News Releases 2021

Paris, 4 February 2021

In a letter to H.E. Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, Bishop of Reims and President of the Conference of Bishops of France, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre noted “its repeated warning that antisemitism in France was metastasizing – both through the anonymity of social media and through explosions of sickening violence – spurred by a Covid-related apocalyptic hate,” continuing, “the French Catholic Church has now addressed this issue, through the document ‘Fighting together against antisemitism and anti-Judaism will be the touchstone of all real fraternity’.”

The Declaration was signed this week by the Bishop with the support of personalities in the forefront of shaping France’s Catholic Church policy.

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.”

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Times of Israel
28 January 2021

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/wiesenthal-centre-and-the-1980-copernic-synagogue-in-paris-bombing/

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 Cohen. 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.

Zoom Meeting with 184 Iraqi Jews worldwide, organized by the Community of Babylonian Iraqi Jews of Montreal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0Y_Jj3QCGo&feature=youtu.be

Includes the speech by Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre
(see from 18 min 49" to 25 min 44")

29 January 2021

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Please contact us if you are a witness or victim of antisemitism or other forms of discrimination on social media.

“There is no Freedom without Justice.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)

Article by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
26 January 2021
https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/remembering-the-the-jews-of-mena-on-holocaust-remembrance-day-656797

This article was written following a Zoom meeting with 184 Iraqi Jews worldwide, on the occasion of the Annual Commemoration of the Baghdad Hangings (27 January 1969) - organized by the Community of Babylonian Iraqi Jews of Montreal - including heart-rending testimonies of witnesses of the 'Second Farhud' (violent dispossession).
See more on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0Y_Jj3QCGo&feature=youtu.be

On this Yom Ha’Shoah / International Holocaust Commemoration Day on January 27, we should contemplate what the fate of MENA Jewry would have been had German general Rommel won the Desert Campaign.

26 January 2021
Desert Wanderings: The Jewish Nation’s beginnings (photo Haytham Shtayeh / Flash90).

In the spirit of the Abraham Accords, there is a growing interest in the Holocaust and its impact on the Jews of MENA (Middle East/North Africa).