News Releases 2020
Paris, 14 June 2020
Last Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) – a tribunal that tests the jurisprudential rulings of European states – cancelled the French highest appeals court 2015 conviction against eleven BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activists against the State of Israel.
France views BDS as an incitement to antisemitism. The ECHR ruled that the BDSers’ penalty violated their “freedom of expression.”
“An Obstacle to Irish Government Coalition is a So-Called ‘Occupied Territories’ Bill.”
“Mr. Prime Minister, your coalition should be formed on the basics of combatting the COVID pandemic and its economic ramifications. Perhaps, after all, the ‘Occupied Territories’ Bill is germane. A boycott of Israel would, indeed, have a negative impact on cooperation in finding the cure for both!”
Paris, 11 June 2020
In a letter to Irish Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed its members’ deep concern that “since the recent Irish general elections, an obstacle to forming a coalition is a so-called ‘Occupied Territories Bill’ (entitled ‘Control of Economic Activities’), which focuses on the State of Israel.”
Breaking news: The National Gallery Takes Immediate Action
"Many thanks for your email to Dr Gabriele Finaldi which he has passed on to me, as this matter relates to a video that was made as part of the National Gallery’s Learning Programme. Thank you so much for taking the time to raise your concerns with us. I am so sorry that the video has caused offence, and I have asked our digital team to remove it from YouTube immediately. I do hope that your members will continue to engage with the National Gallery and enjoy our collection, and thank you once again for making us aware of this important issue.
"Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and National Programmes"
“Lecturer calls Samson a ‘terrorist’.”
Paris, 1st June 2020
A letter to Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the British National Gallery (NG), from Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted a complaint from a member. Apparently – in the aftermath of the recent antisemitic blood libel furore surrounding an Italian painting – a bizarre altercation with a colleague had taken place over a YouTube presentation of the Rubens painting of Samson and Delilah in the National Gallery.
Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
31 May 2020
What is deemed as an attack on a fundamental ethic of Judaism can be construed as an assault on the Jewish people.
Brit mila (photo Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post).
Last fall, the US-based NGO Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) convened the “Brussels Collaboration on Bodily Integrity,” at which Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was equated with other forms of circumcision, including Jewish brit mila.
One of the more than 90 papers presented at the conference was titled “Medically Unnecessary Genital Cutting and the Rights of the Child.” It stated, “[circumcision] does not only apply to female minors, but rather non-consenting minors of any age irrespective of sex or gender... cutting any person’s genitals without their informed consent is a serious violation of their right to bodily integrity. As such, it is morally impermissible.”
“Suspend Tehran and Ramallah from UNESCO and freeze their heritage sites in process.”
Paris, 17 May 2020
In its capacity as the only Jewish organization accredited to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Permanent Observer, Dr. Shimon Samuels, on 20 February alerted the Director-General to the Iranian regime’s threat to destroy the tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan – a historic shrine holy to Judaism and Christianity.
Reportedly, there are plans to place on its ruins a Palestinian consulate.