News Releases 2010

Paris, 20 April 2010

In a letter to Club Med President, Henri Giscard d’Estaing, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels expressed amazement at the French tourism company’s travel advisory: 

“The Bodrum-Valletta cruise of 16-28 September 2010 will be stopping in Lebanon. The Lebanese authorities will not admit on their territory, or on the ‘Club Med II’, passportholders with a visa or Israeli stamp. These will be prohibited to board the ‘Club Med II’. Failure to follow these provisions are the responsibility of the client, who will be denied access to the boat on the day of its embarkment from Bodrum on 16 September, and will bear the subsequent costs. Club Med will not incur any liability for any omission, fault or negligence by the passportholder".

Paris, 19 April 2010

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre applauded Gerd Buurman - a Gentile theatre director for demanding that the “Cologne Wailing Wall” antisemitic exhibit be closed.

Despite critics on the City Council, including members of the Green and the Left Parties, who called the exhibit “repugnant and clearly antisemitic,” the Cologne Public Prosecutor dismissed the complaint, claiming that it did “not meet the criteria of inciting hate.”

Though the exhibit displ ays a cartoon stereotyping to the medieval blood libel - a man emblazoned with a Star of David  devouring a Palestinian child, with a knife marked ‘Gaza’ and a fork wrapped in a US flag. Next to the plate is a glass of the child’s blood. “Cologne Wailing Wall” is on show in the bustling pedestrian zone facing the Cathedral. 

The Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, praised Buurman “for his intention to lead a civil legal action suit against the exhibit’s designer, Walter Herrmann, reportedly notorious for his hatred of Israel.” 

The current Mayor of Cologne, Jurgen Roters, has endorsed the Prosecutor by his silence and done nothing to condemn Hermann’s hatemongering. 

"Cologne’s citizens should protest the resuscitation in their city of a cartoon adapted from the Nazi 'Der Stürmer' newspaper of the 1930s. Our Centre will closely monitor the situation," concluded Samuels.

“Police Ban on Sheikh Yassin Passover March in Drancy to your Ministry’s Credit.”

Paris, 8 April 2010

In a letter to French Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended the Minister and the Prefect of the Paris Police for “preventing a blatantly antisemitic demonstration scheduled for last Saturday, 3 April, on the grounds that the gathering presented the risk of violence and disruption to public order.” 

Paris, 7 April 2010

In a letter to Greek Prime Minister and President of the Socialist International, George Papandreou, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, lamented a spate of antisemitic discourse and acts throughout Greece over this Easter/Passover season.

Samuels urged the Prime Minister "to consider appropriate measures against the nation's largest circulation daily TA NEA, for arguably 'ad hominem assault on your honour'". The letter also suggested that "the Centre's pre-Olympics travel advisory, alerting against visits to Greece, be reinstated should the atmosphere of hatemongering persist."

Paris, 23 March 2010

In a letter to UNICEF Executive Director, Ann Veneman, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed consternation at a UNICEF-supported programme that published an advertisement replete with hate. The ad was made known by the Palestine Media Watch, 
http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=1921.

Samuels noted that “the Palestinian youth organization, PYALARA, has placed its ad, featuring the UNICEF logo, under a Star of David composed of the Stars and Stripes, cracked open by an axe with the inscription ‘BOYCOTT!’.”