News Releases 2020
"Last year, your Chargé d’Affaires in Cairo closed the American stand on the basis of our report... We urge you to make clear to the authorities that there will be no United States stand in 2021, unless CIBF is hate-free."
Paris, 2 February 2020
In a letter to United States Ambassador to Egypt, Jonathan Cohen, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that, “We monitor the shelves of six Arab book fairs annually for incitement to hatred and violence. We send our findings to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where measures are generally taken to denounce and ban the listed offenders, who violate the contract signed with Frankfurt.”
The letter recalled that, “Last year, the US Chargé d’Affaires in Cairo, Thomas H. Goldberger, responded to our report on the CIBF’s antisemitic texts on display, stating: ‘On receipt of your letter, I immediately contacted the Egyptian Government, on the phone and in writing, to protest the presence of antisemitic materials at the CIBF and to demand that it take immediate action to remove the materials.’... ‘I also instructed my staff to close the Embassy’s booth at the CIBF, and we will not reopen,’... ‘and I have also brought this matter to the attention of the Department of State’.”
Letter to Spanish Prime Minister: “Take measures, on this International Holocaust Commemoration Day, against those who would desecrate memory and banalize Nazi atrocities.”
Paris, 28 January 2020
In a letter to Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed shock “to learn about a brief prepared by the State Prosecutor (Circular 7/2019 on the Signs to Recognize Hate Crime...). This claims that ‘incitement to hatred against Nazis’ can be considered as ‘a hate crime’.”
The Prosecution argued: “The origin of the hate crime is related to the protection of vulnerable communities”... “An aggression against a person of Nazi ideology or incitement to hatred towards such a group can be included in this type of crime.”
Comments included on the web:
- “Would it be a crime to incite to hatred of... ISIS or ETA... or those whose ideology supports the murder of ‘inferior races’?”
Samuels questioned: “Should we expect the imprisonment of Auschwitz survivors for having incited hatred of the Nazis?”
The Centre urged the Prime Minister “to take appropriate measures, on this International Holocaust Commemoration Day, against those who would desecrate memory and banalize Nazi atrocities.”
“A sick joke, a slap at all Holocaust survivors, just like the claim that the Nazis could never forgive the Jews for forcing them to build Auschwitz,” concluded Samuels.
“We have committed the irreparable... Women, men and a child fled to us... We did not protect them as was our responsibility... they had come to us seeking refuge, thinking they had found a neutral welcome... To say this today is to recognize a fact. To say it today, at this place and in front of you, is to request a pardon.”
Jerusalem, 24 January 2020
On the sidelines of the “5th World Holocaust Forum" in Jerusalem, attended by representatives of 49 states, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the Principality of Monaco met to discuss cooperation.
The Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted “its campaign to gain access to the Holocaust-related archives and belated indemnification to survivors and families of the victims, deported from Monaco.”
Paris, 21 January 2020
In a letter to Monaco State Minister, Serge Telle, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, stated, "we understand that Monaco is participating in the forthcoming World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, while ignoring requests for access to its Holocaust-period archives."
The letter stressed, "Mr. State Minister, a statement by you, announcing - from Jerusalem - your cooperation with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on this issue, would render your visit very meaningful."
Samuels offered to meet with Telle in Jerusalem to resolve the matter.
"The absence of a response by Monaco to access its Holocaust-related archives, may be viewed negatively, and render your presence at this Holocaust Commemoration as, at best, an empty gesture," concluded Samuels.
“Murder of Jews carries no judicial penalty when the perpetrator is high on narcotics.”
Paris, 6 January 2020
On 4 April 2017, Sarah Halimi, a 65 year old retired medical doctor and former Director of a nursery, was brutally stabbed and thrown to her death from her third floor balcony, by a neighbour screaming “Allahu Akbar.”
The Court, on appeal, dismissed all charges on grounds that her murderer was “not responsible while under the influence of cannabis.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, from the beginning of the legal process, turned to the Justice Minister, to consider the ramifications of a case of blatant and brutal antisemitism.