News Releases 2021

Paris, 22 June 2021

In a letter to the principal French political party leaders, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that “In December 2019, the National Assembly adopted the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism, as a tool to support French policy in combating this particular form of discrimination,” adding, “As we approach the second and final regional elections round, we call upon your Party to take a clear stand concerning one of the issues that is a blight on society at both the local and national level.”

The letter stressed that, “Although Jews in France are but 1% of the total population, they are targeted by 33% of racist insults and violence. Antisemitism is not only increasing – its perpetrators ranging from couch-ideologues to inflamed Jihadists – but it is also covered by social media anonymity and the perception of impunity,” continuing, “Indeed, the torture to death of Ilan Halimi, the massacre at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse, the Hyper Cacher terror attack, the aggression of Roger Pinto’s family, the desecrated cemeteries of Strasbourg, the murders of Sarah Halimi and of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll... are but the tip of the iceberg in the daily ordeal of French Jewish citizens.”

Paris, 22 June 2021

Dear Roger,

I recall your creation of “SIONA Jewish Defence” and our work together against antisemitic terrorism in the 1980s.

It is ironic that you, your wife and son became the victims of violent Jew-hatred in your own Seine-Saint-Denis home.

Paris, 15 June 2021

In a letter to UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta H. Fore, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed deep concern at the appointment of Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy as UNICEF Regional Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
See: https://www.unicef.org/egypt/press-releases/unicef-appoints-ahmed-helmy-regional-ambassador

“I will wait until the synagogues will be full of vermin, so that I can do a bigger carnage than at the Bataclan.”

Paris, 10 June 2021

The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, joins the BNVCA (the French National Bureau of Vigilance Against Antisemitism) in solidarity with the small Jewish community of Béziers, France, whose President received an anonymous and ominous death threat.

Paris, 2 June 2021

To: Mr. Eric Pliez
Mayor of the 20th District
Paris, France

Mr. Mayor,

Both Jewish and non-Jewish members of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre-France have expressed distress at the large banners hung in Rue d’Avron in the 20th District, in particular the one calling for “Palestine Will Vanquish.”

2 June 2021

Mr. Mayor, we fear that such banners will incite to hate and violence against the Jewish community in your municipal district.

We urge you to remove these banners, as such political statements are unbecoming to your municipal party causes of Socialism or Ecology.

Sincerely,

Dr. Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre

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“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)