News Releases 2020

“Melenchon could be seen as a French Corbyn in both his following and his constant statements offensive to Jews.”

Paris, 16 July 2020 

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre supports its French associate organization, the BNVCA (Bureau national de vigilance contre l’antisémitisme – the French National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism) in mutual outrage at a 15 July morning interview of BFM-RTL TV news outlet, featuring extreme left political leader, Jean-Luc Melenchon. Asked if the Police were supposed to stand back in the face of violent protest, “stay put like Jesus on the cross without reacting,” he responded, “I don't know if Jesus was on a cross, but he was apparently put there by his own people,” thus repeating the centuries old accusation of deicide against Jews, a classical antisemitic canard.

“Are the reported positions those of France? If not, recall the Consul... If yes, we protest!”

Paris, 15 July 2020 

In a letter to French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “grave concern regarding an interview with the French Consul General to Ramallah, though residing in Jerusalem. René Troccaz, in a meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General, Saeb Erekat, reportedly made undiplomatic statements that were revealed by the highly respected Palestinian Media Watch, and since appeared in the Palestinian daily Al Hayat Al Jadida.”

“This trial must be just and exemplary, with no ambiguity regarding the aggravating circumstances of antisemitic hate... Our Centre will be monitoring the proceedings.”

Paris, 14 July 2020

In a letter to French Minister of Justice Éric Dupont-Moretti, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed satisfaction that “the perpetrators of the stabbing and arson of child Holocaust survivor, Mireille Knoll, will be judged for their antisemitic hate crime and that her family, we hope, will be able to find closure.”

“We hope UNESCO will take the necessary measures for Israel to return.”

Zoom, 9 July 2020

This annual essay competition, co-organized by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre-Europe (CSW-Europe), Verbe et Lumière-Vigilance (V&L-V) and the Russian Holocaust Research Centre (RHC), selects five student laureates who, each year, present their research projects at UNESCO in Paris.

Due, however, to the pandemic, this 16th year meeting took place through Zoom.

The winners are from Krakow (Poland), Baranovichi (Belarus), Barnaul, Kemerovo and St. Petersburg (Russia).

9 July 2020
From left to right, top to bottom: Shimon Samuels (SWC Director for International Relations), Sheila Ryan (CSW-Europe, Paris), Daria Pavlovskaya (Baranovichi), Sofya Shestakova (Kemerovo), Rabbi Stephen Berkowitz (Barcelona), Harriet Tamen (New York), Vadim Kantorov (Paris), Ilya Altman (RHC, Moscow), Galina Lochekhina (Krakow), Alex Uberti (CSW-Europe, Paris), Sofia Klenova (Barnaul), Richard Odier (V&L-V and CSW-France, Paris), Jens Streckert (German Delegate, UNESCO), Maria Frolova (St. Petersburg), Maria Gileva (RHC, Moscow), Amb. Alexander Kuznetsov (Russian Delegation, UNESCO), Graciela Vaserman Samuels (UNESCO), Evelyne Monas (V&L-V, Paris), DCM Yaron Gamburg (Israeli Embassy, Paris), Martha Langer (CSW-Europe member).

Paris, 6 July 2020 

This week, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) was to have convened in Fuzhou, China. The Wiesenthal Centre, as the only Jewish organization accredited to that body, each year lobbies against Palestinian theft of Jewish heritage.

Due to COVID-19 and financial strictures, the WHC was cancelled. In its place, the 58 member-State Paris-based representatives convened at the UNESCO Executive Board, bringing along its biannual anti-Israel baggage.

In the absence of the United States and Israel, the Wiesenthal Centre reports from the field.