News Releases 2023
Paris and Buenos Aires, 25 February 2023
A letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from Drs Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, Directors for International Relations and of Latin America respectively
We are aware that Brazil strictly condemns antisemitism, and as such, our findings below are an explicit violation of the law.
According to the Brazilian penal code, it is illegal to write, edit, publish, or sell literature that promotes antisemitism or racism. The law provides penalties of up to five years in prison for crimes of racism or religious intolerance and enables courts to fine or imprison for two to five years anyone who displays, distributes, or broadcasts antisemitic or racist material.
We are certain that this case is an exact example of the Brazilian penal code.
Paris, 23 February 2023
In a letter to recently elected President of Slovenia, Nataša Pirc Musar, the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, referred to antisemitism in Slovenian media.
“Madam President, the Wiesenthal Centre is aware of your country’s programmes to commemorate the murder of 90% of the Slovenian Jewish community in the Holocaust,” stated Samuels, adding, “We are also aware that your country has adopted the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism, as well as the Definition of anti-Roma discrimination.”
The letter continued, “Nevertheless, our attention has been drawn to expressions of antisemitism, xenophobia, calls to violence, conspiracy theories, fake news, glorification of dictatorships and terrorist organizations on the national public broadcasting company, Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV Slovenija) – including its website rtvslo.si and social media outlets. Reportedly, the moderator allowing this sort of hateful expression is a well-known journalist.”
Paris, 14 February 2023
Dear Madam Prime Minister,
Representing the Wiesenthal Centre last night at the CRIF dinner, I was greatly impressed to learn about your family’s history during the Holocaust.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Dr Samuels at the 13 February CRIF dinner.
LAST MINUTE UPDATE: Congratulations to the Mayor of Madrid, who proposes to twin his city with Tel Aviv
Paris-Barcelona-Tel Aviv, 9 February 2023
With a letter addressed to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, shamelessly announced that her City Council decided – by unilateral decree, without a Council vote – to break its 1998 twinning agreement with Tel Aviv.
This decision came in spite of widespread protests in January, especially from the local Jewish community, because the planned date for a “de-twinning” vote was January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. All were hoping that Colau would backpedal on this anti-Zionist = antisemitic intent.
Paris, 6 February 2023
After seven years monitoring hate at the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) for the Wiesenthal Centre, Dr Shimon Samuels noted that “this year has seen a tsunami of Arabic editions of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’, the Tsarist secret police forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, Henry Ford’s ‘The International Jew’ and Guy Carr’s ‘Pawns in the Game’ (the ‘implementation of the Protocols’), spread out along a dozen of stands.”
What is particularly worrying in this CIBF is that, among the listed publishers, figure not only the usual purveyors of hate, conspiracy theories and antisemitism – such as Dar Al-Kitab Al-Araby – but also apparent newcomers in the business, who consider that these books meet the local market’s demand.
Since the inception of Arab nationalism, ‘Mein Kampf’ is being peddled as a classic staple for Egyptian families. How could academics, journalists or diplomats really find justification in Arab anti-Zionism – and claim it is not antisemitism – if the non-religious political bestseller in the Arab world is a book that calls for the extermination of the Jews?