News Releases 2022
Paris, 27 November 2022
In the year preceding the Covid-19 pandemic, the streets of France saw a multitude of rallies – regularly held on Saturdays – by the so-called “Gilets-jaunes” movement (Yellow Jackets). Organized through social media, the movement accused the French Government of not addressing rising poverty – seen as a globalization effect – of lower and middle classes in a context of economic stagnation.
After several chaotic Saturday rallies, as early as January 2019, the Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, warned that, “Lacking any recognized leadership, the once spontaneous ‘movement’ was being hijacked by extremes of right and left, inciting conspiracy theories, antisemitism and other forms of hatred.”
Paris, 22 November 2022
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre - Europe has the immense sadness to announce the passing, this Sunday, November 20th, of Dr Graciela Vaserman Samuels, spouse of Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Centre.
Born in Argentina to a prominent family in the Jewish community, Graciela moved to Israel and studied Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Holding a Ph.D. in Literature from Temple University in Philadelphia, she founded the Hadassah Medical Relief Association, travelling worldwide to establish partnerships with other university hospitals.
Paris, 14 November 2022
“Some animal protection rights groups have been active across Europe especially regarding ritual slaughter, focussing more on banning ‘Jewish Shechita’ rather than ‘Muslim Hallal’',” declared Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels.
Raising the stakes are those child rights groups who switch their focus on Judaism, claiming “Medically Unnecessary Genital Cutting.” The campaign is led by a group of scholars and NGOs pooled into the “Brussels Collaboration on Bodily Integrity.”
30 October 2022
The Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM - Frankfurter Buchmesse) has deeply evolved over the past years, its 2022 edition not only affected by the post-Covid environment, but also concerned with the risk of the Russian war on Ukraine expanding towards the rest of Europe.
The Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, explained that the Centre has annually monitored antisemitic books on the shelves of six Arab Book Fairs. The names of books’ and publishers’ fomenting hate were then sent to the “Fair of Fairs” of Frankfurt, always held in autumn, suggesting that these – mostly recidivists – be denied access, in the spirit of the Fair’s rules.
Paris, 25 October 2022
Last 14 September, Paris Saint Germain was hosted by Maccabi Haifa in the Sammy Ofer Stadium.
Today, 25 October, the return match was held in the Parc-des-Princes Paris Stadium.
Posters by the “BDS-France” campaigners had appeared with the wording: “PSG match against Maccabi Haifa in Champions League next 25 October at Parc des Princes... #SPORTWASHING... Israeli Apartheid Is No Magic! BDS (Boycott Israel).”
One thousand police and Gendarmes were posted in and around the stadium, expecting a level 3 to 5 “high risk” for Israeli and Jewish fans, based on the experience of previous sport events. Heightened vigilance and police protection was needed.
The PSG “right wing pro-‘Palestine’ Ultras” decided to boycott the event as BDS-ers. Boycotting Israel was a flop.
The 1,650 Israeli supporters were exuberant and, even losing 2 to 7, their defeat was compensated by watching the football stars Messi, Neymar and M’Bappé.
The Israelis enjoyed Paris safely, accompanied by undercover agents, but vigilance will still be required until their departure.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Shimon Samuels, stated: “We will watch for antisemitism not only on the football pitch, but across France.”
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