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News Releases 2019

“As a budget saving measure, France seeks to close down many prisons... Freeing antisemitic killers cannot be a contributing factor.”

Paris, 29 November 2019

In a letter to Madam Nicole Belloubet, French Justice Minister, the Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Dr. Shimon Samuels, made the following comments: “alcohol, cannabis and psychiatry must not be used by the French judiciary system as excuses for perpetrators of antisemitic murder and violence.

29 Nov. 2019
Shimon Samuels addressing the issue with Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet at CRIF Jewish Leadership dinner.

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
25 November 2019

'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité' poses unique challenges for France's Jews

25 Nov. 2019
A French gendarme inspects swastikas painted on a wall of a former synagogue
turned into a cultural center in Mommenheim near Strasbourg (photo Reuters).

The representative body of French Jewry, CRIF, just held its 10th annual convention, titled “Fractured France – Can We Unite Against Antisemitism?”

As a member of the CRIF Commission for Political Studies, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was present. Speakers were drawn from across the political, religious, intellectual and media spectra.

“Aviapartner baggage handlers allegedly claimed they were overburdened with work... but, while all other flight passengers serviced by them got their baggage on time, only the Tel Aviv passengers had to wait two tense hours...”

“We hope the internal enquiry will be swift, transparent and conclusive to unveil a form of antisemitic boycott resulting in disciplinary measures.”

Paris, 12 November 2019

In a letter to Clive Sauvé-Hopkins, CEO of Aviapartner airport services company, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “shock to learn that, Sunday afternoon, the passengers of Transavia Flight from Tel Aviv to Lyon were left waiting for two hours for their baggage, in what appeared to be a deliberate form of boycott by Aviapartner baggage handlers.”

“Stand after stand of Hitler’s 'Mein Kampf', the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' forgery and countless antisemitic conspiracy theories... For young Arab readers, UNESCO appears to endorse the bigoted stereotypes of Jews, as expounded by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran... Damning at a time of reconciliation between Gulf States and Israel, now facing common enemies.”

"The list below  is just a taste of this obsessive-compulsive vomit of hatred... We urge you to publicly condemn and, forthwith, to strip the SIBF of the title of 'UNESCO Book Capital of the Year'."

Paris, 7 November 2019

In a letter to UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that “the Centre annually monitors hate on the shelves of Arab international book fairs.”

“The last  Fair this year, in Sharjah, UAE, is arguably, the most vicious. To our horror, the current Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2019) is held under the auspices of UNESCO, as ‘UNESCO World Book Capital’, stated Samuels.

“We are concerned at possible mimetic effect on others bent on antisemitic atrocity... and also the denial of justice if the would-be perpetrator is claimed to be insane or under the influence of narcotics.”

Paris, 4 November 2019

In a letter to Nice Mayor, MP Christian Estrosi, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended his condemnation of the foiled incident at the Nice Jewish School “Or Torah,” forestalled by the school guard and arrested in flight by the rapid arrival of the Nice police.

Samuels recalled Estrosi’s role in the 2005 renaming of a High School in Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, near Grasse, to 'Collège Simon Wiesenthal'.

The Centre, however, expressed “concern at two potential dangers:

- Despite the fact that, this time, the would-be perpetrator was reportedly unarmed, the intent carries a possible mimetic effect through social media on others bent on antisemitic atrocity.

- The denial of justice if, yet again, the accused is claimed irresponsible because insane or under the influence of narcotics.”

“Mr. Mayor, in your long-term roles as President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region, as Member of the French National Assembly and an active friend of Israel, our Centre would be delighted to work with you in the battle against antisemitism in France,” concluded Samuels.