SWC Acquaints Australia’s Ranking Catholic Cardinal with Contributions of the “Little Jewish People”

April 12, 2012

Calls for Apology to Australia's Holocaust Survivors

The Simon Wiesenthal Center deplores the remarks of Cardinal George Pell (pictured), the highest ranking Catholic in Australia. In a televised debate with Richard Dawkins, the Cardinal spoke of the “little Jewish people” who had made little contribution in the ancient world. “We don't need to exaggerate their contribution in their early days. They weren't intellectually the equal of [the Egyptians or Persians].they were originally shepherds. They were stuck. They're still stuck between these great powers.” Pell also belittled the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust.

“We would remind the Cardinal that among the contributions of the “little’ Jews in the ancient world were the dignity of the individual, the value of freedom, equality of all before the law, and the belief in the certainty of a redeemed world of peace and tranquility," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, associate dean and Director of Interfaith Relations, respectively, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human Rights NGO.

“Another contribution of our ancient people, small in number and enormous in their influence and contribution, was born to a Jewish family in Bethlehem. He was later called Jesus of Nazareth. The Cardinal might want to check on his own spiritual origins,” the rabbis added.

“Finally, it would be appropriate for the Cardinal to specifically apologize to the survivors of the Holocaust and the thousands of Jewish families in Australia whose family members were among the 6 million Jewish victims of Nazi Germany's genocidal regime,” Cooper and Adlerstein 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, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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