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"Prosecute Apple for I-Phone 'Jew/Non-Jew' Application."

Paris, 17 September 2011

"A new weapon in the war against the Jews is the mobile telephone", stated Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations. 

"On the heels of last month's Orange-France service provider's, 'Welcome to the Palestinian Territories', SMS to clients arriving at Tel Aviv airport, now Apple-France has launched an arguably antisemitic application on its I-Phone", continued Samuels. 

"Jew/Non-Jew" has been marketed by App Store, at 79 euro cents, ostensibly, as a census of Jewish personalities. The original file of 3,500 names is growing, as figures are identified as "both parents Jewish", "half-Jewish", "convert", "non-Jew", etc. Its creator, Johann Levy ingenuously argued that he wished only to show the great contribution of Jews to France. 

Former Police Commissioner, Sammy Ghoslan, President of the Centre's French affiliate, the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l'Antisémitisme ( National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism - BNVCA) had protested the Orange network's SMS, leading to an apology and its removal. 

In the Apple case - though the App Store claims to have suspended sales as a result of protest - the BNVCA has called upon the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (The National Commission for Information Technology and Liberties - CNL) to launch legal proceedings against Apple-France. 

According to its mission statement, this government watchdog is "responsible for ensuring that information technology remains at the service of citizens, without jeopardizing identity or breaching human rights, privacy or individual or public liberties". 

BNVCA is charging that the file is illegal as it is based on "origin". Censuses probing ethnic, religious or other group identities violate French law. 

"Indeed, these are reminiscent of Vichy Nazi collaborator Jewish files, whereby 72,000 men, women and children were deported to the death camps" noted Samuels in an appeal to the Minister of the Interior, "to close down Apple services in France until the application is completely removed". 

The Wiesenthal Centre is calling on the general public to report on similar cases of incitement to hate via telephony service providers worldwide.