Wiesenthal Centre to French Education Minister: "Ban Palestinian Agitation From French Elementary Schools"

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Paris, 5 February 2013

"A school is a place to inculcate fraternity and tolerance, not hate and violence"

In a letter to French Education Minister, Vincent Peillon, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, protested newspaper ad invitations to an anti-Israel hatefest at a Paris primary school – l’Ecole Primaire publique, 13 rue Fagon.

Samuels noted, "Frustrated by their failed attemps to use Paris universities as their propaganda podium, Palestinian organizations and their French fans will now target infants and teenagers in their political campaigns for boycott, Gaza, support for Hamas."

The letter stressed, "It was the diet of Jihadist websites and Islamist satellite television that has transplanted the Middle East powderkeg to the streets of Paris, Marseilles and other cities across France," continuing, "Now children in public schools will be vulnerable to the anti-Semitic poison that turned on the kidnappers of Ilan Halimi and motivated the murder of Jewish children in Toulouse by Mohamed Merah."

Samuels pointed out, "While France combats Islamic terrorism in Mali, Algerian Salafist leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has publicly threatened to hold the Jews of France as responsible scapegoats and ‘targets of new Mohamed Merahs’." The Centre urged the Minister "to ban this gathering as a menace to public order and, by demonizing the Jewish State, encourages an atmosphere for further anti-Semitic assaults in France."

The Centre emphasized,"This ban should stay in force and apply to all further abuse of State Schools as platforms for political agitation. A school is a place to inculcate fraternity and tolerance, not hate and violence," concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels (00)33 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 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).