News Releases 2022

Paris, 16 January 2022

The Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Dr Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage that, “yesterday, at a conference in Ferrara, Italy, organized by Jewish author Moni Ovadia, entitled ‘The Festival of Memories,’ MP Vittorio Sgarbi, known for his political rants, made an antisemitic outburst.”

Sgarbi is a main supporter for Silvio Berlusconi’s candidacy to become next President of the Italian Republic. Sgarbi came out with a disgraceful declaration just seconds into his speech: “One extermination that he [Ovadia], out of modesty, does not deal with, is that of the Palestinians... perpetrated by the State of Israel over the years...”

“We do not forget, we do not excuse, we do not forgive Nazi killers, Nazi ideology, Nazi crimes!”

Paris, 14 January 2022 

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, protested the 10th of January action by neo-Nazis and other Italian right-wing extremists who wrapped a coffin with a swastika flag, following the funeral ceremony of Alessia Augello. The deceased, who was active in the extreme-right Forza Nuova party, died in hospital on 7 January, aged 44, reportedly from complications in thrombosis surgery.

Paris, 7 January 2022

The Wiesenthal Centre has forwarded the content of a report from the Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research to the European Commission and to Foreign Ministers of major donor countries to the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

In this report, the Bedein Center explains it has had six meetings with the office of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, regarding “the fate of 5.3 million Palestinian refugee descendants” ... “UN Secretary-General Staff made clear that donor nations to UNRWA are to be responsible for any indiscretions which occur in UNRWA.”

“Calls for BDS are perhaps a cover-up for the over 800,000 Middle East and North African (MENA) Jews who fled pogroms from Iraq to Libya and were never compensated.”

Paris, 2 January 2022 

In a letter to French Foreign Affairs Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended the exhibition “Jews of the Orient” –  presently on display at the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA - Arab World Institute), which is a “French Foundation” in partnership with the 22 member-states of the Arab League. It is, however, the French tax payer who provides the entire IMA budget.

2 January 2022 1