News Releases 2021
Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Times of Israel
29 May 2021
The Wiesenthal Centre is proud to join 26 organizations, led by HARIF, the UK-based Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on 30 May, to commemorate, the 1 June 1941, Farhud Baghdad pogrom against its 2,700-year-old Jewish community.
80 years ago, Nazi Germany inspired then Iraqi Prime Minister, Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani, to unleash the Farhud (“violent dispossession” in Arabic), reportedly leaving over 180 Jews murdered, some 600 unknown bodies in a mass grave, 700 wounded, rapes and destruction of Jewish properties.
“We call on you to use the unfortunate “Apartheid” misnomer as the occasion to join Australia, Canada and the United States in boycotting the ‘Durban 4’ travesty.”
Paris, 24 May 2021
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is shocked at the undiplomatic and insulting language of Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in using “Apartheid” in reference to the State of Israel.
Not since President de Gaulle’s June 1967 “Six Day War” reference to “the Jews as an elite people, sure of itself and domineering,” has a French political leader made such a damaging statement towards the Jewish community.
Paris, 23 May 2021
In a letter to Erol Ok, President ad Interim of the Institut Français, the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage at the language of Cairopolitan, in partnership with the Institut Français of Egypt (IFE). See Cairopolitan Instagram page and Website:
“In a letter to Gérald Darmanin, French Minister for the Interior and of Religious Affairs, the Centre suggested that the CFCM statement may have negated French policy to ensure that Islam in France follows the Republic’s set of values, and could, even unwillingly, incite to further hate and violence against the Jews of France.”
Paris, 22 May 2021
The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, argued that the statement by Mohammed Moussaoui, President of the CFCM (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman / French Council of Muslim Faith), seems to go beyond its religious mandate in his calls on all Imams and Mosque officials across France to:
“Where the Court endorsed the concept that Sarah Halimi’s murderer could not be tried because under the influence of narcotics, this time the Court calls for Hassan Diab to face the charges of terrorism....”
Paris, 20 May 2021
The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, was present nearby the Copernic Synagogue in Paris on 3 October 1980. He had just accompanied Aliza Shagrir – the wife of late cineaste Micha Shagrir – a few minutes before she met her death outside the synagogue. A block away from the explosion, he heard the bomb go off and felt the shockwave.