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Wiesenthal Center: War Crimes Accountability Act Could Be Important Tool To Force Uncooperative Governments To Finally Take Action Against War Criminals

September 13, 2012

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center commends Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) and Representative Harold Berman (D-CA) for introducing the War Crimes Accountability Act of 2012,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights NGO named in honor of the famed Nazi hunter. “This legislation can serve as an important tool in the pursuit of justice and a reminder in the final years of the hunt for Nazi war criminals that there should be no statute of limitations on mass murder and no safe harbor for Nazi killers,” he continued.

“We note that the bill mentions the Center's Operation Last Chance and the important work by our chief Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff,” Cooper said. “Significantly, this bill provides practical incentive for countries who have done nothing to deal with Nazi war criminals in their midst to cooperate in bringing Nazis before the bar of justice by prohibiting defense sales to countries that either refuse to deport, prosecute, or enforce an arrest warrant against a Nazi war criminal,” Cooper said. He also said that it would also cover war criminals accused by an international tribunal of planning or abetting crimes against humanity in the years since the end of World War II.

Cooper added, “This bill shows that America is telling the world that the heinous crimes perpetrated by Nazi Germany will not be forgotten, nor will similar acts today be tolerated.”

"We are grateful to Congressmen Israel and Berman for their service to the victims of the Shoah and to all victims of atrocities who would benefit from this legislation," Rabbi Cooper concluded.

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).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter,or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.