News Releases 2020

“VRT has responded that the ‘Children of the Holocaust’ series has been vetted by four experts. They are clearly not experts in Jewish or Arab Palestinian history!”

Paris, 14 June 2020

In a letter to Belgian Federal Prime Minister, Madam Sophie Wilmès, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage at “the Holocaust distortion by the Belgian State broadcaster, VRT, in its Flemish-language television series ‘Children of the Holocaust’.”

The letter slammed, “its voiceover, VRT, outrageously claimed that, in May 1948, ‘Jewish militants perpetrated massacres in 20 Palestinian villages, prompting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee’,”... continuing, “There is no mention of Arab terror and pogroms from 1929 against Jewish villages and cities across the British Palestine Mandate.”

14 June 2020 1
The 1929 Arab riots against the Jews of the British Mandate of Palestine, related
The New York Times and The Baltimore News (credit:

Paris, 14 June 2020 

Last Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) – a tribunal that tests the jurisprudential rulings of European states – cancelled the French highest appeals court 2015 conviction against eleven BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activists against the State of Israel.

France views BDS as an incitement to antisemitism. The ECHR ruled that the BDSers’ penalty violated their “freedom of expression.”

“An Obstacle to Irish Government Coalition is a So-Called ‘Occupied Territories’ Bill.”

“Mr. Prime Minister, your coalition should be formed on the basics of combatting the COVID pandemic and its economic ramifications. Perhaps, after all, the ‘Occupied Territories’ Bill is germane. A boycott of Israel would, indeed, have a negative impact on cooperation in finding the cure for both!”

Paris, 11 June 2020

In a letter to Irish Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed its members’ deep concern that “since the recent Irish general elections, an obstacle to forming a coalition is a so-called ‘Occupied Territories Bill’ (entitled ‘Control of Economic Activities’), which focuses on the State of Israel.”

Breaking news: The National Gallery Takes Immediate Action

"Many thanks for your email to Dr Gabriele Finaldi which he has passed on to me, as this matter relates to a video that was made as part of the National Gallery’s Learning Programme. Thank you so much for taking the time to raise your concerns with us. I am so sorry that the video has caused offence, and I have asked our digital team to remove it from YouTube immediately. I do hope that your members will continue to engage with the National Gallery and enjoy our collection, and thank you once again for making us aware of this important issue.
"Yours sincerely,
"Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and National Programmes"


“Lecturer calls Samson a ‘terrorist’.”

Paris, 1st June 2020

A letter to Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the British National Gallery (NG), from Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted a complaint from a member. Apparently – in the aftermath of the recent antisemitic blood libel furore surrounding an Italian painting – a bizarre altercation with a colleague had taken place over a YouTube presentation of the Rubens painting of Samson and Delilah in the National Gallery.
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Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
31 May 2020

What is deemed as an attack on a fundamental ethic of Judaism can be construed as an assault on the Jewish people.

31 May 2020
Brit mila (photo Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post).

Last fall, the US-based NGO Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) convened the “Brussels Collaboration on Bodily Integrity,” at which Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was equated with other forms of circumcision, including Jewish brit mila.

One of the more than 90 papers presented at the conference was titled “Medically Unnecessary Genital Cutting and the Rights of the Child.” It stated, “[circumcision] does not only apply to female minors, but rather non-consenting minors of any age irrespective of sex or gender... cutting any person’s genitals without their informed consent is a serious violation of their right to bodily integrity. As such, it is morally impermissible.”