Statement By The Wiesenthal Center On The Assassination Of Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rifik Al-Hariri

February 14, 2005

WIESENTHAL CENTER STATEMENT ON THE ASSASSINATION OF FORMER LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER RIFIK AL-HARIRI


The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called the assassination of Rafik al-Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, “a terrible blow to the stability of Lebanon which diminishes hopes for overall peace in that country.”

“We take note that it was the Prime Minister’s personal intervention in March 2001 that stopped what would have been the first international gathering of Holocaust deniers in the Middle East,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Center. According to Cooper, the conference, which was slated to be held in Beirut, was to be “a virtual Who’s Who of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.”

“Sadly Prime Minister Hariri’s gesture remains one of the few public actions by an Arab leader against the rising tide of Holocaust denial and hatred of Jews in the Arab world,” 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, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, or visit www.wiesenthal.com.