News Releases 2019

Geneva, 19 March 2019

In a letter to Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, presented at the session on the UN Human Rights Council Report on the so-called “Crimes of Israel,” otherwise known as “Item 7,” Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, expressed outrage at “the litany of offensive accusations targetting the Jewish State.”

Samuels argued that, “We find it impossible to comprehend your leadership of a Council bent on a constant hatefest against Israel and the Jewish people.”

He continued, “Sitting in the Chamber today, we heard a litany of outrageous and defamatory charges from member-States and NGOs, in competition to express the most offensive accusations against Israel.”

Oslo, 18 March 2019

The late Kare Kristiansen was a leader of the Norwegian Christian People’s Party. In 1994, he resigned from the Nobel Committee to protest the Award granted to Yasser Arafat, whom he described as “the world’s most prominent terrorist.”

In 2011, the Oslo Symposium was founded by Christian Friends of Israel to honour Kristiansen’s memory.

The fifth biennial Kare Kristiansen Award was granted to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, represented by its Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

18 March 2019 1
Bjarte Ystebo, Chair of the Oslo Symposium, handing the Kare
Kristiansen Award to Shimon Samuels (photo: Marion Haslien).

The Centre, in Consultative Status to the 35-member Organization of American States (OAS), proposed the pressing need for a designated unit on Iranian activity across the Americas.

“The couple’s arrival via Spain, where Iran is politically active, a week before the 27th anniversary of the Israeli Embassy bombing leaving 22 dead and over 200 wounded, is an alert.”

Buenos Aires and Paris, 17 March 2019

On 12 March, Argentine airport security detained an Iranian couple who tried to enter the country from Spain, with stolen and falsified Israeli passports.

“Only a week before the 27th anniversary of the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina that left 22 dead and more than 200 wounded, this casts particular concern in view of the timing of their arrival and reveals that continued Iranian mayhem in Latin America is highly dangerous,” stated Dr. Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, respectively the Centre’s Director for International Relations and Representative for Latin America.

Paris and London, 17 March 2019

UNESCO has been urged to remove Aalst from its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC), following repeated antisemitic displays.

UKLFI is a voluntary association of lawyers combatting anti-Israel and antisemitic activity. The SWC is a global human rights organization researching the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context and is accredited by UNESCO as an Associate Partner NGO. 

The Bureau of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage is meeting on 21 March 2019. UKLFI and SWC have written to its six members, formally requesting them to make the appropriate preparations so that the Committee can take a decision to remove the Aalst Carnival at its plenary meeting in December.

“Wiesenthal Centre turns to Italian National Partisans Association (ANPI) to investigate baker and parents, who offend the anti-Nazi Bologna resistance and the victims of the Holocaust.”

Paris, 14 March 2019

In a letter to ANPI (Italian National Partisans Association) President, Carla Nespolo, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels expressed horror at a schoolboy's 15th birthday party in Bologna, reportedly celebrated with two cakes bearing pictures of Adolf Hitler... one stating: "Pronto cara? Accendi il forno che sto arrivando!" (“Hello darling? Turn up the oven, I am coming home!”)... and the second stating: "Evvai... che oggi sarà una serata... a tutto gas!!!" (“Let's go... Today, we’ll have an all gas [full throttle] evening!!!”

14 March 2019

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Samuels continued, “apparently, the host parents and the baker claimed their act was meant to be a 'prank' without any intention to offend”...

Three schoolmates were reported as having refused to taste the cakes and reported the scene to their teacher.

The Centre emphasized that, “even more sickening, was the date of this travesty: 27 January - International Holocaust Commemoration Day.”

“We turn to ANPI to investigate and seek appropriate measures against the parents and the pastry cook, who indeed offended the anti-Nazi resistance and the victims of the Holocaust,”... Moreover, "ANPI is well placed to engage in an educational initiative for schools, to sensitize parents through their children to the dangers of Holocaust abuse"... "the Simon Wiesenthal Centre - Europe stands ready to assist in this campaign," concluded Samuels.