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Paris, 15 July 2018

On 28 February 2018, the investigating magistrate in the case of the 4 April 2017 savage murder of 65 year old doctor, Sarah Halimi, accepted an expert analysis that her murderer was fit to stand trial.

Moreover, Kobili Traoré’s action, in stabbing her and throwing her from her third floor balcony to her death, while screaming “Allahu Akhbar,” was acknowledged as, indeed “an act of anti-Semitic character.”

On 18 June, 2018, Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC Director for International Relations wrote to French Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, lamenting that “the current defence system is inadequate,” protesting an attack on a teenage female student by three North Africans outside her Jewish School... noting the withdrawal of the military presence guarding synagogues, Jewish schools and other institutions.

The letter had also stressed: “the revolving door” treatment of young Islamist attackers on Jews and Jewish property by magistrates.

By far the most serious, Samuels had emphasized the denial of the “anti-Semitic character” in terrorism against Jews, stating, “the courts’ reluctance to acknowledge the anti-Semitic nature of these attacks - ostensibly saving the perpetrator from an aggravated penalty - has the apparent effect of a ‘cover-up’ and an excuse for delay.”

On 11 July 2018, the investigative magistrate presented a second evaluation of three psychiatric experts, claiming that the murderer:

“Was not conscious at the moment of his actions,”and consequently cannot face a long and difficult trial... The subject was suffering, at that moment, a psychic or neuropsychic condition and was not in control of his actions... Traoré was suffering from a chronic psychiatric condition, probably schizophrenia... He also suffered from a long addiction to cannabis... a pathological anti-social personality (incapacity to conform to social norms, impulsiveness, irritability, aggressiveness, irresponsibility and propensity to violence)...unfit to stand trial.”

Samuels requested that the Minister discuss with his colleague, the Justice Minister, “a way to acknowledge ipso facto hate-crimes and atrocities on a fast track basis, as procedures excusing the violence on grounds of mental disorder add to serial and mimetic assault.”

The Judge has requested a third analysis for the Autumn, as justice is further delayed.

“If every psychotic has the right to commit violence against Jews with impunity, there are a lot more anti-Semites than we ever thought,” 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).

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Strasbourg, France, 13 July 2018

The Wiesenthal Centre exhibition “People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land”, was opened on Thursday 12 July, by Mayor Roland Ries and the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, at the Strasbourg “Médiathèque” - an immense computerized public library for all media.

The Mayor welcomed the Wiesenthal Centre and complimented the exhibition, stressing the security and safety of the important and ancient Strasbourg Jewish community.

Shimon Samuels with Mayor Roland Ries

He noted the difficulties encountered by the exhibition at UNESCO when first presented - information he had heard from a regular visitor to Strasbourg and member of the exhibition’s Honorary Committee - the Algerian writer Boualem Sansal.

Mayor Ries praised the new Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, for keeping her promise to depoliticize the organization by creating consensus between Israel and the Arab states, to contain the annual votes attacking Israel.

Samuels thanked the Mayor and noted the efforts of the Centre’s sturdy “Three Musketeers” in Strasbourg:

- Gilbert Nerson (the Centre’s Representative to the Council of Europe)

- Pierre Haas (our co-Representative and CRIF-Alsace President)

- Salomon Levy (Strasbourg Central Synagogue President)


Salomon Levy, Shimon Samuels, Gilbert Nerson, Alex Uberti and Pierre Haas

Tracing the exhibition’s background, he acknowledged the importance of it being hosted in a youth-driven municipal facility, visited by thousands each day, fronted by an artificial sand beach for families throughout the summer season.

He compared the “Médiathèque” approach to that of the Wiesenthal Centre’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, a cutting-edge digitized human rights laboratory, and invited the Mayor to visit on his next trip to the United States.

The exhibition will remain open until 26 July.

“We hope to plan a Francophonie itinerary after the summer ‘rentrée’,” concluded Samuels.

