News Releases 2013

A Holocaust essay competition in universities across the former Soviet Union, that began in 2004 with 25 submissions, this year exceeded 2,000.

Paris, 8 July 2013

Founded by the Moscow-based Russian Holocaust Centre and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's French educational affiliate "Verbe et Lumiere-Vigilance", the five winners are annually received by UNESCO in Paris.

Opened by the Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels and the Co-Chairs of the Russian Holocaust Centre, Alla Gerber - first woman Parliamentarian in post-Soviet Russian -  and Dr. IIya Altman, the event was attended by the Permanent Delegates to UNESCO of France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, United States and the Vatican. 

“Ensure that health and medicine remain above political abuse.”

Paris, 4 July 2013

In a letter to Luc Besançon, General  Secretary/CEO of the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the Simon Wiesenthal Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, exposed a “’France-Palestine Solidarity’ boycott campaign against the Israeli generic pharmaceutical company, TEVA.”

Samuels noted that “TEVA was first targeted for boycott in my presence at a meeting  of the United Nations Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome 27-28 February, 2013.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, as the only Jewish organisation accredited to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, deplored the abuse of an organisation that was founded to provide protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage sites, for another round of Israel bashing.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 25 June 2013

"Since Palestine was accepted as a member-state of UNESCO, to paraphrase the military strategist, Von Clausewitz, heritage has become war by another means",  observed Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Centre's Director for International Relations and its Chief Delegate to the conference. 

"Take the complex and sensitive case of Jerusalem, for many years managed by the two pre-1967 custodians, Israel and Jordan. Though tense, and sometimes stormy, there were always short-term solutions: adjourn, postpone, examine, referral to professionals, consensus, etc.

“Commitments signed by released or exchanged Palestinian security prisoners to desist from further terrorism shown to be a sham” 
“Israeli Arab volunteers to IDF are presented as confused or coerced victims of Zionism or, in fact, as collaborators” 
“A swift end to Centre’s one-man protest”

Paris, 18 June 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr.Shimon Samuels, visited the Ahlam Shibli exhibition, “Phantom Home – Death”, at the Paris Jeu de Paume art museum, where he revealed that: 

- In the section of her display entitled “Trackers, Palestine/Israel Trauma, Corrèze, France 2008-09   Death,Palestine, 2011-12”, 

The Palestinian propagandist photographer, Ms.Shibli, describes “the case of a French society which lost their lives in a war of liberation and members of the same society, who immediately after World War II, died in colonial wars against the independence of other peoples.”

"Gibraltar is a microcosm of inter-faith and inter-cultural harmony, a template for tolerance-building in Europe. Its admission by the UEFA Congress tomorrow will be well deserved."

Paris, 23 May 2013

In a letter to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations)’s President, Michel Platini, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that the UEFA Congress, meeting in London, will tomorrow vote on the admission of Gibraltar’s Football Association.

Samuels explained that, "as an international anti-racist organization actively concerned with discrimination and bigotry, we view Gibraltar as a microcosm of inter-faith and inter-cultural harmony which Europe may consider as a template for tolerance-building". 

The letter continued, "our relationship with FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) and Polish ‘Never Again’, at the Euro 2012, has reinforced our faith in football as a meeting ground in respect for all, and our conviction that sport must be held above politics." 

The letter emphasized that it "embraces UEFA’s policy of inclusion and universality in support of Gibraltar’s entry tomorrow." 

"Mr. President, we wish you and UEFA a tranquil and successful Congress", concluded Samuels.