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WIESENTHAL CENTRE TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT: “CONDEMN FRENCH ANTI-ZIONIST PARTY... ITS VERY CANDIDACY OFFENDS THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ITSELF”

WIESENTHAL CENTRE TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT: “CONDEMN FRENCH ANTI-ZIONIST PARTY... ITS VERY CANDIDACY OFFENDS THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ITSELF”

Paris, 5 May, 2009

In a letter to European Parliament (EP) President, Hans-Gert Poettering, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, called on MEPs to legislate against the electoral validity, in the forthcoming 27 Member-State EP elections, of any candidate party founded to promote a platform of hate.

Samuels pointed out that “the EP, under your leadership, recently debated the absurdity that its inaugural sessions were obliged to be opened by their oldest Member – even if that Member was a convicted Holocaust denier and publicly acknowledged racist – as was the case of French National Front leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen.”

He added that “such meassures to prevent an abuse of privilege can be viewed as building blocks in a legislation against hate.”

The letter continued, “now, in the lead up to the 4-7 June EP elections, another French convicted antisemite and Holocaust denier, Dieudonné, is to present his own candidacy as leader of the so-called ‘Anti-Zionist Party’ – an euphemism for Jew-hatred.”

The Centre stressed that “though we are confident that French voters will not endorse this travesty of electoral democracy to promote incitement, we are certain that the very acknowledgement of such a “party’s” aspiration is offensive to the European Parliament itself.”

The Centre also urged the President “to include in the EP’s legislative architecture against hate, the barring of any candidate party for EP elections that would target any ethnic or religious community, whether Jewish, Muslim, Roma or any other victimized minority.”

“Mr. President, our Centre calls on you to condemn the so-called ‘Anti-Zionist Party’ and its leadership and, to bring together the same parliamentary constellation that silenced Le Pen, to similarly exclude this openly racist platform,” concluded Samuels.

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels on +336 09770158.