News Releases 2019

Herzliya, Israel, 16 September 2019

This 19th Annual Conference, dubbed “The Davos Forum Against Terror,” drew some 1,400 politicians, academics, security officials and media, including candidates in the forthcoming Israeli elections.

Invited for the 8th year running, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, brought attention to the role and fungibility of both African “conflict gold” and the disappearance of most of Venezuela’s gold reserve in the context of terrorism.

“An apology is inadequate... Yann Moix should be proactive, by publicly denouncing contemporary notorious French antisemites, such as Alain Soral and Dieudonné.”

Paris, 4 September 2019

The French weekly L’Express exposure of celebrated novelist, Yann Moix’s expressions thirty years ago of antisemitism and Holocaust denial - a crime under French law - has engendered an uproar in intellectual circles.

Moix, who has reportedly been criticized for uncomplimentary remarks about “over 50 year-old women” and is now suing his family, apparently for abuse during his childhood, following indirect claims he made in his autobiographical novel.

Now, at 51, he has apologized  for his caricatures and sick Holocaust jokes of when he was 21.

An example speaks of a Jew bargaining the cost of his deportation ticket to a concentration camp.

L’Express’ revelation also resulted in Moix’s withdrawal of his latest novel, “Orléans”, from distribution, confirmed by his well-respected publisher Grasset.

While his friend, Jewish intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy, has accepted Moix’s apology, various Jewish organizations are less forthcoming.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, has suggested that “An apology is inadequate... Yann Moix should be proactive, by publicly denouncing contemporary notorious French antisemites, such as Alain Soral and Dieudonné.”

The Centre is monitoring this story.

“Asked by UNESCO French Ambassador to assist in identifying WWI cemeteries that were destined for World Heritage status, but enlarged in WWII to include Nazi graves, the Centre exposed two such sites... We are now informed that the nomination was dropped definitively.”..."There can be no reconciliation between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness."

Paris, 2 September 2019

In July 2018 at the 42nd World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Bahrain, Wiesenthal Centre Permanent Observer to UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels, questioned a joint Franco-Belgian nomination of 139 World War I cemeteries for World Heritage inscription. The proposal was meant to emphasize reconciliation, especially with Germany, on the centenary of the 1918 armistice.

Samuels alerted the WHC that some of the cemeteries were later expanded to include World War II Allied and Axis soldiers, stressing that “these must never become reconciliation memorials.”

Former French Ambassador to UNESCO, H.E. Laurent Stefanini - now Ambassador to Monaco - called upon the Wiesenthal Centre to assist in identifying and removing any Nazi burial sites among those listed.

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Ambassador Stefanini with Dr. Shimon Samuels. 

Samuels then discovered on the list two such minefields. The first is La Tour d’Yser in Dixmude, Belgium, that has become a shrine for European neo-Nazi rallies. The second is La Cambe, where  perpetrators of the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane are buried. 642 villagers were burned alive, the men in barns, the women and children in the church, as retaliation against the Resistance... "There can be no reconciliation between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness", argued Samuels.

On this 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, the Centre was informed that the Franco-Belgian nomination was dropped definitively.

Samuels congratulated both countries, stating, “As the only Jewish organization accredited to the WHC, we consider this decision a historic victory.”

“Corsica claims no Jew was deported under Nazi occupation... It is therefore even more outrageous to call the Ajaccio event 'a debate on the Jewish Question,' redolent of Hitler's 'Judenfrage'... Denounce the invitation to Sand, as an apology to today’s Jewish community. The Sand theses may not be ‘criminal’, but they are certainly ‘fiction’.”

Paris, 20 August 2019

In a letter to Laurent Marcangelo, Mayor of Ajaccio, Corsica, the Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed "concern at learning from one of our Corsican members that the guest speaker to this year’s Ajaccio 'Crime Fiction' festival - reportedly attended by thousands of people - was Shlomo Sand, ex-Tel Aviv University."

See: <https://www.corsenetinfos.corsica/La-question-juive-et-israelienne-en-debat-a-la-13eme-edition-de-festival-du-polar-corse_a42874.html>

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Jerusalem Post
16 August 2019
https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Did-French-Caribbean-serve-as-Palestinian-terrorists-arms-route-598783

That attack was described by then-French prime minister Raymond Barre as “a bomb set for Jews that killed four innocent Frenchmen.”

August 9 marked the 37th anniversary of the Rue des Rosiers terrorist attack in the Paris Jewish Quarter – known as the Goldenberg Restaurant Massacre – which left six dead and 22 wounded. The attack was carried out by the notorious Abu Nidal Organization, the most common name for the Palestinian nationalist militant group Fatah-Revolutionary Council.