News Releases 2021

28 April 2021 1

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

25 April 2021 1
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.

Paris, 20 April 2021

In a letter to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) President, Aleksander Ceferin, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed disgust in “last week’s KNVB Cup final in the Netherlands between Arnhem-based SBV Vitesse and the winner, Amsterdam-based AFC Ajax, that was besmirched by Vitesse fans chanting: ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas’.”

The letter stressed that, “this was a clear reference to the mass gassing of Jews in the Nazi death camps and to Ajax Football Club’s history of Jewish support in pre-Holocaust Netherlands.”

“A banality would suggest that, although both Fofana’s antisemitic murders were accepted to have been premeditated, Fofana No.1 went to jail as he and his co-conspirators ‘never inhaled drugs!’”

Paris, 19 April 2021

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled “Youssouf Fofana, as a self-declared antisemite and leader of the so-called ‘Gang of Barbarians’, who was sentenced in France in 2009 to life for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi three years earlier...”

“Tonight the murderer will be feted as a hero and frighteningly encourage followers to action... Snort drugs to kill a Jew!”

Paris, 14 April 2021

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is profoundly distressed by France’s Supreme Court final say, concerning the legality of the Paris Appeals Court decision, denying the criminal responsibility of the murderer of Sarah Halimi (a.k.a. Lucie Attal).