Wiesenthal Centre to Montevideo Mayor: “As Latin American President of UNESCO-Affiliated Anti-Racist Organization you have Honoured a Much Reported Racist”

November 12, 2018

In a letter to Montevideo Mayor and Uruguayan Presidential Candidate, Daniel Martinez, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, and its Latin-American Representative, Dr. Ariel Gelblung, expressed outrage at the city’s “Honoured Guest Award” to Roger Waters - an activist for the antisemitic BDS campaign.

Samuels and Gelblung recalled their meeting with Martinez in Cordoba, Argentina, where he was President of the Coalition of Latin American and Caribbean Cities Against Racism (LAC), “where we discussed cooperation on our 'Racism in Sport' campaign, under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO) and UNESCO.”

Roger Waters' pig balloon in 2018 (pictured left) and the letter continued: “Mr. Mayor, little did we envisage that you, as a champion of anti-racism - especially as a candidate in the elections for President of Uruguay - could bestow the 'Montevideo Honoured Guest Award' upon a much reported racist.”

The letter pointed out that Waters “has decorated concerts with a stylized inflatable pig balloon carrying the Star of David, the emblem of Judaism, based on the medieval 'Juden Sau' (Jew pig) icon,” ... adding, “Waters arguably abuses music to broadcast his call for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against the Jewish State, based upon the Nazi German boycott of Jewish shops.”

(Photo) "Judensau" depiction of 1470

The Centre officials noted that “Waters’ presence in Montevideo coincided with the 80th anniversary week of 'Kristallnacht' (Night of Broken Glass), Hitler’s pogrom that torched 1,500 synagogues across the Reich and brought the arrest and deportation of 30,000 Jews, the precursor of the Holocaust, ... adding, “his presence in Montevideo was arguably a stain on your city, apparently soiled even further by the award you have granted.”

The Centre continued, “Our Centre’s membership, including in Latin America, calls on you to publicly withdraw this award and denounce Waters.”

“Mr. Mayor, we are certain that you, as a proclaimed anti-racist and a possible President of Uruguay, will not wish to be associated with accusations of antisemitism and will apologize to the Jewish people for this outrage,” concluded Samuels and Gelblung.

The letter was shared with ECCAR President Benedetto Zacchiroli, OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at +33 609 770 158,  join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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