News Releases 2019
Paris, 8 May 2019
In a letter to French Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “shock, on behalf of our 3,000 French members and our worldwide membership, at the cancellation of the court sentence against Holocaust denier, Alain Soral (a.k.a. Alain Bonnet), in direct violation of the Gayssot Act of 1990.”
The Centre urged the Minister “to act according to the values enunciated in today’s national holiday, 8 May V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.”
The letter added that, “on 21 January, our Centre exposed the disdain held by many for Alain Soral at the extreme right rally in Rungis. The denial of justice for his Holocaust Denial, by the Public Prosecutor, has now made him into a resurrected hate-hero.”
“Madam Minister, this 74th anniversary of the end of Nazi Occupation and of World War II cannot be sullied by such appeasement and liberation for neo-Nazis and antisemitic hatemongers. Alain Soral is an insult to all those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom we cherish this day,” concluded Samuels.
“This is not a religious problem. It is a social and educational disaster for secular Poland and must be condemned as such.”
Paris, 3 May 2019
In a letter to the Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “shock to learn from our Polish members of Bishop Jez’s antisemitic tirade on Easter Thursday to a packed audience of clergy in Tarnow Cathedral.”
The letter noted that Bishop Jez, “quoting from a 1937 publication, claimed, reportedly, to be a Jewish source, ‘Our national enemy is the Catholic Church. We must start a fight between Christian denominations… begin a pityless all out fight against Catholic priests… Slander then with smears and hatred… take over the schooling system, the Christian religion must disappear from the curriculum’...”
In order to counter the damage in demonizing the Jewish State, we offer Somerset House our ‘People, Book, Land’ Exhibition on the Jewish code of ethics contribution to humanity.
Paris, 25 April 2019
In a letter to Somerset House Director Jonathan Reekie and Chair William Sieghart, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, condemned the current exhibition of the Sony World Photography Awards in Somerset House, entitled “Palestinian Right of Return Protests.”
The letter highlighted its one-sided “Series description”: “Since May 30, 2018, Palestinian protesters have protested weekly on the border with Israel in order to demand their right to return. The protests are still continuing along the Gaza Strip area bordering Israel, where around 233 Palestinian protesters have been killed and 21,000 injured by Israeli snipers.”
“Alarm raised on other contraventions of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) Rules.”
“We call on the ESC and European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to uphold its own Rules to ensure that the 2019 Tel Aviv Eurovision Song Contest be an expression of cultural harmony and unity rather than incitement to hate and violence.”
18 April 2019
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) and the Wiesenthal Centre have written to the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, to prevent politicization of the May 14-18 contest in Tel Aviv.
UKLFI urged the disqualification of Iceland’s band “Hatari” (“Hate” in English), since it contravened both the spirit and rules of Eurovision. Hatari has breached Rule 2.6, which states that: “Eurovision is a non-political event,” in three different ways:
Paris, 16 April 2018
A letter of sympathy to Emmanuel Macron, President of France, from Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Centre.
On behalf of our over 400.000 members, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre wishes to express solidarity with France and the French people at the tragic destruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
We were about to send greetings for a tranquil Easter to our French Catholic members and for Passover to the Jewish community.
Throughout history, and especially under Nazi occupation and Vichy, synagogues were burned and cemeteries desecrated. We thus feel the pain of our Christian friends at this time.
Mr. President, may Notre-Dame be restored to its full glory.”