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels on +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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July 11, 2018 

An international gathering of experts was held in Evian on the 80th anniversary of the notorious 1938 Conference on Jewish refugees from Nazism. The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, was invited to keynote.

The original pre-war conference had been planned to be held in the diplomatic hub of Geneva, but due to the Swiss claim of “neutrality,” it was moved across the lake to French Evian-les-Bains.

Today’s “Evian Revisited,” or as dubbed by Samuels, “Evian II” was organized by Elihu “Hugh” Baver of New Hampshire, USA and a number of sponsors led by the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. It took place in the Hotel Royal, the site of “Evian I.”     

“Evian was a death sentence:  

- proving Hitler's point that no-one and nowhere wanted the Jews;

- setting the appeasement scene of Munich a few weeks later;

- justifying the British White Paper that closed the doors of the Palestine Mandate;

- giving validity to the 1942 Wannsee Protocol, which listed by country the number of Jews to be murdered, totalling over 11 million.”  


“Of 32 countries represented, 31 Ambassadors rose to explain why they would not take Jews. Only one, the Dominican Republic, offered 100,000 visas for German Jewish bachelor farmers. The bachelors were expected to marry Dominican women. Agriculturists were very few. Nevertheless, some 500 arrived after the outbreak of war - the last to leave Europe.”

“On arrival, they were sent to the coastal village of Sosua, where they established two cooperatives: one dairy, the other meat.”

In 1971, Samuels was researching Israeli technical assistance programmes in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In Santo Domingo, he heard the story of Sosua. There he interviewed community leaders. His findings were published in the 1972 edition of the American Jewish Year Book entitled “Sosua: Moshav in the Caribbean.”

From Sosua in the north, he continued to Azua in the south, where an Israeli rural settlement team was training the “campesinos” (farmers) in cooperative management. Samuels arrived in time to join the team in finishing the construction of a small church.

He stressed, “for me the journey from Sosua to Azua was dramatic in representing:

- From 1938, the Jewish condition of utter powerlessness...

- To 1948, the Jewish return to history, geography and sovereignty...

- To the State of Israel’s technical assistance team building a church for Dominican ‘campesinos’”...

“Last week Bahrain hosted the UNESCO World Heritage Committee - an institution that has been a battlefield for the theft of Jewish and Christian narrative.

Now, however, we were championing the cause of Moises Ville, a village established by the ICA - Baron Hirsh’s foundation in Paris - in 1889 for Jewish fugitives fleeing Russian and Ukrainian pogroms.

We presented Moises Ville to be acknowledged as World Heritage in gratitude to Argentina for hosting and absorbing Jewish refugees who, in turn, reciprocated as loyal and productive citizens”...

After my presentation, the Dominican Ambassador approached me: “Why not  Sosua?”... “Why not indeed? For these examples of successful absorption did not stop at ‘admission,’ but went the next step to ‘acceptance’. These are role models, best practices for today.”

Samuels announced a deal, made at this “Evian II” conference: “To work with Sosua veteran, Edith Meyerstein (pictured center with Dr. Samuels left, and Elihu Baver at right), to seek the support of the Dominican Government to begin the campaign for Sosua to be acknowledged as Dominican World Heritage.”

“Evian carries another message... the undisputable justification for a Jewish State... the wandering Jew has a home... there are no more Jewish refugees... for Jews, there can never be another Evian,” concluded Samuels.  

 

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels on +33 609 770 158




“Are European authorities misusing ‘psychiatric evaluation’ to whitewash anti-Semitism?” asks Center official.

July 12, 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed outrage over the response and disposition of an assault yesterday of an Israeli professor by a 20 year-old German/Palestinian.

Media reports on how the incident was handled are deeply disturbing,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Global Social Action, adding, “First, police admit they confused perpetrator and victim. “It is difficult to fathom how a middle aged professor wearing a kippah would be identified as the perpetrator?”

