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News Releases 2019

Paris, 27 December 2019

Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, interviewed by BBC World Service on "Antisemitism around the World - a Warning from Veteran Campaigner."


In the BBC Radio "The World Tonight" interview, responding to questions on the rise of antisemitism in Europe and worldwide, Samuels explains how "antisemitism opens the door to other forms of bigotry."

"The Internet and social media are the new instruments for the propagation of an ever mutating antisemitism, that affects not only the Jews," Samuels stated, adding, "in the case of the antisemitic float at the Aalst Carnival, recently delisted from its World Heritage status by UNESCO member-states concerned by the banalization of racism, this was not only a Jewish issue, just as Corbyn was not only a Jewish, but a British issue."

"Thanks to the adoption of the IHRA Working Definition of antisemitism, a growing number of countries in Europe and worldwide are now capable to identify antisemitic acts more clearly and punish the perpetrators"... and regarding the current rise of antisemitism and the impact of the Wiesenthal Centre, "we have been able to make a difference in recent years. Nevertheless, governments and society must show the political will to get their act together," concluded Samuels.

Newshour is the award-winning news and current affairs programme on BBC World Service English, the radio and online network which reaches 75 million listeners each week, including 12.5 million in the USA on National Public Radio.

Paris, 23 December 2019

At a joint ceremony of the European Jewish Parliament (EJP) and the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) in Kiev, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, received the International Lifetime Achievement Award for his Combat Against Antisemitism.

23 Dec. 2019 1
The Award ceremony, with: (left) Vadim Rabinovich, President of the 28-member-countries EJP
and leader of the Parliamentary opposition in Ukraine ; (centre) Dr. Shimon Samuels ;
(right) Dr. Michael Mirilashvili, President of the 37-member-countries EAJC.

“Any investigation of crimes committed in the Palestinian Territory should focus on the continuous attacks from Gaza against Israeli civilians by Hamas... and the encouragement of terrorism by the PLO in the West Bank...”

Paris, 21 December 2019

Two weeks ago, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, serving, together with five other NGOs, as “Amicus Curiae” in the “Hearings on the Situation of Afghanistan.”

Under the umbrella of “alleged crimes in Afghanistan” - that implicitly focused on the United States - our hope was to determine the incapacity of the ICC to exercise jurisdiction in the case of non-State parties.

“On 27 January 2020, the world will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, probably the last chance for most Holocaust survivors to tell their stories or seek restitution.”... “If we, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, were to receive the entry into Monaco archives by this 75th anniversary, this would help to provide a sorely belated closure for the families of victims. A Monaco denial would be construed as a betrayal of its moral debt to history.”

Paris, 16 December 2019

In a letter to Monaco State Minister, Serge Telle, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled the Centre’s 1997 organization in Geneva, of an international conference entitled “Looted Property and Restitution - The Moral Debt to History”.

“As a highly decorated French career diplomat, you are surely aware of the Commission pour l’Indemnisation des Victimes de Spoliations (CIVS), one of a series of European state restitution agencies, of which our conference was a precursor,” stated Samuels.

“UNESCO status brought thousands of tourists to the Carnival. Delisting is no guarantee for a hate-free Aalst Carnival... We will be monitoring and,if necessary, take measures to inform our worldwide membership and other friends of the dangers in visiting a hatefest.”

13 December 2019

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity Committee for its denunciation of antisemitism in setting the precedent for delisting one of its members, the Belgian town of Aalst. Its Carnival had received the prestigious UNESCO status in 2010. 

SEE BELOW TODAY'S UNESCO Press Release on "Aalst Carnival Withdrawn from the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity"