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News Releases 2018

Paris, 9 August 2018

In a letter to Norwegian Airlines Chairman and CEO, Bjorn Kjos, the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr.Shimon Samuels, lamented that “the pleasure of our flight on Norwegian was dashed by an article in ‘N’, your in-flight magazine.”

The article, entitled 'Import a Community', speaks of the resettlement of migrants across Europe and beyond under the rubric 'Visit Lost Towns', intriguingly includes the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane,”... “The thumbnail depiction is a disconcerting banalization of one of the most brutal atrocities of World War II.”

9 August 2018 1
The article in "N" in-flight magazine and the side-rubric
"Visit the Lost Towns" mentioning Oradour-sur-Glane.

“We are confident that a perpetrator entering the U.K. would be detained for extradition.”

“We are not so sure if they were to enter the U.S. as a ‘Green Card’ holder.”

“We urge Argentina to work with the U.S. to check the ‘Green Card’ list and place the five on a Watch List as agents of terror.”

Buenos Aires and London, 3 August 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre marked the 18 July 24th anniversary of the AMIA Buenos Aires Jewish Centre bombing - that left 85 dead and over 300 wounded - by a round-table at the British Parliament. The meeting’s objective was to examine the application of the pending INTERPOL "Red Notice" arrest warrants for the detention and extradition to Argentina of the Iranian perpetrators.

3 August 2018

The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom read a message from his Foreign Minister, Jorge Faurie, stating that “the Argentine Government is fully committed... to ensure that all those involved in the attack are brought before the Argentine courts.”

Paris, 3 August 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has led a campaign against visa refusals for participants in international sports events on grounds of religion, ethnicity, gender, nationality or other forms of discrimination.

World Chess Federation (FIDE) Vice-President I. Gelfer, confirmed by telephone to the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, that in view of the Centre’s intervention, "FIDE has advised Tunisia that, if any player is excluded from the World School Championship of 21-26 April 2019 in Sousse, the event will be moved to Turkey"... bearing in mind that Israelis have no visa problems in that country.

Moreover, another international tournament is scheduled for mid-December in Saudi Arabia, which last year refused visas to Israelis.

FIDE has decided that, "if this is repeated, the event will be cancelled," adding, "an official ruling on this matter has been placed on the FIDE General Assembly agenda meeting in Batumi, Georgia, in October."

"We congratulate FIDE on a significant sports victory for equality," concluded Samuels.

"Her exclusion was announced on 20 July, 'UNESCO International Chess Day'."

"FIDE must suspend Tunisia unless it issues an invitation to Liel."

"Jews, Blacks and Gays will never again be banned from world sport... 1936 Berlin Olympics must never recur."

Paris, 25 July 2018

In a letter to Acting President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), Georgios Makropoulos, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed concern at "the exclusion of 7 year old Israeli champion Liel Levitan from the International Chess Festival 2018 to be hosted by Tunisia in Monastir, 1-9 September."

25 July 2018
Liel Levitan (screenshot from Hadashot TV)

Blog by Dr. Shimon Samuels published in The Algemeiner
23 July 2018

23 July 2018
A display in Buenos Aires of pictures and names of victims of the 1994 AMIA bombing,
in which 85 people died and hundreds more wounded. Photo: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci.

In the aftermath of the Six Day War in 1967, my new Argentine wife and I flew to Buenos Aires to meet her family. This began an intimate relationship with the country and its Jewish community.

On a working trip during the late ’70s when Argentina was under a military dictatorship, I visited news editor and journalist Jacobo Timerman in his jail cell to discuss his eventual release to Israel, thus establishing a difficult relationship with his son Hector, who was destined to become Foreign Minister and play a disturbing role in the AMIA case.