Cooper continued, “Then comes word that the suspect, rather than being held in jail, received a psychiatric evaluation and then sent home? We are deeply concerned that in Germany, France, and the Netherlands, that ‘psychiatric evaluations’ are being used to whitewash anti-Semitic acts instead of confronting and dealing forthrightly with violent Jew-hatred.”

“During his recent visit to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, we told German President Steinmeier of our concerns that German authorities aren’t doing anything to confront the anti-Semitism that many Arab and Muslim in Germany harbor. The incident in Bonn is yet another indication that Germany is not yet taking this source of anti-Semitism seriously enough. The Wiesenthal Center urges Chancellor Merkel’s government to expand the budget and powers of Felix Klein the Anti-Semitism Commissioner to ensure police and other state entities are properly trained to respond to such hateful attack,” Rabbi 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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July 11, 2018

Simon Wiesenthal Center's Government Advocacy Internship Program held its weekly seminar last night on Using the Press and Media in Advocacy. The seminar was led by two of New York’s most celebrated and award winning journalists in William “Bill” Farrell, who presently serves as the Communications Director for Government Relations firm Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno.


Bill Previously served for over thirty (30) years as a leading reporter, columnist, feature writer and editor of the New York Daily News, and Murray Weiss, who currently serves as the Producer of CBS new program 48 Hours and previously spent time on the editorial staff of DNAinfo, as the Criminal Justice Editor for the New York Post, and as the Author of the 9/11 New York Times best seller “The Man Who Warned America.”

The program participants garnered an eye opening, experience in understanding the behind the scenes editorial decision making process, learning how to package and pitch stories, and how to gain maximum exposure for the issues that affect our community.

We want to thank Steven Witzel for hosting us at the Downtown offices of Fried Frank and for his wife, Debora Levit who chairs the program’s board of directors for joining us last night and for all of her incredible efforts in helping make this critical program a tremendous success.

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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"Publicly condemn Roger Waters' venom presented under Barclaycard sponsorship!"

July 11, 2018                                                                                                                                                         

In a letter to Barclaycard CEO, Barry Rodrigues, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed outrage at the 6 July Hyde Park “hate concert”, that kicked off the "Barclaycard British Summer Time” music festival. 

Samuels pointed to obscene political performer, Roger Waters, as "addressing the audience of families with small children wielding a banner inscribed 'F--k the Pigs!', followed by slogans on screens iconizing Russia, Putin, Iran and Julian Assange and an array of slurs against Israel."

The letter suggested that "had this show been confined to the nearby Hyde Park Corner's 'off the wall' punditry from across the political spectrum, it could, perhaps, have been dismissed as malicious nonsense." Samuels added, “Not so, Mr. CEO, when its venom is presented under the sponsorship of Barclaycard."   

The Centre called on Barclaycard "to publicly condemn Waters hate-mongering and to take disciplinary measures against the staff who endorsed this travesty." 

Noting that he and his family have been Barclays clients for over 60 years, Samuels concluded that if the banking giant fails to take such action, “ I will cancel my Barclaycard and urge our members to consider transferring their accounts to a bank that promotes prosperity - not hate," 

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at +33 609 770 158

 



Simon Wiesenthal Center
Louis Farrakhan ...since the 1960s sowing the seeds of racism, anti-Semitism and hate

Farrakhan’s Bigotry Finds Traction Across the Political Spectrum

By Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Harold Brackman

Louis Farrakhan, octogenarian leader of the unIslamic, anti-white Nation of Islam, has been active ever since the 1960s, sowing the seeds of racism, anti-Semitism and hate for our blessed American nation. So why worry about an aging bigot today? Suddenly, Farrakhan’s life’s work is paying off, winning accolades from the far right to the progressive left. Hatred is seeping into the mainstream of our political culture, not hidden in smoky backrooms or behind anonymous social media postings, but proudly touted on the internet and in interviews—a guaranteed path to gain name recognition, recruit voters and grab media attention.

