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November 19, 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO is urging its 400,000 constituent members and Jews the world over to boycott Airbnb after its CEO announced it will no longer allow its services to be used by Jewish residents on the West Bank.

“This is double standard anti-Semitism pure and simple. Nowhere else on the planet has Airbnb stopped making its service available in disputed territories, except Judea and Samaria,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Founder and Dean and Associate Dean and Director, Global Social Action Agenda. 

“To be clear, no Israeli leader, left, right, or center, would ever return to the indefensible ‘Auschwitz borders,’ a term coined by the founder of Israel’s peace movement, the late Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban,” they added.

"We take note that Airbnb has no problem doing business in the territory of the Palestinian Authority, which names schools and shopping centers in honor of mass murderers who have killed innocent civilians and have a ‘pay to slay’ policy when it comes to killing Jews.


“We don’t expect Airbnb to be geo-political experts, but today’s draconian and unjust move, which only empowers extremists and terrorists, merits only one response—taking our community’s business elsewhere," the Rabbis concluded.

For more information, please contact the Center's Communications Department, 310-553-9036. 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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November 19, 2018 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center mourns the passing of Romanian Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, former Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) when it adopted the Working Definition of Antisemitism in 2016.

Mark Weitzman, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Government Affairs who, as Chair of the IHRA’s Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, introduced and partnered with Constantinescu in the adoption of the Working Definition said: 

Mihnea Constantinescu was one of the great figures of our generation in the fight against antisemitism. He was untiring in his commitment to getting the definition adopted, and deserves the lion’s share of the credit for his vigorous efforts in achieving the adoption of the Working Definition against great odds. From the moment we first discussed the idea of the Working Definition two years before the Romanian Chairmanship officially began, he immediately grasped the need for the definition and was unwavering in his dedication and perseverance until he achieved the goal of official IHRA adoption. The Jewish world has lost a great ally, IHRA has lost an inspirational leader and voice of diplomatic wisdom, and the fight against antisemitism has lost a great champion. We mourn his loss and hope that his example will continue to inspire others to follow in his steps.

For more information, please contact the Center's Communications Department, 310-553-9036. 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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“Began with ‘HaTikva’ and concluded with ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’.”

"Due to the failure of the police and the judiciary to take action against the perpetrators of antisemitic hate crimes, our 'travel advisory' on Malmo will remain in place"

Malmo, Sweden, 15 November 2018

In 2010, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre had imposed its “Travel Advisory” on Malmo, in view of the constant antisemitic attacks on Jewish targets, mostly perpetrated by young Islamists.

“The advisory has remained in placed due to the lax intervention of the city’s police force,” stated Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Centre, headquartered in Los Angeles.

Malmo Rabbi Moshe David HaCohen pointed to a growing Jewish-Muslim cooperation, but also the increasing volume of drug-related crime in the city.

In an independent meeting with the Roma Information and Knowledge Centre (RIKC), the Chair, Mujo Halilovic, observed “since last contact with the Wiesenthal Centre, the situation is now worse as police attention focuses on Roma beggars from Eastern Europe as pariahs.”


The Wiesenthal Centre delegation together with Sweden-Israel Friendship Association representatives and the leadership and social workers of RICK.

Rev. Bo Sandahl, Dean of the Diocese of Lund and President of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ), spoke of violence in the community, acknowledging the positive effects of the insertion programme fostered by Malmo Mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jammeh.

L-R: Dr. Shimon Samuels, Rev. Bo Sandahl, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Maria Halkiewicz (Chairperson of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association) and Alex Uberti of the SWC-Europe, meeting at the Swedish Church Diocese in Lund, Sweden

At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Rabbi Cooper advised municipality officials present, that the travel advisory would be removed only when there would be hard evidence, following antisemitic attacks, of the police willing and equipped to make arrests and have the perpetrators arraigned.”

He added his gratitude to the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association, which organized the event, attended by over 400 visitors.

The Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, spoke of the exhibition as a memorial to the late Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Per Ahlmark - an undefatigable champion against antisemitism and for human rights.


Rabbi Cooper (L) and Shimon Samuels (R), addressing a heterogeneous public at the Europaporten

Samuels traced examples of a thread of human rights, a code of ethics that runs through “People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.”

The speakers recalled the assault by NMR neo-Nazis, on this exhibition during its display at the Almedalen Festival in Visby. Once again, these Christian righteous showed courage in defending the exhibition.

The proceedings began with the Hymn of Hope “HaTikva” and concluded with “Next Year in Jerusalem.”

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at +33 147 237 637, 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).

November 13, 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today welcomed an apology from Korean pop group BTS’ management for incidents—a band member wearing a hat emblazoned with the Nazi SS “Totenkopf” emblem, another member wearing a t-shirt with pictures of the WWII atomic bombs, and the band performing in costumes resembling SS uniforms and flying Nazi-like flags—offensive to both Jewish victims of the Holocaust and Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Center had called on the group and its backers to apologize.
The BTS management issued a statement of apology Tuesday morning via social media and also announced that they would personally be in touch with the Wiesenthal Center.

