Paris, 1 February 2021
In a letter to JCDecaux General Counsel, Bertrand Allain, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled that “his response to the Centre’s letters of 15 and 21 December 2020, in regard to an antisemitic hate campaign in Toulouse against PUMA sport equipment that abused the billboards of JCDecaux, was most encouraging in its plans to take serious measures, including police outreach and legal steps.”
The Centre continued: “Unfortunately, we now confront a second wave of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign, reaching central Paris – from Belleville to Saint-Michel through Chatelet – and in particular, new posters on your billboards targeting Israeli Teva Pharmaceuticals and its pharmacy outlets. This is especially ironic, at a time when Israel is supplying anti-COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian hospitals and medical staff.”
JCDecaux billboards hijacked at three different bus stops in Paris.
The letter recalled that, “Puma’s response to hatred was to announce its greater support for Israel. Your remonstrations with the police were, however, clearly ineffective.”
Samuels stressed that “We had appraised our worldwide constituency of the status of JCDecaux, as the victim of ‘Collectif Palestine Vaincra,’ the hackers of your advertising infrastructures.”
The letter continued, “We now propose that you take the following three steps...
1) Adopt basic technology:
- a more sophisticated security lock on the billboards;
- an alarm triggered by whoever tampers with the lock;
- an unseen CCTV overviewing (or embedded in) the billboard.
2) A more emphatic demand for action from the police, municipalities and interior authorities. We would appreciate a copy of your complaints in order to provide back up.
3) A clear message to the Jewish and general public, by adopting the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism, already endorsed by governments, cities, football clubs and companies – both in France and internationally.
“Mr. Allain, our membership applauded the good will of your previous letters. It now awaits concrete steps from JCDecaux France, lest this virus of hatred mushroom into your global network,” concluded Samuels.
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“Hate is a boomerang, which comes back for everyone and spares no one, neither the weak nor the powerful.”
Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005 (quote from his book “Justice Not Vengeance”)