News Releases 2019

“Stand after stand of Hitler’s 'Mein Kampf', the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' forgery and countless antisemitic conspiracy theories... For young Arab readers, UNESCO appears to endorse the bigoted stereotypes of Jews, as expounded by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran... Damning at a time of reconciliation between Gulf States and Israel, now facing common enemies.”

"The list below  is just a taste of this obsessive-compulsive vomit of hatred... We urge you to publicly condemn and, forthwith, to strip the SIBF of the title of 'UNESCO Book Capital of the Year'."

Paris, 7 November 2019

In a letter to UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that “the Centre annually monitors hate on the shelves of Arab international book fairs.”

“The last  Fair this year, in Sharjah, UAE, is arguably, the most vicious. To our horror, the current Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2019) is held under the auspices of UNESCO, as ‘UNESCO World Book Capital’, stated Samuels.

“We are concerned at possible mimetic effect on others bent on antisemitic atrocity... and also the denial of justice if the would-be perpetrator is claimed to be insane or under the influence of narcotics.”

Paris, 4 November 2019

In a letter to Nice Mayor, MP Christian Estrosi, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, commended his condemnation of the foiled incident at the Nice Jewish School “Or Torah,” forestalled by the school guard and arrested in flight by the rapid arrival of the Nice police.

Samuels recalled Estrosi’s role in the 2005 renaming of a High School in Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, near Grasse, to 'Collège Simon Wiesenthal'.

The Centre, however, expressed “concern at two potential dangers:

- Despite the fact that, this time, the would-be perpetrator was reportedly unarmed, the intent carries a possible mimetic effect through social media on others bent on antisemitic atrocity.

- The denial of justice if, yet again, the accused is claimed irresponsible because insane or under the influence of narcotics.”

“Mr. Mayor, in your long-term roles as President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region, as Member of the French National Assembly and an active friend of Israel, our Centre would be delighted to work with you in the battle against antisemitism in France,” concluded Samuels.

“As a rejection of remorse for previous antisemitic expressions, the carnival’s organizers released ribbons further portraying Jewish stereotypes.”

“We urge UNESCO’s first Jewish Director-General to cleanse this hatefest by calling to remove Aalst from the Intangible Cultural Heritage list.”

Paris, 24 October 2019

In a letter to Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled his denunciation, in 2013, of the Aalst Carnival float “for antisemitic stereotypes in portraying actors as SS and their victims in the blue and white striped garb of concentration camp inmates,” adding, “the 2019 float was even worse in displaying Jews in Orthodox dress grasping gold coins and carrying rats, redolent of the scenes of Nazi propaganda films and publications.”

22 October 2019

“The invitation to bring our exhibition ‘People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land’ to the ‘Olympics of Book Fairs’ came out of the blue,” noted the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

22 Oct. 2019 3
(from left to right) Isabelle Poupart, DCM at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, Dr. Shimon Samuels,
Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Centre, Timothy Eydelnant, US Consul General
in Leipzig, Dr. Graciela Vaserman Samuels, Advisor to the Director-General of UNESCO, Uwe Becker,
Mayor of Frankfurt, Patricia Lacina, US Consul General in Frankfurt, Rabbi Julian-Chaim Soussan
of the Jewish Community, Dr Ursula Schoen, Vice-Dean of the Evangelist Church, Dr. Johannes zu Eltz,
City Deacon of the Catholic Church, and Alex Uberti, Consultant for the Wiesenthal Centre.

“We have for 16 years been the only non-governmental organisation to annually monitor incitement to hate and violence on the shelves – books in violation of their contractual obligation to the Fair,” he added, “now we were granted the opportunity to apply an antidote.”

“Arab Publishers’ Association Campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem: The Eternal Capital of Palestine’.”

“Worst Offender prizes to Egypt and Iran” – “Courageous Best Practice Award to Indonesia”

22 October 2019

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is, for the 17th year, the only non-governmental organisation to monitor incitement to hate and violence on the display stands.

The Frankfurter Buchmesse – the “Olympics of Book Fairs” – is host to 7,450 exhibitors from 104 countries and over 300,000 visitors.

Director Jurgen Boos opened the 71st anniversary of the Fair, placing its context in the extreme right Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) terrorist attack on the Halle synagogue of the preceding week.