News Releases 2023

“This is our third success this month, with Barcelona and Avignon.”

Paris, 31 January 2023

The Mayor of Lyon has cancelled the conference – planned for 1 February – entitled “30 Years After Signing the Oslo Accords: Overview on Palestine,” featuring exclusively pro-Palestinian invitees for a one-sided Israel-bashing hate-fest.

Among the speakers was Salah Hamouri, presented as a “Franco-Palestinian lawyer... former political prisoner.”

Paris, 29 January 2023

The Wiesenthal Centre recognizes the city of Lyon as having been one of the strongholds of anti-Nazi Resistance during World War Two. It is also where SS and Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie, a.k.a. “the Butcher of Lyon”, was responsible for torturing and killing up to 4,000 adults and children and deporting 7,500 Jews to their death in Auschwitz. It took 40 years to track him down and bring him to justice.

The past week was marked by the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which coincides with the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Red Army. Palestinian terrorists decided to mark the date by launching rockets on Israel and letting loose gunmen to kill Jews.

Paris, 21 January 2023

The Barcelona Municipal Council claims to have postponed the vote to break the “twinning” between the capital of Catalonia and Tel Aviv, to an agreed date in February.

The anti-Israel faction professes, contemptuously, “so as not to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

Paris, 19 January 2023

In an open letter supporting Isaac Benzaquen Pinto, a Spanish Jewish Community leader, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, demanded Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau to withdraw from a hateful campaign calling to break the twinning between the Catalonian capital and Tel Aviv.

Barcelona has a Friendship and Cooperation Agreement with Tel Aviv since 1998. Both cities are characterized as open and diverse societies, active in promoting art, culture, high-tech start-ups and tourism. Both are known worldwide as defenders of LGBT and minority rights.

Reportedly, a petition campaign under the spurious slogan “Barcelona with no Apartheid - NO”, has been signed by the number – of haters of Israel and the Jews – needed to call for a City Council vote.

Paris, 9 January 2023

On 9 January 2015, the “Hyper Cacher” supermarket in the outskirts of Paris was attacked by an Islamist gunman, who killed four, while screaming the cause of “Palestine”.

The victims were Yohan Cohen, a 20-year-old student and supermarket employee, Philippe Braham, a 45-year-old IT executive, François-Michel Saada, a 64-year-old retiree and Yoav Hattab, a 22-year-old student who tried fighting back.

The assault had followed two days of terror in and around Paris, including the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly editorial staff – that had published caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed, deemed “blasphemous” by the terrorists – and the cold-blooded killing of police agents.

The connection between these events and the terror spree brought the Jewish victims into the limelight, mourned by heads of State and French Mayors participating in the “million people march” in Paris. For that occasion, we had produced an immense balloon with the message: “I am Charlie, the Police, the Jews... I am the Republic.”

9 January 2023 1
Samuels with the Wiesenthal Centre balloon and as it appeared in the news, with a line
of French Mayors leading the rally.