News Releases 2009

Calls on France to Protest His Assault on the Independence of French Judiciary.

Paris, 24 November 2009

In a letter to French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Bernard Kouchner, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, expressed the Centre's concern "at the statement yesterday by Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, vindicating convicted terrorist 'Carlos' Ilich Ramirez Sanchez."

Samuels noted that "'Carlos the Jackal' was condemned by a Paris court in 1997 for the murder of two French policemen and is still held in French custody. He was implicated in numerous other terrorist atrocities."

The Centre considered President Chavez' statement "as a new threshold in the heroization of terrorism and, certainly, a direct intervention in the independence of the French judiciary, impugning its credibility."

"We call on France to vigorously protest President Chavez' statement and the message he transmits to the youth of the Americas and worldwide", concluded Samuels.

Paris, 9 November 2009

In a letter to International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Dr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, recalled their "2 July conversation, at the Paris International Diplomatic Academy, regarding the definition of the 1994 terrorist attack on the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Centre as a crime against humanity."

Jerusalem, 1st November 2009

Donald Bostrom - the Swedish Aftonbladet reporter who accused the Israel Defence Forces of deliberately killing Palestinians to harvest their body organs - today addressed the Dimona International Conference on Communications.

Invited to Israel by the city, the government withdrew its 60,000 dollar subsidy and Ministers cancelled their attendance.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, had appealed to the Dimona Municipality "to, at least, invite a noted authority on antisemitism in Scandinavia, Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld - Chair of the Jerusalem Centre of Public Affairs - as respondent to Bostrom".

Paris, 26 October 2009

In a letter to Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, deplored "a new stage in Norwegian incitement to Jew-hatred, the outrageously anti-Israel bigotry of the Middle East seminar at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim."

Samuels continued, "The virus of antisemitism in Norway's media, unions, NGOs and even government circles is now infecting academia. NTNU has deformed free and open scholarly discourse based upon mutual respect into a campaign of hate propaganda, led by masters of disinformation who exploit their academic credentials to call for boycott of their colleagues who happen to be Israeli. Most disturbing is the role of NTNU's Rector, Torbjorn Digernes, who has declared his support for this campaign."

Turkish Publishers Blame Centre for Ban on Antisemitic Texts.

Frankfurt, 16 October 2009

In his annual Report to Frankfurt Book Fair Director, Jürgen Boos, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, noted that "this is the seventh year that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre monitors incitement to hate and violence on the display stands of the Frankfurt Book Fair – the largest literary gathering in the world.

At the opening press conference, I was struck by your allusion to controversy surrounding China as your 2009 Honoured Guest."

The Report recalled that "controversy had marked the Fair's 2008 Honoured Guest, Turkey, following the number of antisemitic conspiracy theory volumes identified by our Centre, exhibited at both the official and private publishers' stands."