News Releases 2017

"The investigating magistrates handed their final report on 28 July setting the formal decision for trial within 40 working days - Deadline for 23 September".

"We urge French Justice Minister to ensure that 2018 brings final closure to families of the victims and survivors.  After 37 years, justice further delayed is justice denied"

Paris, 13 September 2017

In a letter to the French Justice Minister, Nicole Belloubet, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels noted that "on 28 July  2017, one of the longest judicial inquiries in the history of a French tribunal moved forward.  Thirty-seven years after the crime, the investigating magistrates completed their inquiry into the 1980 bombing of the rue Copernic Synagogue in Paris.  The magistrates closure sets a calendar for a formal decision within 40 days on proceeding to trial.  A period of 40 working days places the deadline for 23 September - one week from now."

Blog by Shimon Samuels posted in The Jerusalem Post
4 September 2017

How do Mongolians feel toward Jews?

4 Sept. 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.

"We urge the GCC to expand its measures to also remove antisemitism from all media sources."

"Sowing hatred of Jews in the Arab world or in the Muslim diaspora provokes terrorism against Jewish targets in Europe and beyond." 

Paris, 30 August 2017

In a letter to Dr. Abdul Latif Rashid Al-Zayani, Secretary General of the six state Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended the GCC for "its measures to press Qatar to cut its financing of terrorist organisations and to close its Al Jazeera television network for incitement to hate and violence."

Samuels noted that "only this week, on 25 August, Al Jazeera Arabic (Blogs) published an antisemitic article on 'The Jews - That is their Character/Trait'.  The author, writer and microbiologist, Mohammed Abdallah, mentions he has a duty as a Muslim and a Palestinian to clarify to people the true nature of the Jews:

Paris, 25 August 2017

Former Argentine Ambassador to Syria, Roberto Ahuad, has testified to the Prosecutor who replaced the murdered Alberto Nisman, to  continue investigation into his predecessor's charges.

Nisman was due to present his report to the Argentine Congress the day following his presumed assassination,in which he claimed that in January 2011 former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman met with his Iranian counterpart in Aleppo, in order to negotiate a plan to close the investigation into the AMIA Jewish Centre bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that left 85 dead and more than 300 wounded.

The Wiesenthal Centre noted that "it was hardly surprised by the Ambassador's revelation of Assad hosting the Aleppo meeting.

"Nevertheless, the role of mass murderer of his own people, Bashar Assad, in endorsing Iranian terror against Diaspora Jews, highlights that Jews are targets anywhere and not just Israelis...", argued Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Center´s Director for International Relations, continuing, "Foreign Minister Timerman, a longtime acquaintance, called me to deny the Aleppo meeting hours following its media exposure... in any case, shortly before his death, Nisman personally confirmed to me the details of his charges."

Dr. Ariel Gelblung, Representative of the Wiesenthal Center for Latin America, said: "We hope that Ahuad's statement will be the first in the appearance of more witnesses and of evidence to substantiate Prosecutor Nisman's denunciation."