Wiesenthal Centre to French Foreign Minister: "Embassy of France to Morocco Endorses Antisemitism"

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Wiesenthal Centre to French Foreign Minister: "Embassy of France to Morocco Endorses Antisemitism"

Paris, 20 April

In a letter to French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Shimon Samuels, expressed shock "that the French Embassy in Morocco has included in its 7-13 February Press Review the following patently antisemitic comment:
‘In fact, in contradiction to the Jews, whose religion is now only politics and business...’”

This is one phrase in a two paragraph quote from a three page article in the hatemongering Moroccan weekly Tel Quel (As Is).

This problematic phrase continues by referring to ‘the Christians who have a buffer religious institution’ (apparently the Vatican), ‘the Moslems above all the most rigorous, who have nothing but the Prophet as a measure or as a political weapon’.

Samuels noted, “The reference to Christians is one of hierarchy, and to Moslems one of deference to the Prophet. The quote on the Jews is clearly discordant in emphasizing the stereotypes of power and money.”

The letter emphasized that, "The Embassy's choice of this material to replicate, without commenting, in its website, seems to have no context other than to reinforce the prejudices enunciated by the murderers of Ilan Halimi. Following their arrest, they had claimed that they had kidnapped a Jew due to that community's association with money and power."
Samuels added, “It would be understandable for an Embassy to report on such publications to the Quai d'Orsay. Nevertheless, it is scandalous for an Embassy, under the pretext of a press review, to recycle expressions of racist bigotry on its public website. Without critical comment alongside the quote, such distribution may be perceived as an endorsement of the content.”
The Centre urged "a thorough investigation of this scandal, a public condemnation by the Quai d'Orsay and the disciplining of those responsible."

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33 6 09 77 01 58.