Paris, 2 March 2010
In a letter to UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, called on her responsibilities as "Secretary-General of the Durban Review Conference and custodian of its 2009 Declaration and Programme of Action".
Samuels noted that "you have at hand a well-funded Anti-Discrimination Unit and the apparatus to investigate and censure the incitement to hatred, in all United Nations member-states, within the context of your mandate for the Durban Implementation Process".
The Centre drew her attention to "an outrageous phenomenon last week that provides a perfect case-study of 'racism within education' consonant with the Durban instruments."
The letter described "a campaign launched in schools across Spain for pupils to send antisemitic postcards to the Israeli Ambassador in Madrid, stating, inter alia, 'Jews kill for money', 'leave Israel for the Palestinians', etc. explaining that “the campaign has apparently been orchestrated to incite school children, in parallel with their older student peers, during so-called campus-based 'Israel Anti-Apartheid Week'."
"Madam Durban Secretary General and High Commissioner", Samuels suggested "could this Spanish school racism be collateral damage of your Human Rights Council’s espousal and promotion of the so-called 'Goldstone Report', a manifesto in violation of the UN Charter’s recognition of every member-state’s right to self defence? It is interesting that the Goldstone effect is so prevalent in Spain - the Western country assessed by reputable pollsters as holding the highest record of antisemitic discourse and expression".
The Centre called on the High Commissioner to:
•publicly condemn the racist Spanish school campaign
•to activate your little-used Durban armoury to investigate current
antisemitism in Spain
•to mitigate some of the Goldstone effect repercussions that endanger Jewish communities worldwide.
The letter was shared with the Minister of Education of Spain; Mr. Angel Gabilondo.