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News Releases 2020

By the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels

Paris, 17 December 2020

This week, a Paris Tribunal closed the proceedings against 14 complicit in the 7-9 January 2015 terrorist attacks. The targets had been the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, leaving 12 dead among journalists and local police, 1 additional police woman was killed in a Paris suburb, and a Kosher supermarket, leaving 4 dead.

Of the 14 condemned, sentences ran from 4 years to life imprisonment. 3 were in absentia. Of the 11 present, 6 received lesser penalties for non-terrorism crimes.

Those identified as accomplices were charged with funding, provision of weapons and other support to the murderers. 2 were given 30 year jail terms: Ali Riza Polat, who had planned the attacks, was present in court and will appeal; the other is Hayat Boumedienne, who is thought to have found refuge in Syria with ISIS. As the partner of Amedy Coulibaly – who was killed by the police at the Kosher supermarket siege –, she bought the weapons. She, allegedly, planned to target a Jewish school, but found it too well guarded thus choosing the Hyper Cacher.

“Join us in calling for the expulsion of the Palestine Football Association from FIFA, in view of its stadiums, teams and tournaments dedicated to glorify the names of terrorists.”

Paris, 15 December 2020 

In a letter to Puma sports equipment CEO, Björn Gulden, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, brought attention to “a blood libel poster in France, advertising Puma as ‘Official Sponsor of Israeli Colonialism’ (‘Sponsor officiel du colonialisme israélien’).”

15 December 2020

“The Definition applies to antisemitic terrorism and hatred evoked by the perpetuation of the Middle East conflict as also to in-house charges of antisemitic behaviour.”

Paris, 6 December 2020 

In a letter to European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled that, in 2017, he had “commended the European Union (EU) on its adoption of the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism. One might now view that endorsement as an empty gesture, as long as Member States continue to fund Palestinian Jew-hatred.”

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
29 November 2020

The Simon Wiesenthal Center for over a year has acted in support of a Spanish Jewish employee, tenured since 1996 and now a senior official of the European Commission.

29 Nov. 2020
The meeting room where an EU leaders’ summit will take place is seen especially adapted to keep
the social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak, at the European Council headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium, July 16, 2020 (photo Yves Herman / Reuters).

On August 26, it was announced that the employee would be fired on 1 September. She was left with the cancellation of her medical insurance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Rue de Rosiers families of victims and survivors deserve closure.”

Paris, 29 November 2020 

On 11 September 2020, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, wrote to Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, commending the arrest of Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, suspected perpetrator of the Abu Nidal Organization’s terrorist attack of 9 August 1982.

The news agencies at the time blasted: “Using machine guns, pistols and grenades, four terrorists killed six and wounded 22, at lunchtime in Goldenberg’s Restaurant of Rue des Rosiers, in the Paris Jewish quarter.”