Here are examples from the Republican side of the aisle:

· In California, John Fitzgerald, a proud Holocaust denier, captured 23 percent of the vote in the “open primary” in a California congressional district northeast of San Francisco. This made him the official GOP candidate and, initially, won him the automatic endorsement of the State Republican Party which inexplicably waited two months before it rescinded the endorsement. Among Fitzgerald’s eye-popping platform planks: endorsement of the Farrakhan’s scurrilous pseudo-history, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” falsely alleging that the tiny number of colonial Jewish merchants “dominated” the massive slave trade between Africa and the Americas.

· In Illinois, “The Land of Lincoln,” Arthur Jones, who boasts that he was once head of the American Nazi Party, ran unopposed and won a GOP congressional primary in a district including parts of the city of Chicago, defending the position that: “To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket.” Republican Governor Bruce Rauner hesitated before declaring that the GOP faithful should vote for anybody, even a Democrat, other than the Neo-Nazi Jones.

· In Wisconsin, in retiring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district, Holocaust denier Paul Nehlen vaulted to the front of would-be successors. Before Twitter suspended his account, Nehlen photoshopped an image of Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s biracial American bride with the face of Cheddar Man, the dark-skinned man supposed to be the first modern Briton.

Lest Democrats be complacent, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) not long ago said: “I personally know [Farrakhan], I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him. I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being.” Asked specifically about Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic statements, “Davis was dismissive and said that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.” But then Davis backtracked—or sidestepped—stating that he would like to know what Farrakhan has said about Jews “recently.” Only belatedly did Davis criticize Farrakhan.

Congressman Davis is an old inner-city politician from Chicago. Even more disturbing was Farrakhan’s intergenerational political romance with Tamika Mallory, co-chair of January 2017’s Women’s March. Mallory, an avowed Farrakhan admirer, showed up at his recent annual Saviour’s Day Address and had her photo taken with him. Far from apologizing, she doubled down, proudly sharing her attendance on Instagram. She even likened Farrakhan to the crucified Jesus: “If your leader does not have the same enemies as Jesus, they may not be THE leader! Study the Bible and u will find the similarities. Ostracizing, ridicule and rejection is a painful part of the process . . . but faith is the substance of things!”

In California, Maria Estrada, the Democratic candidate for State Assembly from Los Angeles, had this to say last year on Facebook: “Democrats turn a blind eye to the genocide against Palestinians and justify it by bringing up the Holocaust,” she wrote last year. “As if what happened 70 years ago justifies it. Anyone who believes they are one of ‘God’s chosen people’ automatically feels superior and justified in all they do. Religious fanaticism is used to justify apartheid and crimes against Palestinians and no one shuld be okay with it. #FreePalestine… It is extremely problematic when delegates are being flown to Tel Aviv by AIPAC, and even more problematic when Palestinian children are being arrested, taunted and murdered in the name of Zionism… The complete denial and/or justification of what is occurring in Gaza in the name Zionism is hypocritical and inexcusable.” Estrada who absolved Hamas of any responsibility tweeted “I, for one, enjoy listening to Farrakhan’s sermons.”

Like Farrakhan and other anti-Semites before him, Estrada has taken a page from Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish playbook and invoked ‘God’s Chosen People’ to justify her vilification of Jews, not just Zionists. She apparently took no notice that Farrakhan’s hateful dog whistle also transcends the racial chasm between Black Nationalists and White racist anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville this past August. Alt-right Charlottesville guru Richard Spencer wants to meet with Farrakhan, to work together toward “the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.”

Fifty years ago, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired young people of all races to dream of a color blind America. Today, we are witness to bigots from the far Left and the far Right who praise Farrakhan, energized by his divisive demagoguery. These extremists are hard at work wending their way into the mainstream of our society.

Younger generations of Americans—Democrats, Republicans and everyone else in between—better wake up and decide whose vision will guide our nation in the 21st century.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Global Social Action director.

Dr. Harold Brackman is long-time consultant for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance and co-author of From Abraham to Obama: A History of Africans, African Americans, and Jews (Africa World Press, 2015).

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