News Releases 2021
“What if the Desert Campaign had gone wrong?... The Jews from the Maghreb – through Anatolia and the Levant – to Persia, would not have survived!”
Paris and London, 14 May 2021
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre-UK and Harif, the UK-based Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), joined forces in a Zoom meeting to expose the little-known history of MENA Jewry’s suffering during the Holocaust.
The speakers: Lyn Julius, Shimon Samuels, Reeva S. Simon, Rifat Bali, David Meghnagi, Yves Fedida,
David Dangoor and Graciela Vaserman Samuels with some of the over 80 participants to the Zoom.
“Madrid election won by centre-right... Wiesenthal Centre urges Madrid Assembly to inspire national government to boycott Durban anniversary as an exercise of hate camouflaged as human rights.”
Paris, 5 May 2021
In March 2021, the Wiesenthal Centre addressed democratic member-states of the United Nations Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC), urging them to boycott the planned 20th anniversary of the “UN World Conference Against Racism” – now known as Durban IV – at UN New York Headquarters in September.
Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Times of Israel
29 April 2021
As the only Jew elected to the International Steering Committee (ISC) of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, I attended several preparatory committee meetings for the Durban conference, backed at the NGO level by COSATU, the South African Trade Union Congress which obsessively referred to ‘Apartheid Israel’.
At these meetings, I was often prevented from speaking and, on arrival in Durban, I was expelled from the ISC.
On April 25th, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre participated in the worldwide gatherings of Jews and Gentiles, denouncing the travesty of the trial against the murderer of Sarah Halimi, considered criminally irresponsible because under the influence of drugs at the time.
The rally in Place du Trocadéro, Paris, saw over 20,000 in unison with thousands meeting in London, Rome, Strasbourg, New York, Miami, The Hague, Marseille, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv, among others.
25 April 2021
Banner at the gathering in front of the French Embassy.
I had come to Paris in 1980 with the grandiose objective to contain antisemitism. Little did I foresee its nature.
On 3 October, the eve of Sukkot (Tabernacles), I was visiting an Israeli journalist, Tamar Golan. Her houseguest, Aliza Shagrir – wife of the late cineaste Micha Shagrir – had just arrived from Israel. Asking her hostess if she needed anything for dinner, Tamar suggested some dates from the fruit shop three hundred meters away, facing the synagogue on the rue Copernic. We went down to the street together. She turned into Copernic, I continued walking straight ahead. I felt the bomb, where Aliza met her death.