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News Releases 2023

Paris, 2 November 2023

1) I arrived in Paris in 1979, following the bombing of a centre for Jewish students (33 wounded). The perpetrators claimed to be an “anti-Zionists Collective”.

2) On 3 October 1980, the day of Succoth, I accompanied Aliza Shagrir, visiting from Israel, to a fruit shop. I went straight, she walked towards the Copernic synagogue and died in the blast of a terrorist attack (4 dead and about 40 wounded). The following morning, then French Prime Minister, Raymond Barre, stated: “This heinous attack which wanted to strike the Israelites who were going to the synagogue struck innocent French people.” Aliza was Israeli.

3) Over the following decade, a string of terror pervaded France. This included the murder of Israeli Embassy official, Yacov Bar-Simantov, by Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, leader of the FARL (a pro-Palestinian Marxist group based in Lebanon). Abdallah is presently serving a life sentence in France, but extreme-left militants are campaigning for his release daily. In 1982, the Palestinian Abu-Nidal Organization gun rampage killed 6 and wounded 33 in the Rue des Rosiers “Chez Goldenberg” restaurant. Israel responded by entering Southern Lebanon, to hit the training camps for European terrorists. Fleeing back home and endangering the so-called "innocents”, the French, German and Italian authorities had to crack down effectively.

Hamas and the Ambassador

Paris, 31 October 2023

Mr. Chancellor,

In June 2022, on behalf of the Wiesenthal Centre’s 400,000 members, we were aghast at the behaviour of Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, the European Commission’s Envoy to “Palestine”, in particular following his statement, “terrorist attacks against Israelis should not be surprising...”

In reality, he turned out to be the “EU’s representative to Hamas”, which is recognized as a terrorist organization across Europe and whose Charter calls for the murder of Jews worldwide.

Frankfurt, 22 October 2023

Since the early 2000s, The Wiesenthal Centre has been annually monitoring the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM – Frankfurter Buchmesse), which takes place every October. During the previous 12 months, our Centre monitors other similar Fairs, in Arab countries, but also in Europe, to find the titles and publishers fomenting hate and antisemitism, which are then signalled to the “Fair of Fairs” of Frankfurt. We suggest that the recidivists be denied access, in the spirit of the Fair’s rules.

Our approach this year has been shaped by the sudden attack by Palestinian terror group Hamas on Israeli soil, that caused at least 1,300 murdered and close to 200 kidnapped, including babies, children, teenagers, women, elderly, Holocaust survivors, foreigners from at least 20 other countries... all treated with inhumane brutality.

The ensuing conflict has taken up much of the debate, to the point that delivering a prize to Palestinian author Adania Shibli at the Fair had been postponed, as a measure to avoid the possible risk of a pro-Gaza rally.

Paris, 15 October 2023

Mr Chairman of the Board of Directors of France24,

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre and myself have followed France24 in English since its inception. Over the years, there have been mistakes, but the recent presentation of the murderous attack by Iran-backed Hamas has been deeply biased.

On Saturday 7th October, a Jewish holiday, Hamas launched at least 3,000 rockets into Israel, blindly targeting the civilian population. Meanwhile, thousands of heavily armed terrorists assaulted the border defence posts and unleashed unprecedented mayhem on an open-air music festival, on small towns, villages, kibbutzim and isolated farmhouses.

13 October 2023

At the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, saw “Palestine” accomplish its annual heritage grab, this time getting Jericho. “This comes after years of misappropriating a list of Jewish and Christian sites... and paves the way for their next demand over the Qumran Caves and the Dead Sea Scrolls...”

Soon afterwards, the UN-Geneva “human rights” Council rehashed the narrative of the “Duban” WCAR, that had been held just before 9/11. At the time, Rabbi Cooper, the Centre’s Director for Global Social Action, and Dr Samuels had participated, horrified at the antisemitic turn of events... Only three months later, the latter discovered “an 8-point plan to delegitimize and destroy Israel by influencing diplomacy, the media and civil society”... At the UN, as representative of an international NGO with ECOSOC status, Samuels was given only 90 seconds to speak out...