Paris, 4 April 2011
In a letter to European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Catherine Ashton of Upholland, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, noted receipt of "a Press Invitation from the 'Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR) on Palestinian Refugees of 1948', affiliated to the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands."
Samuels pointed to the event's presentation as a followup, i.e. "After the Israeli Apartheid Week 2011 in which ISS took active part with a series of lectures and other events... .”
He added that "the invitation and website offered contact information via 'Linda Germanis firstname.lastname@example.org' i.e. the Institute for Social Studies at Erasmus, also clearly indicating in the text that “This project is funded by the European Union.”
Samuels characterized "Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week" as "not only obstructing freedom of expression for open debate on the Middle East, under the guise of anti-Zionism, 'Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week ' is a contributing factor to anti-Semitism. Indeed, universities where it is hosted are, ipso facto, in violation of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency 2004 'Working Definition of Antisemitism'.”
The Centre urged the High Representative "to publicly condemn 'Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week' as a threat to European domestic and Middle East interests and to cut EU funding from universities where it is held.”
"We call for an investigation of the ISS of Erasmus University and any of its affiliates whose activities, funded by the tax payers of Europe, may result in incitement to hatred against any ethnic, faith, national or gender target," concluded Samuels.
For further information contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.