News Releases 2019

“This is not a religious problem. It is a social and educational disaster for secular Poland and must be condemned as such.”

Paris, 3 May 2019

In a letter to the Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “shock to learn from our Polish members of Bishop Jez’s antisemitic tirade on Easter Thursday to a packed audience of clergy in Tarnow Cathedral.”

The letter noted that Bishop Jez, “quoting from a 1937 publication, claimed, reportedly, to be a Jewish source, ‘Our national enemy is the Catholic Church. We must start a fight between Christian denominations… begin a pityless all out fight against Catholic priests… Slander then with smears and hatred… take over the schooling system, the Christian religion must disappear from the curriculum’...”

In order to counter the damage in demonizing the Jewish State, we offer Somerset House our ‘People, Book, Land’ Exhibition on the Jewish code of ethics contribution to humanity.

Paris, 25 April 2019

In a letter to Somerset House Director Jonathan Reekie and Chair William Sieghart, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, condemned the current exhibition of the Sony World Photography Awards in Somerset House, entitled “Palestinian Right of Return Protests.”

The letter highlighted its one-sided “Series description”: “Since May 30, 2018, Palestinian protesters have protested weekly on the border with Israel in order to demand their right to return. The protests are still continuing along the Gaza Strip area bordering Israel, where around 233 Palestinian protesters have been killed and 21,000 injured by Israeli snipers.”

Alarm raised on other contraventions of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) Rules.

“We call on the ESC and European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to uphold its own Rules to ensure that the 2019 Tel Aviv Eurovision Song Contest be an expression of cultural harmony and unity rather than incitement to hate and violence.”

18 April 2019

UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) and the Wiesenthal Centre have written to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, to prevent politicization of the May 14-18 contest in Tel Aviv.

UKLFI urged the disqualification of Iceland’s band “Hatari” (“Hate” in English), since it contravened both the spirit and rules of Eurovision. Hatari has breached Rule 2.6, which states that: “Eurovision is a non-political event,”  in three different ways:

Paris, 16 April 2018 

A letter of sympathy to Emmanuel Macron, President of France, from Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Centre.

“Mr. President,

On behalf of our over 400.000 members, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre wishes to express solidarity with France and the French people at the tragic destruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

We were about to send greetings for a tranquil Easter to our French Catholic members and for Passover to the Jewish community.

Throughout history, and especially under Nazi occupation and Vichy, synagogues were burned and cemeteries desecrated. We thus feel the pain of our Christian friends at this time.

Mr. President, may Notre-Dame be restored to its full glory.”

A Report by Dr. Shimon Samuels, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations and Permanent Observer to UNESCO

“To claim that these resolutions were passed by consensus in the absence of a key party is a travesty...”
“Perhaps an open ballot of the 58 voting states would be more useful to identify the righteous versus the intimidated, the bribed and the simply antisemitic.”

Paris, 11 April 2019

Two resolutions, item 32 and 33 – both submitted by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan – were passed today “by consensus without a vote” at the UNESCO Executive Board chaired by Madam Samira Moosa of Oman.