anti-Terror Alliance must neutralize every member along the chain of complicity. Perhaps it is time to take our Convention out of the moth-ball cupboard.
Blog by Shimon Samuels posted on The Times of Israel <http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/unesco-the-road-to-the-abyss>
3 May 2017
On Israel’s 69th Independence Day, the 58 member-states of the UNESCO Executive Board voted yet another pro-Palestinian resolution denying Israeli/Jewish ties to Jerusalem.
The resolution passed as expected with 22 votes ‘yes’ to 10 votes ‘no’ ( Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Paraguay, St.Kitts Nevis, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States) marking the disunity of the European Union and African,Caribbean and Latin American possibilities for breakthrough.
Following the vote,Germany exulted at recognition in the text of Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem as holy for the three monotheistic religions. Argentina noted the political content that has its place elsewhere. Brazil concurred. The United States condemned deepening politicization that erodes UNESCO’s prestige. Sweden recognized efforts of Palestinian and Jordanian amendments adding that, as European unity was impossible we voted yes. The Israeli Ambassador, wrapped in an Israeli flag, exclaimed ‘here we are and here we Stay’. Jordan stressed that on the Holy sites of Jerusalem both Muslim and Christian sites are of highest priority. The Palestinians closed with this vote will not change our policy. We will continue to fight for Palestine and Jerusalem.
More worrying was the little-noticed vote for the follow up “cultural” resolution 31 on “Israeli military confrontations in the Gaza Strip…prevention of Palestinian school children and students from exercising fully their right to education…Israeli censorship of the Palestinian curricula of schools and universities in East Jerusalem…calling on UNESCO to preserve the human, social and cultural fabric of the occupied Syrian Golan…”
This resolution passed 18 ‘yes’ to 1 ‘no’ (the United States) with 39 abstentions
The next step in this exponential I.D. theft of the Jewish and Christian narratives will take place at the July UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland where its 21 member-states will vote yet again on Jerusalem and possibly – on the Palestinian wish-list – Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The most dramatic events, however, will happen in November at the General Conference of all member-states. There the new Director-General will be elected – a hot favourite being the Minister of Culture of Qatar Likewise, the new Chairpersons of the General Conference and of the Executive Board will be appointed.The hot tickets – wait for it!
-For General Conference: Saudi Arabia
-For Executive Board: Iran (this is no nightmare… it is for real!)
At that moment, UNESCO will stand at the edge of the abyss. Will it take a giant step forward?