News Releases 2023
Paris, 18 September 2023
As the Israeli Delegation and the Wiesenthal Centre left the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, homeward for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year 5784), “Palestine” accomplished its annual heritage grab, yet again claiming “danger” to hasten the WHC’s voting process.
The prehistoric site of Tell es-Sultan/ancient Jericho dates back to 10,000 BCE, whereas the first historical references to that site are in the Jewish Holy Scriptures and situated during the Bronze Age (around 1,500 BCE).
Therefore, the claim by President Abbas that the site “testifies to the authenticity and history of the Palestinian people” is clearly a political provocation, forcefully extorting the backing of UNESCO.
Riyadh, 15 September 2023
Over 250 sites of particular cultural or natural value, located in some 194 UNESCO member-States, have been waiting for years to receive “World Heritage Status”.
The main exceptions are sites claimed by “Palestine”, using the fast-track ploy of “sites in a state of danger” to expropriate Jewish or Christian heritage. “This is likely to be the case for Jericho,” stated Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels.
Samuels with Kris Dierckx, General Delegate of the Flemish Region, Permanent Delegation of Belgium to UNESCO.
Samuels with Amb. Elman Abdullayev (centre), Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to UNESCO,
and Mounir Bouchenaki (left), Director of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage
(charged with finding synagogues in the MENA region).
Paris, 3 September 2023
The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, was invited by MP Alicia Kearns, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, to attend the Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum in London.
Over 250 participants, out of 67 countries, spent three days discussing “Ominous Security Challenges from Adversarial Actors,” including Illicit Financing, Cyber-Security, Human Trafficking. Money Laundering, Space-Force, AI, Quantum Computing and Energy...
Most cases addressed China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.
Samuels with (left to right): MP Alicia Kearns, Chair of the British Foreign Affairs Select Committee;
Saida Muna Tasneem, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the United Kingdom;
Ahmed Al Shahrani, Chief of Protocol, Shura Council, Saudi Arabia.
Paris, 24 August 2023
The Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, has repeatedly alerted national and local authorities on the threats posed by pseudo comedian turned arch-antisemitic polemist, Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala. He is mostly known for his “quenelle” (an upside-down Hitler salute), his neo-Nazi associates and his complicity with the Iran regime.
This week, several Mayors of French towns – including Toulouse, Lyon and Grenoble – have stepped up to ban Dieudonné’s summer tour shows, considered as unwelcome “provocations” and “potential incitement to Jew-hatred.”
Samuels thanked the Mayors of these municipalities in following our request. In these cities, Islamists have been active and even deadly, as in the case of Toulouse.
The latter has not only seen the horrific murder by a Jihadi lone-wolf of Jewish infants and a teacher, at the Otzar Hatorah school, but is also the base for the Collectif Palestine Vaincra (CPV – ‘Association Palestine Will Vanquish’), which has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group combining Arab nationalism with Marxist-Leninist ideology.
The CPV is known for misappropriating public transport advertisement boards to display antisemitic posters, campaigning for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions targeting Israel) and organizing conferences glorifying terrorists. It remains the object of a “dissolution decree”, on the grounds that it “calls for hatred, violence and discrimination... supports and legitimizes terrorism and a virulent antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric.”
“We hope that this will be the occasion to expand the list of French cities that adopt the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism,” concluded Samuels.
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Paris, 16 August 2023
From Dr Shimon Samuels, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations
To: Mme Tatiana Valovaya, Director General of the United Nations, Geneva
Mr Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva
Mr Anne Willem Bijleveld, Chair of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation
Ambassadors, families and survivors of the 19 August 2003 terror attack against the UN headquarters in Iraq
On 12 May 2003, I invited Sergio Vieira de Mello, as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to our Centre’s “International Conference on Educating for Tolerance - the Case of Resurgent Antisemitism”, opened by then UNESCO Director-General Kōichirō Matsuura.
Sergio was naturally charismatic and his speech was full of the enthusiasm necessary to tackle the challenges ahead and succeed in promoting dialogue and human dignity. After his words, I accompanied him to his car. Three months later, he met his death in Baghdad.
For us – as for many within the UN community – this was a huge loss.
A short while after, I received an invitation to a meeting in Warsaw on “The Future of Europe”. Apparently, Sergio had beforehand suggested my name as key speaker.
The moving Netflix biopic “Sergio” recounts his life from a young Brazilian to a global diplomat for the good.
The Wiesenthal Centre Commends your Memorial this week.
May Sergio and the other 22 victims of terror rest in peace... and be examples, for those who follow in their footsteps, to distinguish the darkness from the light!
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