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News Releases 2022

Pollica, Italy, 21 July 2022

The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, spoke at the “Building DiverCity” youth Bootcamp in Pollica, Italy, focusing on the role of the Jews in building and supporting urban societies.

This pilot project Bootcamp was composed of municipal youth from ICCAR (UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities) and its largest counterpart ECCAR (European Coalition of Cities Against Racism). The latter now counts 162 member municipalities and is partnered with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s European office (SWC-Europe), in particular concerning antisemitism.

Paris, 18 July 2022

Commenting on this year’s commemoration of the 1942 Vél d’Hiv (the indoor cycle-racing track) round-up of Jews to be deported to their death, Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, stated: “Eighty years ago, implementing the Nazi plans set out by the Wannsee Conference, the French police organized a mass round-up of Jews at the Vél d’Hiv. From there, after days of unbearable heat and total lack of facilities, they were to be sent to the transit camps of Drancy and Pithiviers, and then to Auschwitz by train.”

“Of the over 13,000 arrested in Paris, most were foreign refugees who had fled to France in the late ‘30s from East and Central Europe. Among them, over 4,000 children.”

Paris, 13 July 2022

The Foreign Ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden agreed to continue their “cooperation and strong support for the civil society in the ‘OPT’ (‘Occupied’ Palestinian Territories),” noted Dr Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

The statement continued, “a free and strong civil society is indispensable for promoting democratic values...”

Most people who know the Palestinian reality would consider this language as “gobbledygook,” argued Samuels.

Paris, 9 July 2022

In a letter to Madam Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, congratulated her appointment, on behalf of the Centre’s 400,000 worldwide membership.

Samuels added outrage at the Holocaust banalization addressed to the Prime Minister by the opposition President of the left-wing populist “La France Insoumise” – the leading party of the NUPES group (New Ecologic and Social People’s Union) – in the National Assembly (lower chamber of Parliament).

“The description of the Prime Minister as a ‘survivor’ pointed to her late father, Joseph Bornstein, who in 1940 had joined the Resistance, had been captured and deported by the Nazis and had survived Auschwitz and the death march,” noted Samuels.

Paris, 30 June 2022

“Mr. President, we were delighted at your election to a second mandate,” stated the Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels... “We are also aware that the Parliamentary election results will require tough negotiations with the opposition.”

30 June 2022
Samuels with President Macron (photo Alain Azria).

“As leader of the European Union (EU), you have just participated in the G7, which is normally a forum to discuss financial and economic issues. Of course, this was also the occasion to tackle the economic challenges of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the possible countermeasures.”