Wiesenthal Center Lauds Court Verdict Rejecting Defamation Case Against Center's Former Latin America Director
July 24, 2018
In July 2014, former Latin America Director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center , Sergio Widder, wrote a column in the Infobae.com digital news portal criticizing journalist Pedro Brieger's editorial that justified the kidnapping and murder of three young Israelis at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.
Widder had argued, "During the Second World War, the Nazis used auxiliaries who were known as Kameradschafts-Polizei. History called them Kapos who carried out orders of the Nazis. Simon Wiesenthal was once asked what he would do if a Jewish Kapo fell into his hands, he replied: "A kapo is a kapo; Period."Thus a Jew who defends antisemites becomes their accomplice or even an antisemite. Period"
As a result of this critique, Pedro Brieger sued Widder and Infobae for moral damages.
The tribunal for Civil Appeals rejected the claim, a ruling that makes clear that freedom of expression does not only cover journalists, but anyone who criticizes their value judgments
The Wiesenthal Center lauded the verdict reached and views it as a tribute to the late Dr. Pablo Jacoby, Widder’s advocate who assumed his legal defense and his team who carried it to its conclusion.
"It is shocking when so -called defendants of freedom misuse justice to muzzle their critics. Whoever embraces true democracy must accept and celebrate differences of opinion, not silence them," commented Dr. Ariel Gelblung, Latin American Center's Representative
"If Wiesenthal considered a Jewish Kapo to be a Kapo, then a Jewish antisemite is an antisemite...There are today, sadly, too many young Jews infected by self-hatred, rebelling against their families, ignorant of Jewish history or plumb suicidal... when their language or behavior can be identified as antisemitic, outing them as such cannot be defamatory” concluded Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Center's Director for International Relations.
For further information, please contact Dr.Shimon Samuels at +336 09770158 or Dr. Ariel Gelblung at +54 9 11 49695365.