News Releases 2013

"May this Championship make the beautiful game a force for peace, rather than bringing the Middle East conflict onto its pitch and terraces."

Paris, 21 May 2013

In a letter to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) President, Michel Platini, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, slammed the call by 'electronic intifada.net' for UEFA to "remove its Under-21 European Championship from Israel, where it is scheduled to play from 5 to 18 June."

Paris, 17 May 2013

In a letter to Belgium Acting Prime Minister, Yves Leterme, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, charged that "in the absence of a government, your caretaker cabinet is hardly taking care when your 'Justice' Minister, Stefan De Clerck, reportedly calls to amnesty World War II Belgium Nazi collaborators."

Samuels added, "no wonder antisemitism and other hate-crimes grow unchecked in Brussels - "The Capital of Europe" - and across Belgium, when your chief lawman allegedly advocates on national television 'to forget Nazi crimes as they lie in the past'". 

The Centre urged the Prime Minister "to caucus all parties, in and out of the coalition, French and Flemish, to investigate and condemn De Clerck for his apparent betrayal of history, his obfuscation of its lessons and his contempt for the very concept of justice", adding that " such an appointee must be promptly removed from his Ministry, his party and shunned from the political arena." 

"To remain silent would be perceived as complicit in De Clerk's apparent endorsement of genocide," concluded Samuels.

"While we can hardly expect retraction, condemnation or apology from publications or the Cairo authorities, Egypt's Observer to OSCE must understand the negative consequences for his country's image and status."

Paris, 6 May 2013

In a letter to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary-General, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, called for "current antisemitism in the Egyptian media to be raised with Egypt's Observer, especially at a time when the OSCE 57 member-states were marking World Press Freedom Day." 

At 7 am this morning, an Iranian screaming "Allahu Akbar" attacked a Rabbi and his son with a cutter outside his synagogue in the 9th district of Paris.

Paris, 23 April 2013

After a chase into the synagogue and then back into the street, the assailant was reportedly apprehended by passersby and the police. The Rabbi suffered cuts to his throat, his son was stabbed in the back. They were immediately hospitalised and are now out of danger. 

Together with it’s French associate, the Bureau National pour la Vigilance Contre L’Antisemitisme (BNVCA – The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism), the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has commended those members of the public who came to the victims help and the swift action by the police.  Nevertheless, the Centre has urged the judicial authorities to see the attack for what it is: a pre-determined antisemitic hate-crime. 

In view of the gathering of Palestinian terrorists, last week hosted and feted by the nearby Paris region municipality of St. Denis, Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Centre’s Director for International Relations, called for an investigation into possible Jihadi links and internet usage of the aggressor.  He further appealed for a governmental commitment to prevent the continued entry of Palestinian terrorists into France.

"Its theme, The Culture of Images and the Image of Culture, was, in reality, an image that fomented a culture of hate."

Paris, 17 April 2013

In a letter to Moroccan Culture Minister, Mr. Mohamed Amine Sbihi, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, presented his fourth annual monitor of anti-Jewish incitement on the stands of the SIEL (Salon International de l'Edition et du Livre), held in Casablanca 29 March to 7 April 2013.  This is the most important book fair in the Arab world with 150 Moroccan stands, 30 Lebanese, 20 Syrian, 10 Egyptian, 5 Saudi, 2 Palestinian, 1 Libyan.

Samuels stated "it is chilling to find that, since 2010 until the present Fair, 29 March to 7 April, irregardless of the intervening 'Arab Spring', Jew-hatred is an implacable constant in Arab literature and an indelible stain on the SIEL’s display stands."