“To leave this award in place could associate your Institute with incitement to hatred.”

Paris, 27 December 2018

In a letter to President Pierre Buhler of the highly regarded Institut Français, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, drew attention to the Institute's award, last week, to Egyptian actor Mohamed Sobhi, a widely reported antisemite, at the Institute-funded Meknès Theatre Festival in Morocco.
See link:
<http://aujourdhui.ma/culture/1ere-edition-du-festival-meknes-du-theatre-des-planches-de-differentes-ecoles-font-leur-show-a-la-cite-ismaelite>

Samuels noted that “Sobhi is notorious for his television series, ‘Horseman Without a Horse’, based on the Russian Tsarist forgery, ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ often referred to as ‘the antisemites bible’ and ‘a Warrant for Genocide’.”
See link:
<https://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/26/world/anti-semitic-elders-of-zion-gets-new-life-on-egypt-tv.html>

The Centre recalled that, “on 8 March 2014, on Egyptian Dream2 TV channel, he falsely attributed a quote to Benjamin Franklin, stating: ‘I warn you that if these terrorist groups of Jews flock to America, they will control American decision-making within 100 years... They will control America itself and will trample us underfoot’.”
See video clips, translated by MEMRI:
<https://www.memri.org/tv/egyptian-actor-mohamed-sobhi-recommends-reading-protocols-and-says-benjamin-franklin-warned>

See also reference notes on Wikipedia page:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Sobhi_(actor)>

“We consider that by honouring Sobhi, the Institut Français’ reputation is sullied and call on you to cancel this spurious award forthwith.”... “We assume that your action was made in good faith and ignorance of the recipient’s racism. Nevertheless, to leave this award in place could associate your Institute with incitement to hatred,” concluded Samuels.