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News Releases 2012

"This follows the charges brought by the Centre's associate in France, the BNVCA."

Paris, 30 March 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre-France expressed its satisfaction at French Interior Minister Claude Gueant's announcement of the prohibition and 
dissolution of the Islamist Forsane Alizza group. 

The Centre's President, Richard Odier, noted that "these steps followed a legal suit against the group brought by the BNVCA - the National 
Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism - which is sponsored by the Wiesenthal Centre".

Paris, 19 March 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, has called on French Interior Minister, Claude Guéant, to secure all Jewish institutions in the wake of the shooting this morning at the Toulouse "Otzar HaTorah" school.

Samuels has expressed indignation that "while the number of casualties in this assault are still unknown, it is clear that antisemitic hate speech in France has crossed a new threshold" 

He added that "the reported inflammatory discourse of the Anti-Zionist Party of France can encourage  this type of violence just as, in the pre-war period, antisemitic parties of East/Central Europe set the path for the Holocaust". 

The attack in Toulouse was a motorbike drive-by shooting which has all the markings of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. Samuels stressed that "in the context of the Syrian imbroglio and the now probability of Teharan's nuclear weaponization, warnings are now current of Iranian proxy attacks on Jewish institutions around the world." 

"The perpetrators of this outrage must be promptly arrested and prosecuted", concluded Samuels.

"These poisonous texts threaten remnant Jewish communities in the Arab world."

"Year after year, these publishers return to Frankfurt...The Book Fair's indifference to hate can render it complicit in the consequences."

Paris, 13 March 2012

In letters to Moroccan Culture Minister, Mohammed Amine Sbihi and Frankfurt Book Fair Director, Jurgen Boos, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, exposed publishers promoting antisemitism at the 18th SIEL (Salon International de l'Edition et du Livre) which recently ended in Casablanca.

"UEFA must ensure that forthcoming EURO 2012 Games in Poland and Ukraine are racism free."

Paris, 1st March 2012

In a letter to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) President, Michel Platini, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed "shock at the intensity of antisemitic taunts last Sunday towards Israeli player, Itay Schechter, at a training match of his current club, Kaiserslautern, following its 4-0 defeat by Mainz".

Samuels stressed that "the abuse included 'Seig Heil' salutes, 'Heil Hitler' and chants of 'Join the 6 million' (i.e. Holocaust victims)." 

President of University Takes Unprecedented Step of Closing The Campus for Two Days

Paris, 28 February 2012

The President of Paris University VIII has taken the unprecedented step of closing the University campus for two days rather than allow a "Israel Apartheid Week" conference to convene at the suburban Paris School. Professor Pascal Binczak, President of the University withdrew initial authorization following a warning from the Simon Wiesenthal Center that the event could degenerate into a threat to public order and endanger the Jewish community.

Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director of International Relations, who is based in Paris hailed "the decision to banish hate from the campus. We hope it will serve as a precedent across Europe". The keynote speaker for the conference Omar Barghouti, who is the leader of the international BDS (Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions) campaign against Israel, along with other presenters spoke at an alternative off-campus venue. 

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, currently in Paris, added "that the issue here is not freedom of speech— the event proceeded off-campus, but of a decision by a University president not to allow the institution of higher learning he heads to be co-opted by those seeking to demonize and de legitimize the democratic Jewish state of Israel. It is unfortunate that Harvard University is allowing a "One State Solution" conference to proceed this weekend, thus letting its good name to be leveraged by those who see the only way for "peace" in the Holy Land is to eliminate the Jewish state", Cooper concluded.