News Releases 2019

Herzliya, Israel, 16 September 2019

This 19th Annual Conference, dubbed “The Davos Forum Against Terror,” drew some 1,400 politicians, academics, security officials and media, including candidates in the forthcoming Israeli elections.

Invited for the 8th year running, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, brought attention to the role and fungibility of both African “conflict gold” and the disappearance of most of Venezuela’s gold reserve in the context of terrorism.

"UNESCO seems to have taken a position against the Making Memory UK National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London, abutting the Houses of Parliament on the River Thames."

"The memorial is designed to honour the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution, including Roma, LGBT and the disabled. The planners argue that they will take up 27% of the green space currently in the park...Its propinquity to the British Parliament aims to focus on the need to sensitize the public and their MP’s to the dangers of bigotry, prejudice, hate and violence against the other."

Paris, 12 September 2019

In a letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations Dr.Shimon Samuels, noted that "UNESCO seems to have taken a position against the "Making Memory UK National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London, abutting the Houses of Parliament on the River Thames", adding that "the concept was born in 2015, yet a planning application is still being considered by Westminster City Council".

“After delaying tactics, the issue is now to be buried in the National Senate,frozen due to the continued absence of a Belgian federal government”... “Time is running out for the survivors!”

Paris, 8 September 2019

In a letter to Belgian Railways (NMBS/SNCB) CEO, Sophie Dutordoir, the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled his letter of 14 April 2019, in support of the campaign launched by the Royal Society for Jewish Welfare (RSJW) in Antwerp. This campaign seeks a just acknowledgement of the NMBS/SNCB deportation of 25,431 Jews from the Mechelen/Breendonk concentration camps directly to their murder in the Auschwitz gas chambers.

“An apology is inadequate... Yann Moix should be proactive, by publicly denouncing contemporary notorious French antisemites, such as Alain Soral and Dieudonné.”

Paris, 4 September 2019

The French weekly L’Express exposure of celebrated novelist, Yann Moix’s expressions thirty years ago of antisemitism and Holocaust denial - a crime under French law - has engendered an uproar in intellectual circles.

Moix, who has reportedly been criticized for uncomplimentary remarks about “over 50 year-old women” and is now suing his family, apparently for abuse during his childhood, following indirect claims he made in his autobiographical novel.

Now, at 51, he has apologized  for his caricatures and sick Holocaust jokes of when he was 21.

An example speaks of a Jew bargaining the cost of his deportation ticket to a concentration camp.

L’Express’ revelation also resulted in Moix’s withdrawal of his latest novel, “Orléans”, from distribution, confirmed by his well-respected publisher Grasset.

While his friend, Jewish intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy, has accepted Moix’s apology, various Jewish organizations are less forthcoming.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, has suggested that “An apology is inadequate... Yann Moix should be proactive, by publicly denouncing contemporary notorious French antisemites, such as Alain Soral and Dieudonné.”

The Centre is monitoring this story.

“Asked by UNESCO French Ambassador to assist in identifying WWI cemeteries that were destined for World Heritage status, but enlarged in WWII to include Nazi graves, the Centre exposed two such sites... We are now informed that the nomination was dropped definitively.”..."There can be no reconciliation between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness."

Paris, 2 September 2019

In July 2018 at the 42nd World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Bahrain, Wiesenthal Centre Permanent Observer to UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels, questioned a joint Franco-Belgian nomination of 139 World War I cemeteries for World Heritage inscription. The proposal was meant to emphasize reconciliation, especially with Germany, on the centenary of the 1918 armistice.