L’Shana Tova from Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Dean & Founder

L’Shana Tova from Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Dean & Founder

September 16, 2009

Dear SWC Supporter,

First let me begin by wishing you and your family L’Shana Tova – a year of health, happiness, and merited accomplishment.

These are very challenging economic times, even more so for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. We are especially counting on you to renew your membership and to be as generous as you can so that the Center can maintain its vigilance and important work around the world. If what I’m going to describe to you wasn’t so serious, it could be dismissed as a prank, but, unfortunately, it’s not.

—One of Spain’s leading newspapers, El Mundo, commemorates World War II by publishing an article by the world’s leading Holocaust denier and revisionist, David Irving.

—Not to be outdone, the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, accuses Israel of selling Palestinian organs – a charge without any basis in fact.

—A thousand people, including film makers and writers sign the Toronto Proclamation, protesting the Toronto International Film Festival’s paying tribute to Tel Aviv’s 100th birthday because, Tel Aviv, they said, is built “on destroyed Palestinian villages and ignores the suffering of thousands of former residents... who currently live in the refugee camps in the occupied territories.”

—The Central Jewish Quarter in Budapest is attacked by 500 Neo-Nazis and skinheads who set a fire in the ghetto and attack Jewish tourists attending the Budapest Jewish Cultural Festival.

—The United Church of Canada again demands that members of the Church boycott the State of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

—Days before Rosh Hashanah, an anti-Semitic attack destroys nearly 60 gravestones at a Buenos Aires Jewish cemetery while a synagogue in Russia is firebombed by a gang of Skinheads

—And finally, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, accompanying Jimmy Carter and others on a visit to Israel, tells Israeli newspapers, “The lesson that Israel must learn from the Holocaust is that it can never get security through fences, walls, and guns.” With all due respect to the Archbishop, what we learned from the Holocaust is that never again should the destiny of the Jewish people be entrusted to others. For 2,000 years, Jews depended on the pity of others - we had no land and no army. And what we got in return were inquisitions, pogroms, and, finally, the Holocaust. Those painful lessons taught us, that our freedom will only be secure if we are prepared to fight for it.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been on the frontlines - speaking out and taking action on all of these issues as you might have seen by the large amount of press coverage in newspapers around the world.

We are able to do that because of your continued support and membership and we know that you will be with us again for the coming year.

Please renew your membership today or become one of our many Monthly Sustainers who provide us with a steady and dependable source of income so we can continue our critical work on your behalf.

L'Shana Tova,
Rabbi Marvin Hier
Founder and Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center

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