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News Releases 2021

Paris, 10 November 2021

The Wiesenthal Centre recalls the December 2016 withdrawal of armed guards outside Jewish schools, synagogues and institutions – who had been placed by former President Hollande during the “state of siege” following the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Kosher supermarket terror attacks.

The Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, had requested that then Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, “announce the deployment of plain-clothed officers even if there were none.”

Since then, Samuels has pleaded for greater attention to security, to little avail.

Paris, 7 November 2021

In a letter to Fiona Charrington, Chief Executive of Martin Randall Travel (MRT), Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, expressed concern that, “Among the MRT ‘Tea-Time Talks’, is listed, ‘The Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East - Six Online Talks by Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones’ of Cardiff University in Wales, considered to be an eminent authority on Persia after years of research in Iran.

MRT’s website description of his forthcoming talks state: “In this series of webinars, the Hebrew Bible (‘Old Testament’) is understood against the background of Ancient Near Eastern culture. The lectures compare the religion of the Hebrew Bible with the cultures of the Ancient Near East, especially Egypt and Mesopotamia.” ... Adding: “Two models of development are discussed: an evolutionary model of development in which the Hebrew Bible is continuous with Ancient Near Eastern culture and a revolutionary model of development in which the Israelite religion is radically discontinuous with Ancient Near Eastern culture. At stake in this debate is whether the religion of the Hebrew Bible is really the religion of ancient Israel at all.

4 November 2021

“The Impact of World War II on Jews in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)”

The 2021 Simon Wiesenthal Memorial Lecture, entitled “The Impact of World War II on Jews in the Middle East and North Africa”, was given on 28 October by Reeva S. Simon, historian and author – in the lead-up to the commemoration of the 1938 Kristallnacht.

Under the auspices of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in the United Kingdom (SWC-UK) and Harif, the UK-based Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), this year’s Zoom meeting focused on the still little known history of MENA Jewry’s suffering during the Holocaust.

“European municipalities must take measures against the ‘Pedal for Palestine’ BDS Campaign.”

Paris, 2 November 2021

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC) Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, appealed to Benedetto Zacchiroli, President of ECCAR (the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism) – which is in formal relationship with the SWC.

2 November 2021 2

Tel Aviv, 2 November 2021

The Israel and British Commonwealth Association (IBCA) was hosted by H.E. Neil Wigan, the British Ambassador to Israel, at his residence and launched the inauguration of events to commemorate the 104th Balfour Declaration of 1917, which committed the then British Government to creating a homeland for the Jewish people in “Palestine”.

IBCA Chair, Brenda Katten, expressed the Association’s deep appreciation to the Ambassador for his generous hospitality and introduced the guest speaker Ambassador Daniel Taub – former Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.