News Releases 2015

“Those that trample on academic freedom must know that there is a penalty to pay, as they also impugn the integrity of their institutions and their own scholarly credentials.”

Paris, 27 October 2015

“Today's Guardian (UK) newspaper ad of 343 academicians calling for a boycott of Israeli Universities and other educational institutions is yet another test of earlier failures,” argued the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

Samuels noted that, “in 2007, the British Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) sought legal advice regarding a similar call... Their own lawyers stated that, it would be 'unlawful to directly, or indirectly call for or implement, a boycott by the union or its members, of any kind of Israeli Universities and other academic institutions'.”

The Centre pointed out that “UCU General-Secretary, Sally Hunt, accepted the recommendation, shifting the aim to 'where possible, play a positive role, supporting Palestinian and Israeli educators and promotion of a just peace in the Middle East'.”

Samuels suggested that “the Guardian signatories consider the possible repercussions:

- that those who are union members implicate those Unions, thereby exposing them to litigation and possibly onerous fines

- recommendations to donors to withhold support from their universities or departments

- counter-boycott by those who resent mayhem on the campus: of BDS academics seeking United States faculty positions, grants, conference invitations, publication in learned journals.”

“Bottom-line, those that trample on academic freedom must know that there is a penalty to pay, while they also impugn the integrity of their own institutions and their own scholarly credentials,” concluded the Centre.

“Following London's Palace of Westminster and Brussels European Parliament, we are now in Paris to continue our response to the Parliaments of Europe that have recognized a Palestinian State.”

Paris, 23 October 2015

Under the title “The Republic Stands Up to Antisemitism and Terrorism,” the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, and BNVCA (the French Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism) President, Sammy Ghozlan, hosted a 3 session conference at the Parliament's National Assembly.

- At the first session, Samuels as the Chair, on “Antisemitism and AntiZionism - the Convergence,” “spoke of the ID theft of Jewish heritage and narrative, highlighting the Palestinian campaign to delete Israel through the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the antisemitic ideology of Hamas that threatens Jews worldwide. Three lawyers then recounted legal measures taken in France, against BDS, campus delegitimization of Israel and belated suits against the perpetrators of the 1980 Copernic synagogue and 1982 Rue des Rosiers Jewish quarter terrorist attacks. The Israel radio European Bureau Chief stressed the media battle.

- The second session, on “Jihadism in France and the World,” featured a police chief, a Palestinian political refugee in France, an economist and the father of one of the French Muslim soldiers killed by Muhammad Mehra in Toulouse – the Jewish school murderer.

- The third on “The Arms of Democracy in the fight against Antisemitism” included a criminologist, the State Prosecutor, the Deputy-Mayor of the heavily Jewish Paris suburb of Sarcelles and the mother of the second French Muslim soldier shot by Mehra, the Toulouse killer.

The final session was addressed by the President of the French Jewish community (CRIF), the Chief Rabbi and the head of the Kashrut Board (Consistoire).

An award was made to the Wiesenthal Centre laureate, Algerian writer Boualem Sansal. The 300 seat Victor Hugo chamber was filled to capacity with the participants including French Parliamentarians, Government officials and media.

“Following London's Palace of Westminster and Brussels European Parliament, we are now in Paris to continue our response to the Parliaments of Europe that have recognized a Palestinian State,” concluded Samuels.

“This incredible publicity and ideological campaign diminishes the Jewish tie to the Land of Israel”.

“One of your co-editors, Elias Sanbar, as Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO, there leads the campaign for the theft of Jewish heritage – claiming its holiest site, the 'Western Wall' as part of the Al Aqsa mosque.”

Paris, 21 October 2015

In a letter to the French National Book Centre (CNL) President Vincent Monadé, based on a discussion at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Simon Wiesenthal Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, conveyed members' protests regarding the 1,150 page “History of Jewish - Muslim Relations from Their Origins to the Present Day”, by the late Abdulwahab Medde b and Benjamin Stora, published by Albin Michel, but funded by the CNL – under the auspices of the French Ministry of Culture.”

“This year, the Fair has blacklisted delinquent exhibitors and confiscated offensive texts.”

“Zero tolerance of hate in 2016 can be achieved if measures are taken with government stands, especially Qatar... The Centre's 'Worst Offender Award 2015' goes to Qatar... Runner up is Egypt.”

Frankfurt, 20 October 2015

For the 13th year, Simon Wiesenthal Centre is the only non-governmental organization to monitor antisemitic hate and incitement to violence on the stands of the Frankfurt Book Fair, (FBF),the  world's largest with 7,100 exhibitors from over 100 countries, hosting 2.700 visitors.

“How, then, was this year different? A more sensitive Fair management has taken unprecedented action,” acknowledged the Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

Wiesenthal Centre: When Will the World Condemn Abbas’ Toxic Rhetoric that Set Stage for Terror Attacks and His Refusal To Condemn Stabbings and Shootings of Families on Sukkot Holiday?

Jerusalem, 4 October 2015

Senior officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO, currently in Jerusalem are condemning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his continued silence in wake of the stabbings and shootings during the Sukkot Festival that have left four Israelis dead and others, including a two-year old toddler injured.

“When will the International Community begin to hold Mr. Abbas accountable for his racist incitement which sanctions  murderous attacks taken in the name of the Palestinian cause?”, asked Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre who are currently in Israel. “Known as the Festival of Happiness, the Palestinians have used a phony crisis of their own making surrounding Al Aqsa to turn the House of Israel into a house of mourning as they incited a murderous terror spree that has seen a 9 year-old boy to bury his parents and a new wave of Jewish orphans. And we are once again witness to the despicable spectacles of jubilant celebrations among the Palestinians”, Cooper and Hier added.

“On behalf of our 400,000 constituent families, the Wiesenthal Centre expresses its condolences to and solidarity with the families of the victims and fully support all efforts of Israel to stop the terror and to secure the safety of Israeli citizens, Jewish, Christian and Moslem. We reiterate our call to political and religious leaders to condemn these barbaric acts and for the international media to put a human face on the victims of Palestinian terrorism”, Wiesenthal Centre officials concluded.