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Paris, 10 January 2021

A letter to Pierre Hurmic, Mayor of Bordeaux from Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, noted that, “We have learned that your municipality is creating a programme to contain antisemitism and Nazism. At first glance, we were delighted to see that you have chosen the UEJF (Union of Jewish Students of France) as a principal partner.”

The letter continued, “To our dismay, you have selected a totally inappropriate group, the UJFP, that is arguably part of the problem.” 

The Centre stressed, “The latter group is characterized – by the well-respected NGO Monitor – as a supporter of the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against the State of Israel. Boycott is illegal under the French Lellouche Law and is included under the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the French National Assembly in December 2019.”

- “In the UJFP (the Union of French Jews for Peace), the ‘P’ could be presumed out of place in its perpetuation of the Middle East conflict by its implicit incitement to ‘stand with the resistance of the Palestinian people’...”

- “Their boycott campaign against the pharmaceutical company Teva, persuading French pharmacists to replace their products with generics of another brand, would have harmed also Palestinian medical needs in the name of an irresponsible political agenda.”

- “In its apparent delegitimization of the right to Jewish sovereignty, UJFP denounces the ‘colonization policy of the Negev’ by the KKL – Jewish National Environment Protection Fund, whose main role is to plant trees in desolate landscapes.”

- “According to the French anti-racist organization Licra, the UJFP questioned the pertinence of keeping the word ‘antisemitism’ in the title of your ‘anti-racism programme’. If so, this would reveal its true agenda. Nor can one ignore the recent diatribe of activist, Houria Bouteldja a constant contributor to the UJFP website against the runner-up French Beauty Queen, Miss Provence, as ‘guilty’ due to her father being ‘Israeli’. An avalanche of antisemitic hate and threats was launched against her across social media.”

The letter suggested, ”Mr. Mayor, we hope that your staff made a simple typo error between the UJFP and the UEJF, an organization that truly combats antisemitism.”

The Centre added, “Bordeaux has a tragic history of Jew-hatred, especially the 1942 to 1944 deportations to the Nazi death camps.”

We urge you to resolve this matter regarding contemporary antisemitism by immediately fixing the ‘typo’ and replacing the incumbent by an organization acceptable to the victim, the French Jewish community,” concluded Samuels.

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“Hate is a boomerang, which comes back for everyone and spares no one, neither the weak nor the powerful.”
Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005 (quote from his book “Justice Not Vengeance”)