Chanukah Greetings From Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Dean & Founder

December 22, 2005

 Chanukah Greetings from Rabbi Marvin Hier

Dear  Felice,

Each year, I contact you during Chanukah to thank you for your support  and to update you on the vital actions of the Simon Wiesenthal Center around the world. 

Geneva:  Almost since the inception of the Center, we have  urged the Swiss government and the International Red Cross to stop their boycott of Israel’s Magen David Adom.  Finally, at a historic meeting this month, Wiesenthal Center officials, (pictured left) were present in Geneva, when, over the vociferous objections of Syria, the international community, by a 98 to 27 vote, ended Israel’s second class status within the world’s most important humanitarian organization.  

Iran: Last week, stepping up his anti-Israel and antisemitic campaign, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a “myth” and stated that Israel should be moved out of the Middle East to Europe or North America. This latest incident came on top of his earlier call to have Israel “wiped off the face of the  earth”. The Wiesenthal Center responded by forwarding more then 35,000 emails to the President of the UN’s General Assembly demanding a resolution censuring Tehran and urging nations to declare the Iranian leader persona non grata. Senior Center officials continue to press governments from France to Canada and Argentina to back action against this unprecedented threat.  And late last week, for the first time ever, we arranged for the airing of segments of the Center’s Academy Award™-winning documentary on the Holocaust, Genocide, to be broadcast in Farsi into Iran via satellite on the US-based National Iranian Television. (see photo)

New York:   Mark Weitzman, the Center’s Director of the Task Force against Hate  and NGO Representative to the United Nations protested Secretary General Kofi Annan’s attendance at a United Nations Celebration Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at which a map of the Middle East replaced Israel with “Palestine”.  Mr. Weitzman. pictured with Secretary General Annan last year at the UN conference on antisemitism, wrote, “Secretary General, the Jews must feel that the United Nations is their home, but it is impossible to feel at home in a place that has maps featuring the Middle East as Judenrein- ‘free of Jews’.” 

Frankfurt:  For the last two years, the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair has displayed  antisemitic books in Arabic and Farsi, in violation of German law.  They include:  The World Jewish Conspiracy (Egypt); A Tribute to Hamas Leader Sheikh Yassin (Lebanon); The Jewish Role in the 9/11 Destruction of the World Trade Center (Syria); The End of Israel (Libya); Three Thousand Years of Jewish Iniquity (Egypt); and a CD ROM for teachers entitled, The Divine Word of the Holy Koran:  The Jewish State Will Die in 2001 (Egypt).  Earlier this month, in preparation of this year’s Fair, Center officials met with Juergen Boos, the Director of the Book Fair, and obtained an agreement that all displays of antisemitic, hate literature, in whatever language, will be barred from the 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair. 

Vatican City: At a historic private audience with Pope Benedict XVI, pictured with SWC Chairman, Board of Trustees, Larry Mizel and myself at the Vatican last month, I addressed the resurgence of antisemitism in Europe, and the fact that today, the greatest threat to mankind comes not from secularists and atheists, but from religious fanatics including Iran’s President, a religious man who prays five times a day, and from fundamentalist Imams and Mullahs who invoke obedience to their Creator to recruit and inspire terrorists to murder innocent civilians with the promise of a place in heaven.

I concluded by saying that the future of civilization depends on our ability to forge that Coalition of the Good with those who still believe that nothing enduring was ever created by hate, that no future made brighter by tyranny, no faith strengthened by fanaticism.

In times like these, we need your help now more then ever.  Please continue to partner with us by contributing generously to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Your renewed support will enable us to remain true to the legacy of the late Simon Wiesenthal and to maintain our leadership position on the front lines against antisemitism and bigotry.

Happy Chanukah!


Rabbi Marvin Hier
Founder and Dean

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