News Releases 2020

“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.

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
14 May 2020

What role did Erich Priebke play? The Pope Pius XII Archives may tell us.

14 May 2020
Pope Pius XII, the pontiff during World War Two, appears in an undated file photo
from the archives of Vatican newspaper
Osservatore Romano (photo Reuters).

On March 2, 2020, Pope Francis kept his commitment to open the secret archives of Pope Pius XII, to discover the truth of why the war-time pontiff had remained silent in the face of the Holocaust.

“A sticker virus spreads hate across the city.”

Paris, 8 May 2020 

In a letter to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, drew attention to “a growing pandemic of antisemitic stickers in and around the Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est area – the principal Paris train stations, in 10th arrondissement.”

The letter stressed that, “many of the stickers call for ‘Separation between the French State and CRIF’ (the French Jewish Leadership Council). Others, equating the State of Israel with Nazi Germany, cover lamp posts.”

8 May 2020

“What is deemed by our constituency as attacks on a cardinal ethic of Judaism will be construed as an assault on the Jewish people.”

Paris, 3 May 2020

In a letter to Advocate Steven Svoboda, Executive Director of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC), the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, protested ARC’s campaign to ban “Brith Mila” Jewish circumcision and “requested Svoboda's comments on our references below.

Paris, 28 April 2020

The Paris suburb of Colombes has seen violence over the last weeks, directed at police, in clashes demanding an end to lockdown.

Since 2015, it came under threat of Jihadist attacks.

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that, “yesterday, in the same suburb, a 29 year old resident rammed his car into two motorcycle police officers... With a knife found in the car, the driver claimed he acted ‘for the cause of Palestine’.”

“Statements broadcast on social media, such as last week’s French Ambassador at the UN Security Council warning to Israel – if it moves to annexe areas of the West Bank populated by Israelis –, may have aroused youth in Paris to attack French traffic police ‘in the name of Palestine’.”

The perpetrator was arrested and awaits trial. Both policemen were wounded, one in the head, the other in the stomach and legs.

“The Wiesenthal Centre wishes the two officers a speedy and complete recovery,” concluded Samuels.