News Releases 2011

"We have removed automatic SMS to French subscribers arriving at Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion airport, announcing: 'Welcome to the Palestine Authority'."

Paris, 2 September 2011

Subscribers of Orange France, arriving at Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion airport over the summer, were outraged to receive an automatic SMS from their telephone provider, stating: "Welcome To The Palestine Authority".

Former Police Commissioner, Sammy Ghozlan, the President of the Wiesenthal Centre's French affiliate, the Bureau National de Vigliance Contre L'Antisemitisme (National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism - BNVCA) issued an immediate protest. 

Orange-France has now announced the blockage of this SMS and its apology for any offence caused to its clients. 

The Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, has urged Orange International to ensure that this telephonic abuse not recur in other Orange jurisdictions.

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels
published in the Buenos Aires Herald
20 July 2011

Invited by AMIA to attend the 17th anniversary of the atrocity, I was struck how democracies can succumb to the blandishments of tyrannies, at best, by wishful thinking.

Iran’s “offer” to Argentina “to cooperate in clarifying the circumstances” of its own bombing, should have been rejected with outrage, just as Washington would unquestionably have acted upon an al Qaeda overture to assist in a 9/11 enquiry.

While Shoah was a media blindspot, contemporary atrocity remains in the shadows. Where are the flotillas of indignation?”

Paris, 11 July 2011

The Russian University Holocaust Essay Competition was, for the seventh year, feted at UNESCO Paris Headquarters. Over 1,600 submissions from all over the former Soviet Union were judged by its competition coordinator, the Russian Holocaust Centre.

The five winners are invited in Paris by the French association Verbe et Lumière - Vigilance (founded by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre - Europe), where they are received at UNESCO.

Director-General, Irina Bokova, called this essay contest “an integral part of UNESCO’s efforts for young people in creating new educational material.” She particularly mentioned the importance of Israel in its commitment to Holocaust memory.

"General Assembly September vote on Palestinian status should be conditioned on prior dismantling of pernicious UN Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People."

Brussels, 30 June 2011

In a letter to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, described his experience as the only Jewish NGO attending the Brussels meeting on "The Role of Europe in Advancing Palestinian Statehood and Achieving Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians."

Samuels noted that "this title was nothing but a political euphemism to campaign for the 27 States of the European Union -  and the European Institutions themselves - to endorse the September UN General Assembly vote on a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence", adding "behind that smokescreen, however, the gathering was yet another 'serial assault' against the State of Israel." 

28 June 2011

In a letter to Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled their recent meeting and arrangement to bring concerns in Catholic-Jewish relations to his direct attention.

The letter noted that "Father Rydzyk has been condemned by several Polish bishops for his continual incitement to antisemitism through Radio Marya,which he founded and has managed for twenty years", adding that "in 2007, the BBC reported that he had described the then President, the late Lech Kacynski, on the air waves, as under the influence of the Jews."