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News Releases 2023

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.

Paris, 8 January 2023

In a letter  to Mikkel Bogh, Director of the National Gallery of Denmark, Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Centre, expressed shock by a text under the painting “The Holy Women at the Sepulchre.”

8 January 2023

In 1965, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council which, under his successor Pope Paul VI, produced Nostra Aetate, i.e. the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Christian and non-Christian Religions, which made a dramatic turn in seeing Judaism as the “Father Religion.”

Paris, 8 January 2023

Four days ago, the Wiesenthal Centre had alerted the French Interior Minister of a conference, to be held in Avignon today 8 January, hosting three known radical Islam preachers.

Finally, as had happened in November last year, also this event has been cancelled.

8 January 2023 Avignon

Paris, 4 January 2023

In a letter to French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, expressed shock at the news that “Avignon will host, next Sunday 8 January, a conference with three known radical Islam preachers.”