SWC to Association of French Mayors: Stop Outrage of Honouring Convicted Palestinian Terrorists

Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401
e-mail: csweurope@gmail.com

Paris, 16 April 2013

"Imagine, 14 July, a municipality in a friendly democracy is to honour the assassins of a French Minister, civilians and soldiers murdered in Lebanon, Pakistan or Afghanistan."

In a letter to Jacques Pelissard, President of the Association of French Mayors, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed horror at the "travesty due to take place tomorrow, Wednesday, in the suburban Paris municipality of St-Denis – a reception to honour convicted Palestinian terrorists."

Samuels suggested, “Imagine, if you will, that on 14 July, the French public learns that a municipality in a friendly democracy is to honour the assassins of a French Minister, civilians and soldiers murdered in Lebanon, Pakistan or Afghanistan. France would justifiably protest and expect the leaders – especially of other municipalities in that friendly democracy – to condemn a city hall that celebrates terror. It would wish to hear vigorous expressions of solidarity with the victims of those about to be honoured."

The letter warned that "tomorrow evening, just when a friendly democracy, Israel, is celebrating its 65th Independence Day, the St-Denis Labour Exchange will be hosting:

- Salah Hamouri, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who set out to assassinate Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Hamouri was one of the 1,027 prisoners exchanged for Franco-Israeli hostage of Hamas, Gilad Shalit, who is also currently in Paris to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. At the prisoner exchange, Hamouri declared, 'Rabbi Yosef still deserves to die!' Since then, this murderer has been honoured by three French municipalities.

- Amir Jabar Sharif Sawalma, Al Aqsa Commander of Nablus, sentenced to six life sentences for despatching three suicide bombers into Israel.

- Allam Kaabi, of the PFLP, who planned and conducted the assassination of Israel Tourism Minister, Rehavam Ze’vi.

- Majdi Rahma Rimawi, who assisted in the Minister’s assassination, will be represented by his wife, Fathya Barghouti, accompanied by a city hall official of Bezons, a municipality that recently declared Rimawi its honorary citizen."

Samuels emphasised, "Each of the above has innocent blood on their hands. They were exchanged to save the life of a hostage held for five and a half years by Hamas, but never pardoned for their crimes. Some are associated with Hamas or the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, designated as terrorist organizations by the European Union. They should be arrested on touching French soil," adding, "This event can only further radicalize French-born young people exposed to the call of Jihad. The seeds sown in St-Denis tomorrow, can result in encouraging more Mohamed Merahs to wreak havoc and death across France."

The letter stressed, "As we watch the Boston bombings unfold, it is perverse for any official in France to welcome the perpetrators of similar atrocities, whatever their origin or ideology."
The Centre urged the Association of French Mayors "to denounce this outrageous gathering and take every measure to stop it as a threat to public order."

"Failure to act would be akin to releasing Carlos the Jackal from his French jail to join the hate fest reunion," concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 00(33)609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter
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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).