News Releases 2022

Blog by Dr Shimon Samuels published in The Times of Israel
18 April 2022

Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, ran the long-time French harbour of neo-Nazis, the National Front (Front National – FN). Apart from racism, he had manifold lawsuits for Holocaust denial, calling the Nazi gas chambers “just a detail in World War Two!”

His daughter expelled him from the party, then renaming it “National Rally” (Rassemblement National – RN). Yet many members of the party maintain their national-socialist views, likely to receive government sinecures or even membership in the Cabinet, if elected.

Paris, 12 April 2022

In a letter to UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, raised concerns regarding Joseph’s Tomb, considered holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims – Yossef, Joseph, Yusuf – as the Biblical third generation of the Patriarchs, based on Abraham.

“Unfortunately, respect for Joseph is not included in the current Abraham Accords. Two Jewish worshippers have been shot at prayer at the site and the shrine itself was set alight a couple of days earlier by Jihadi Palestinian vandals,” noted Samuels.

Paris, 11 April 2022

The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, comments on the definitive results of the first round of French Presidential elections. Out of the twelve candidates, the current centrist President, Emmanuel Macron, is at 27,6% of the popular vote, followed by far-right Marine Le Pen at 23,4%.

Macron’s party, En Marche (On the March), has gathered moderates from left and right and the President leads Europe’s response to the war in Ukraine. Le Pen’s National Rally – party name change of her father’s antisemitic “National Front” – has been struggling to appear more moderate. Nevertheless, compromised by the reported past funding of her party by Russia, she has avoided issues of foreign policy. If elected, Le Pen would be the first woman President of France.

Paris, 5 April 2022

As part of the conference on “Nazis and Nazi Sympathizers in South America after 1945,” the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute sponsored a public event on “Legacies of Simon Wiesenthal: Wiesenthal Center and Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies - Looking Back, Moving Forward,” which featured Dr Efraim Zuroff, SWC’s chief Nazi-hunter and Director of its Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs, and Dr Shimon Samuels, Director of its Paris Office and International Relations.

Is the tragic death of a young Jewish man, at first dismissed as an accident, the consequence of antisemitic assault?

Paris, 4 April 2022

The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, recalled his conversation with Minister Darmanin at the annual dinner of the CRIF (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions) of 24 February. He had raised the danger of antisemitic violence in the public transport network, in particular in the “red ring” around Paris.

4 April 2022
Samuels with Interior Minister Darmanin at the CRIF dinner.