“The outrageous incidents reveal a basic lack of knowledge of history's darkest chapters that endangers the future of younger generations,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action.

“We are reaching out to BTS and their management to urge that they harness their international fame to celebrate the good not serve the forces of evil,” Cooper concluded.

For more information, please contact the Center's Communications Department, 310-553-9036. 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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Paris and Buenos Aires, 12 November

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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November 11, 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced BTS, an internationally popular Korean band whose live performance on Japan TV was cancelled.

“Wearing a T-shirt in Japan mocking the victims of the Nagasaki A-bomb, is just the latest incident of this band mocking the past,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper. Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO.

Members of the band posed for a photo shoot wearing hats with the Nazi SS Death Head logo. The SS was a key component of the Nazi mass murder of 6 million Jews during the WWII Holocaust. “Flags appearing on stage at their concert were eerily similar to the Nazi Swastika. It goes without saying that this group, which was invited to speak at the UN, owes the people of Japan and the victims of the Nazism an apology.”

“But that is not enough. It is clear that those designing and promoting this group’s career are too comfortable with denigrating the memory of the past. The result is that on young generations in Korea and around the world are more likely to identify bigotry and intolerance as being ‘cool’ and help erase the lessons of history. The management of this group, not only the front performers, should publicly apologize,” Rabbi Cooper added.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/world/asia/bts-kpop-japan-cancel.html

For more information, please contact the Center's Communications Department, 310-553-9036, 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).



Brussels, 8 November 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre - Europe partnered with 18 other organizations, led by the European Jewish Association, to discuss the status of Jerusalem and of antisemitism, over two days at the European Parliament.


Attended by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), politicians, multifaith clergy, media and academics, the sessions focussed on setting “red lines” for candidates and parties in the run-up to the 2019 European Parliamentary elections.

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, spoke of “I.D. Theft of the Jewish Narrative as a Form of Antisemitism” with a power-point on antisemitica on the shelves of book fairs in six Arab countries and at the Frankfurt book fair...

"...We recalled that during a previous presentation at the European Parliament, a British MP present - close to then Prime Minister David Cameron - forwarded to Cameron examples of the Wiesenthal Centre’s findings of Islamist texts translated into English, French, Spanish and German. These were aimed at high schools in Europe with a high density of Arab-origin students. A few weeks later, Cameron responded, he had them banned,” stated Samuels.

The Centre also informed the Parliament of its 80th anniversary programme on the 1938 Evian conference on Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. There and then, 31 delegates explained why their countries would not accept Jews. The only member-state of the League of Nations, among the 32 present, which offered to take up to 100,000 was the Dominican Republic.

In Evian, the world’s answer to U.S. President Roosevelt’s call for a solution was a green light to Hitler, to exterminate 6 million Jews in the Holocaust...

“Remembering and studying these events allows us to draw lessons for contemporary refugee challenges,” concluded Samuels.

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).


“The Dominican Republic and Sosúa were one of the few lights in the darkness...
It offsets the shameful behaviour of Cuba in refusing to accept its own entry visas issued by their Consuls to Jews...
These are lessons for immigration policies of today...”

Geneva and Evian-les-Bains, 9 November 2018

In 1938, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called for a conference on the fate of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, to be held at the League of Nations in Geneva, the City of Diplomacy.

Switzerland refused to host the meeting on grounds of its policy of neutrality. It was thus moved across the lake to the French spa resort of Evian-les-Bains.

Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Paris, Shimon Samuels, argued: “Evian was the green light given to Hitler to commit genocide.”

The inauguration of a plaque on Friday, "Kristallnacht", at Evian, presents the conference of 1938 as “a lesson for the entire world.”

Samuels highlighted "the Dominican Republic’s offer to take 100,000 Jewish refugees, if bachelors and farmers. There were not many Jewish farmers in Germany, but some 5,000 were sent by boat to the Caribbean island. There they built a small town, Sosúa. Jews still live there and two were present in Evian [at the plaque ceremony] on Friday." (from the Swiss newspaper, Le Temps: <https://www.letemps.ch/monde/illuminer-synagogues-mieux-conjurer-lobscurantisme>)

Together with Hugh Elihu Baver, father of the Sosúa/Evian Campaign, and the manager of the Hotel Royal, Marc Figueiredo, which hosted the 1938 conference in Evian, Samuels had called a press conference at the United Nations press centre in Geneva, to mark the 80th anniversaries of the Evian Conference and today’s commemoration of “Kristallnacht” (the Night of Broken Glass), when 1,500 synagogues were torched, thousands of Jewish stores were looted as their windows were smashed, and 30,000 Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps across Germany and Austria.

The plaque was placed in the hotel’s ballroom, the same hall where 31 delegations explained why they could not take Jews.

As the only voice that offered asylum in 1938 - at the afternoon event denoted by Samuels as “Evian II” - the Dominican Republic Embassy representative, Gabriela Santoni, today presented her President’s commitment to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for Sosúa, as had been proposed by Samuels, who first visited and reported on the Jewish village in 1971.

