Communiqués de presse 2011

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"Malmo: A case-study of chronic antisemitism in public discourse, in micro, carries lessons for the OSCE region."

Prague, 24 March,

Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations and its Permanent Delegate to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) appealed to the 56 state body today to urge Swedish measures against rampant antisemitism in the southern city of Malmo.

"Votre discours, qui importe des conflits étrangers dans la vie politique de Malmö, a exacerbé les tensions inter-communautaires et met tout particulièrement en danger les citoyens juifs de la ville."

Stockholm, le 16 mars,

Dans une lettre rendant compte de leur réunion avec le maire de Malmö, M. Ilmar Reepalu, de hauts responsables du Centre Simon Wiesenthal ont exprimé leur déception devant : "son déni de toute responsabilité face aux citoyens juifs de la ville, et son rejet de la faute sur 'Stockholm', 'la police', etc... pour toute crainte du public (y compris celles que nous avons entendues de la part des dirigeants musulmans et roms de la ville).

"Le peuple macédonien, comme ce fut le cas pour le peuple juif il y a presque cinq décennies, fait, à nouveau, son entrée dans l'histoire et dans la géographie, son identité souveraine doit être reconnue en conséquence... Les leçons tirées par votre pays de l'Holocauste doivent servir à donner l'alerte lorsque, chez certains de vos voisins, et le négationnisme font leur retour."

Skopje, le 9 mars,

Shimon Samuels, directeur des relations internationales du Centre Simon Wiesenthal, a prononcé un discours à l'occasion de la cérémonie organisée par le Gouvernement de Macédoine, La Fondation pour la mémoire de l'Holocauste et la communauté juive de Macédoine, pour commémorer le 68e anniversaire de la déportation de plus de 7 000 Juifs (dont un tiers d'enfants) vers Treblinka, où ils périrent. La cérémonie a marqué l'ouverture d'un impressionnant Centre et musée pour la mémoire de l'Holocauste, grâce à la restitution, par le gouvernement, des biens des Juifs assassinés pillés par l'occupant bulgare.

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Wiesenthal Centre Laments Antisemitic Incitement at Casablanca Book Fair

Paris, 3 March 2011

In a letter to Frankfurt Book Fair Director, Juergen Boos, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, exposed publishers promoting incitement at the SIEL 2011 (Salon International du Livre et de l'Edition) in Casablanca, Morocco.

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"Music Must Serve to Contain Hate, Not to Reward It!"

Paris, 14 February 2011

In a letter to the International Music Council (IMC) President, Prof,Frans de Ruiter, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, urged him "to vigourously condemn Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, for his obsessive anti-Jewish hatemongering and to strip him of his 2005 IMC-UNESCO International Music Prize".

Samuels explained that:- "Last week, Theodorakis reportedly announced on Greek television that he is 'indeed an antisemite...everything that happens in the world today has to do with the Zionists...American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also'". 

- "Only yesterday, he amplified these positions in 'Mikis Theodorakis answers the usual circles accusing him of antisemitism', 
<http://www.mikis-theodorakis-kinisi-anexartiton-politon.gr/el/mikistheodorakis/?nid=445

'It is a paradox of history that the principal victims of Hitlerism now faithfully imitate the methods employed by the latter for global predominance'. As a composer, he presents himself as a victim, since 'Zionists control 99% of global musical life'". 

- "This hatred could already be foreseen in his 2005 statement that 'Jews are the root of all evil'". 

The letter suggested that "such language which should have sufficed to disqualify his candidacy for the prize. It is interesting that both the IMC and UNESCO decided that the 2005 laureate would be the last". 

The Centre argued that "Theodorakis offends all Jews, now including the identity of many of his predecessor awardees, such as Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, Banny Goodman, Gidon Kremer, Yahudi Menuhin". 

The letter stressed that "he has also violated the IMC's mission statement, which 'promotes musical diversity, access to culture for all and assists...in building peace and understanding among peoples of all cultures and heritage'". 

Samuels insisted that, "when racists or bigots - of whatever form or stripe - proudly step out of the closet to announce: 'I am indeed, an Islamophobe/anti-Gay/Gypsophobe or Antisemite, they must be scorned and marginalized. They can no longer serve as icons for their peers or for the younger generation'". 

"Mr.President, strip Theodorakis, a self-proclaimed racist, of the prestigious International Music Council-UNESCO Prize. Music must serve as a vehicle to contain incitement, not to reward it", concluded Samuels. 

The letter was shared with European Music Council Chairman, Timo Klemettinen of Germany < timo.klemettinen@musiccouncil.fi > 
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.

For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58