News Releases 2019

Paris, 4 December 2019

“Following a 3 hour Q&A devoted mainly to terrorist dangers in France, the National Assembly (Parliament’s Lower Chamber) spent a further 2 hours debating the draft Resolution to adopt the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism,” explained Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, who was present throughout.

“MP Sylvain Maillard, from the majority governing party, led the presentations for adoption, followed by other centrist leaders. Among them was Mr. Meyer Habib, elected to represent the overseas French expatriates of the Mediterranean region, including Israel,” added Samuels.

“The Wiesenthal Centre had protested the 2013 Nazi-theme float paraded at Aalst and, in March 2019, had brought the float portraying Jewish stereotyped figures, grasping gold coins and infested by rats, to the attention of UNESCO, where the Carnival has held Intangible Cultural Heritage status since 2010.” 

A caveat: Agreeing to a UNESCO delisting is no guarantee of a hate-free 2020 Carnival...
The Wiesenthal Centre will continue to monitor closely."

Paris, 3 December 2019

3 Dec. 2019
Nazi-era antisemitic Carnival float in Germany and the 2019 Aalst Carnival float.

“As a budget saving measure, France seeks to close down many prisons... Freeing antisemitic killers cannot be a contributing factor.”

Paris, 29 November 2019

In a letter to Madam Nicole Belloubet, French Justice Minister, the Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Dr. Shimon Samuels, made the following comments: “alcohol, cannabis and psychiatry must not be used by the French judiciary system as excuses for perpetrators of antisemitic murder and violence.

29 Nov. 2019
Shimon Samuels addressing the issue with Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet at CRIF Jewish Leadership dinner.

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
25 November 2019

'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité' poses unique challenges for France's Jews

25 Nov. 2019
A French gendarme inspects swastikas painted on a wall of a former synagogue
turned into a cultural center in Mommenheim near Strasbourg (photo Reuters).

The representative body of French Jewry, CRIF, just held its 10th annual convention, titled “Fractured France – Can We Unite Against Antisemitism?”

As a member of the CRIF Commission for Political Studies, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was present. Speakers were drawn from across the political, religious, intellectual and media spectra.

“Aviapartner baggage handlers allegedly claimed they were overburdened with work... but, while all other flight passengers serviced by them got their baggage on time, only the Tel Aviv passengers had to wait two tense hours...”

“We hope the internal enquiry will be swift, transparent and conclusive to unveil a form of antisemitic boycott resulting in disciplinary measures.”

Paris, 12 November 2019

In a letter to Clive Sauvé-Hopkins, CEO of Aviapartner airport services company, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “shock to learn that, Sunday afternoon, the passengers of Transavia Flight from Tel Aviv to Lyon were left waiting for two hours for their baggage, in what appeared to be a deliberate form of boycott by Aviapartner baggage handlers.”