“Sosúa was one of the few lights in the darkness of the oncoming Holocaust. It offsets the shameful behaviour of nearby Cuba, which refused to honour its own entry visas for over 700 Jewish sea passengers who arrived to Havana on the SS St. Louis. The boat was forced to return to Germany. Passing Caribbean islands, Central America, Canada and the United States, all refused them salvation. The captain arranged that Britain, France, the Netherlands and Belgium take under 200 each. Only those who reached Britain survived the war,” recounted Samuels.

“While Geneva and Evian were direct precursors to the Holocaust, the Dominican Republic and the Jewish role in developing industries in Sosúa as a proud contribution to its host country, provide lessons for immigration policies of refugees today,” he concluded.

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).

Buenos Aires, 11 November 2018

In a letter addressed to Entel, Cencosud, Grupo Aval, Bac Credomatic y Citibanamex, Drs. Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, Director for International Relations and Latin American Representative respectively, urged the tour sponsors to follow American Express, in withdrawing, due to Waters' use of his shows to sow a message of hatred and discrimination and to promote a programme - rendered illegitimate in numerous international jurisdictions - Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions that emulates the behavior of the Nazis in their campaign "Do not buy from the Jews"

This is especially ironic, as this week the world remembers the 80th anniversary of "Kristallnacht" (the Night of Broken Glass) based on an anti-Jewish boycott that led to the Holocaust.

They concluded: "We urge you to demonstrate your disgust for the abuse of music to spread bigotry across Latin America. Withdraw your support and sponsorship of Roger Waters in order not be associated with financiers of hate and potential violence."

For further information, please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at +336 09770158 or Dr. Ariel Gelblung at +54 9 11 49695365, 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 an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400.000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).

Simon Wiesenthal Center
80th anniversary of Kristallnacht-Night of Broken Glass
November 9, 2018

Today, marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass in Nazi Germany on November 9/10, 1938, the beginning of the end for European Jewry. It comes as we still mourn the murder of 11 American Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue and a spate of anti-Semitic attacks targeting Jews on both sides of the Atlantic. It comes as Nazis and Holocaust deniers vied for seats in Congress.

Photo: Germany, November 1938

After the Pittsburgh massacre, SWC Founder and Dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier told The New York Times, "We may be at the beginning of what happened to Europe, the consistent anti-Semitic attacks. If it is not nipped in the bud ... I am afraid the worst is yet to come.”

A newly commissioned Simon Wiesenthal Center poll of nearly 2,000 registered voters taken before the mass murder in Pittsburgh found that more than 70 percent of the survey’s American Jewish respondents believe anti-Semitism is on the rise.

Rabbi Hier and SWC Associate Dean and Director, Global Social Action Agenda, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, cautioned in an op-ed in Washington's influential newspaper, The Hill, "Extremists from the alt-Right and from Antifa on the Left” must be taken on and "If we fail to take on the bullies and extremists, we may be at the beginning of what has happened to Europe".

Photo: Irvine, October 2018

The SWC convened bi-partisan press conferences in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, with Democrats and Republicans, law enforcement, Christian clergy and Muslim leaders to push back against anti-Semitism. And, will do more.

Every day we educate tens of thousands of students about the dangers of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust at the Museum of Tolerance and in schools around the country.

The SWC's traveling exhibition chronicling the events of the Holocaust, The Courage to Remember, has been in venues around the world where it has been seen by millions of people who have never been exposed to the Shoah.

Films from the SWC's Academy Award®-winning Moriah Films can be seen on Netflix and other streaming platforms, and have introduced new generations to the lessons of the Holocaust.

The SWC continues to monitor and fight back against anti-Semitic incidents in hot spots across the world: Germany, France, Spain, Austria, The Netherlands and the US and continues to leverage its relationships with political, diplomatic and religious leaders on three continents, as well at at the UN, to ensure the safety of all Jews.

Please support our work during these challenging and difficult times…..


Simon Wiesenthal Center Urges People to Drop Airbnb After it Boycotts Jewish Communities on the West Bank

Wiesenthal Center Mourns Passing Of Mihnea Constantinescu, Diplomat Who Steered Antisemitism Definition To Adoption

Baltimore police should investigate drunken theater goer who yelled 'Heil Hitler'

Wiesenthal Centre “People, Book, Land” Exhibition Opening at the Europaporten Church in Malmo

Wiesenthal Center Welcomes K-Pop Group’s Apology For Incidents Offensive To Jewish And Japanese Victims Of WWII

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

Popular Korean Band Whose Japan Performance Was Cancelled For T-Shirt Mocking A-Bomb Victims, Once Posed With Nazi SS Death Head Symbols, Flew Nazi-Like Flags At Concert

Wiesenthal Centre at the European Parliament

From Evian to Kristallnacht to the Holocaust

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has Urged the Sponsors of the Roger Waters Latin American Tour to Remove Their Support

Anti-Semitism 80 Years After Kristallnacht