News Releases 2018
"A publisher's display at the Fair was closed down for selling Muslim Brotherhood books, considered to incite to violence and terrorism...Indeed, the Fair supervisor warned that, 'any publisher who breaks the rules of the Fair will be banned from participating in it forever'..."The Centre urged the Minister to treat antisemitic publishers in the same manner."
Paris, 24 March 2018
In a letter to Saudi Culture Minister, Dr. Awad bin Saleh Al Awad, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels,noted that, "we monitor book fairs as arenas for the propagation of hatred, including six in the Arab world. Our findings are then shared with the Frankfurt Book Fair, where delinquent publishers may be blacklisted for violating the terms of their contract with the Fair".
The letter added, "Mr. Minister, we are delighted at the initiatives of Saudi Arabia towards Muslim reconciliation with the Jewish people and even contacts with the State of Israel...We are therefore distressed to discover vicious conspiracy texts on display, at the Riyadh Book Fair, that counter-productively inflame antisemitism among the visitors and readers."
Salford, United Kingdom, 13 March 2018
This exhibition, authored by the late Hebrew University Professor Robert Wistrich, was first launched at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in June 2014 and then displayed at the UN in New York, followed by the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C., the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, the Vatican in Rome, the Copenhagen Town Hall, the Gandhi Centre in New Delhi, at the British Parliament, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, with the support of 42 member states.
The 24 panels display the Jewish narrative from the Biblical Prophets to the Kingdoms of David and Solomon, from the Babylonian and Persian exiles to the return to rebuild Jerusalem, from the Roman occupation of Judea to the birth of Christianity, from the Crusades to the Muslim conquest, from the Diaspora to the pioneers bent on redeeming the land, from diplomacy to recognition of a modern Jewish nation in construction, from the near annihilation of European Jewry in the Shoah, until the establishment of the State of Israel and the return of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland.
“The accused include former President Cristina Kirchner and former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman on a charge of alleged conspiracy in a cover-up of Iranian complicity in exchange for lucrative sales contracts.”
Paris and Buenos Aires, 6 March 2018
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has commended Argentina’s Judiciary for its announced intention to bring to court 12 officials – including former President Cristina Kirchner and former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, and other members of her administration.
They are charged with a cover-up of Iranian complicity in the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Centre – which left 85 dead and over 300 wounded.
The officials concerned had signed a “Memorandum” in Tehran to establish a “Truth Commission,” to review the circumstances of the bombing and thereby exonerate six Iranian suspects under INTERPOL “Red Notice” international arrest warrants; shut down the ongoing investigation by Prosecutor Alberto Nisman and end any hope of closure for the families of the victims and the maimed survivors. In exchange, Argentina was to receive a multibillion dollar trade deal from Iran.
“Our European Office is now working with ECCAR (European Coalition of 148 Cities Against Racism) to push back antisemitism at the municipal level.”
Paris, 1 March 2018
The Wiesenthal Centre, together with its counterpart, BNVCA (National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism), congratulated the Hauts-de-Seine Regional Prefect, Pierre Soubelet, for his efforts to obtain the cancellation of the 21 January 2018 unilateral decree recognising the “State of Palestine,” promoted by the Communist Mayor of the Paris suburb, Gennevilliers, Patrice Leclerc.
Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that “the suburban municipalities surrounding Paris are known as ‘the red belt’ due to a traditional Communist leadership. Today, many of these precincts, once Jewish, are predominantly Islamist festering impoverished slums.”
“Recognising ‘Palestine’ may be an easy gesture to retain a voting constituency, but also acts as a call to more antisemitic violence... Hence the current move of most Jewish residents to safer neighbourhoods in central Paris. May the Gennevilliers Mayor’s retraction be a welcome precedent,” argued Samuels.
“Our European office is now working with ECCAR (the European Coalition of 148 Cities Against Racism) to push back antisemitism at the municipal level... With the support of the Snider Foundation, we are cooperating with Israeli municipalities, who will join ECCAR to rid the cities of Europe of incitement to all forms of hatred and violence,” concluded Samuels.
Paris, 21 February 2018
In a letter to the French Minister of Higher Education, Frederique Vidal, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage at the “Disruption and forced closure of the ‘Stopover in Israel’ exhibition and a Hebrew language course at Lille University, following a demonstration by, so called, pro-Palestinian students and professors.”
The letter noted, “This four-day cultural festival of workshops, including music and cuisine, is an exercise in ‘BDS’ (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel, a hatemongering campaign characterized as illegal under French law, and also in this case, a threat to freedom of expression.”
Samuels stressed, “Succumbing to such threats only encourages demonstrations, often leading to violence and fomenting antisemitism.”
The Centre urged the Minister to “Condemn the Lille decision and to ensure that any further gagging of Jewish/Israeli campus programmes be forestalled through the authority of your Ministry.”
“The behavior at Lille University must not be a precedent,” concluded Samuels.