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News Releases 2017

“An extreme example of obsessive antisemitism… Strip him of his honors and state pension as price for his hatemongering."

Panamá, 23 November 2017

Wiesenthal Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels and Latin American Representative, Dr. Ariel Gelblung, currently at the PARLATINO (Latin American Parliament) Assembly, expressed outrage at Spain´s ex-Attorney General Ramiro Grau´s accusation that Israel and Argentine Jewry may be behind the sudden death in Buenos Aires of Madrid´s chief Prosecutor, José Manuel Maza. He had just adjudicated national policy against Catalonian independence and was on a working trip to Argentina. 

Grau had charged that “…if we join the interest of some states for Catalonia to be constituted as a new country, for example Israel – as much as its President has said otherwise –  and the existence of a large colony of Jews in Argentina, there are those who claim that the real controllers are the Jews, it would not be a bad idea to do an autopsy to check and verify the real causes of his death:” 

Samuels characterized these charges as “an extreme example of obsessive antisemitism” and urged Spain´s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, “to condemn Grau and take measures to strip him of his honors and State pension as the price for his hatemongering.”

Gelblung raised the matter with the PARLATINO Argentine Congressional delegation, arguing that “Grau had endangered the country´s Jewish community and thereby maligned Argentina.” He called for Buenos Aires “to protest vigorously to Madrid.”

“The Centre is monitoring this slander and will take further measures accordingly,” concluded its representatives.

“Turn extreme left on our planet and you will be sure to meet the extreme right.”

Paris, 21 November 2017

“Former Communist Trotskyist, turned Socialist leader and trade unionist, Gerard Filoche, is a test case for Europe,” claimed Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

“At last, media has registered public outrage in response to Filoche’s tweet portraying French President Macron wearing a Nazi armband with the swastika replaced by a dollar sign. Placed behind him are three Jewish personalities: communications mogul Patrick Drahi, banker Jacob Rothschild and political advisor Jacques Attali. In the background are the United States and Israeli flags,” noted the Centre.

Paris, 16 November 2017

“Iran’s campaign to control the the 58 member-state UNESCO Executive Board ended abruptly today as South Korea was elected Chair, receiving 32 votes to Iran’s 25, with one abstention. Korea had entered the race following the distribution of a Wiesenthal Centre exclusive exposure,” claimed the Centre’s Director for International Relations and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

The Centre had revealed the so-called “UNESCO Prison” in Dezful on the Iran-Iraq border. It also documented the attack by Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, on the UNESCO 2030 Education programme, lambasting its objectives for “gender equality” and Tehran’s deliberate arrest of journalists on “UNESCO Freedom of the Press Day,” as also the detention of Turkish speaking Iranians to snub “UNESCO’s [Minority] Mother Tongue Day.”

“Clearly the vote also mirrored the growing fear among Sunni Muslim countries at Shi’a Iran’s imperialist threats to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and beyond. Its nuclear ambition – unfettered by the JCPOA agreement, its sponsorship of terror through its Hezbollah agency worldwide, its genocidal intent against Israel and its obscene design: ‘The Holocaust is a lie, let’s make it a reality!’ have all created a sulfuric tinder-box… hardly appropriate to Chair the very motor of the so-called intellectual arm of the United Nations,” concluded Samuels.

Paris, 9 November 2017

Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels was invited to join an Honorary Committee of six diplomats from El Salvador, Hungary, Israel and Switzerland and representatives of CRIF (Council of French Jewish Institutions), the Memorial to the Shoah, Yad Vashem, Yahad in Unum, the Elie Wiesel Institute and the Women’s Co-operation Council, In Memory of Righteous Gentile, Carl Lutz. 

9 Nov. 2017
Left to right: Frederic Hayat, Shimon Samuels and Xavier Cornut.

Recognized as a "Righteous Gentile", this Swiss diplomat as Vice-Consul in Budapest, provided Hungarian Jews with protection certificates.  After a confrontation with Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, Lutz conceived of an elaborate stratagem to place 76 residential buildings in Budapest under diplomatic extraterritoriality, in which he housed thousands of families. Protecting these quarters from the SS, he is credited with saving 62,000 men, women and children from deportation to Auschwitz.

Paris, 8 November 2017

Report by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels:

"Of the 58 member-states Executive Board, 28 today stood for reelection or replacement: 8 were reelected; 20 replaced; 30 states remain until 2019.

Of those who generally vote against Israel:

- 10 are newly or reelected: Cuba, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, St. Lucia, Venezuela and Zimbabwe;

- Of those remaining until 2019, the 9 deemed problematic are: Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa and Sudan;

- The United States’ departure is being debated, as to whether it may be replaced by another member of 'Group 1' Western states.

In summary, today’s election has left 19 of the 58 Executive Board states whose declaratory policies are anti-Israel.

On the other hand, current political circumstances – Sunni versus Shi’a or Gulf versus Qatar – can improve the operational environment.

In summary: one third of the Executive Board may be deemed problematic for Israel, though some are likely to moderate their policy in the context of a shifting configuration of interests, thus leaving Israel in a potentially improved situation.

Nevertheless, the next challenge is the forthcoming election of the Executive Board Chair, the favourite being Iran…"