Paris, 7 August 2021

In a letter to former Ha’aretz Editor, Dov Alfon, now Chief Editor of the Centre-Left French Daily Libération, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed concern at a 3 August appeal, apparently calling for “The Dismantling of the Apartheid Regime in Israel.”

Charles Baccouche, of the Observatoire Juif de France (OJF - Jewish Observatory of France), has listed, in Tribune Juive, the “historical lies” in the article on the history of "Palestine”. The history of the Jewish State has been rewritten as if the Palestinians became the victims of ‘Israeli colonialism and Apartheid’.

Samuels stressed that, “as Israel is the only UN member-State threatened for annihilation, this language is reminiscent of the genocidal atmosphere at the UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa, in 2001”... “As the only Jew elected to the Durban International Steering Committee (ISC), I attended five ‘PrepComs (preparatory committee meetings) on three continents’, but on arrival in Durban, I was expelled from the ISC, with cat-calls as ‘the World Jew’. That was the environment, as a thousand pro-Palestinian protesters surrounded the tiny Durban synagogue brandishing banners bearing the words, ‘Hitler did not finish the job!’.”

He continued, “three months later, I uninvitedly sat at the final ISC meeting in Geneva. On the table was a ‘10-Year Plan, 8 point programme, for the dismantling of Israel as an Apartheid State’:
1. An educational inculcation campaign through UN agencies on ‘Apartheid’ Israel
2. A legal campaign in the International Criminal Court and countries of universal jurisprudence to arrest Israelis for crimes against humanity
3. Cancellation of the Law of Return for Jews to Israel
4. Its replacement by the ‘Right of Return’ for all Palestinians
5. Reactivation of the dormant economic boycott
6. Cultural, scientific, sports, academic etc., embargos now known as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions)
7. Rupture of diplomatic relations rendering Israel a pariah state
8. Penalties for states and NGOs refusing to comply.”

The Centre argued, “Mr. Chief Editor, the spillover in Durban – from Israel hatred to Jew hatred – cast it as the greatest antisemitic gathering since the Nazis... Durban II in 2009, at the UN in Geneva, and Durban III in 2011, at the UN in New York, were both opened by then Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spewing Judeophobia.”

The letter noted, “’Libération’ is too important a publication to be abused for hate mongering.”

“‘Dismantling the Apartheid Regime in Israel’ are not words in a vacuum... neither an issue of freedom of expression. They are a manifesto that can incite more hate and violence. It may even serve, unintentionally, as a document for Durban IV antisemitism at the UN in New York, in September,” concluded Samuels.

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“My cause was justice, not vengeance. My work is for a better tomorrow and a more secure future for our children and grandchildren.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)