Wiesenthal Centre to Russia: “Revoke your UNESCO Vote on Jerusalem and Convince your Friends and Allies to Follow Suit.”

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Moscow, 2 November 2016

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels – as Moderator of the opening session of the “Protecting the Future: The Moscow International Conference on Combating Antisemitism” – made the following statement:

“Dear Yuri Kanner, Conference Chairman,

Thank you for this opportunity for a brief personal comment.

I was born in London, two weeks after World War II – here known as the Great Patriotic War.

We learned that the 300,000 British Jews were on the Nazi Wannsee murder-list.

I was brought up with a respect for the power of water – especially the 22 miles of the Channel that defended us from the Holocaust on the European continent.

However, what really stopped a Hitler invasion was the Eastern front at the cost of 25,000,000 Soviet lives.

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly established 27 January – the date that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated – as the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Commemorations in the West rarely mention who liberated Auschwitz, while the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust is being replaced by other claimants to victimology.

While the Russian narrative is becoming obscured, the Holocaust is being obfuscated, just as the United Nations through UNESCO is now deleting the 3,500 years of the Jewish narrative and 2,000 years of the Christian narrative.

Photo L-R
: Shimon Samuels, Mikhail Fedotov Russian Presidential Council Chair, Yuri Kanner Russian Jewish Congress President,Ronald Lauder World Jewish Congress President, Mikhail Bogdanov Russian Deputy Foreign Minister [off the picture Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, Werner Faymann ex-Chancellor of Austria, Julius Meinl Euro-Asian Jewish Congress President and Ira Forman U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism
Photos by Bakaev Pavel

My wife, Dr. Graciela Samuels, as advisor to the Director-General of UNESCO, coined the trinity of ‘People, Book, Land’ for a UNESCO-sponsored exhibition on ‘The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.’

Sitting through the votes of the last three weeks at UNESCO – as member- states balloted the Western Wall and the Temple Mount into the Mosque of Al-Aqsa and the Haram Al-Sharif (‘Noble Sanctuary’) of Islam...Listening to those votes – a theft of Jewish identity expunging its heritage – was soul shattering.

Photo: Samuels with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister

A small number of Ambassadors later hinted their discomfort at the instructions from their capitals. Others feigned ignorance of the Resolution’s repercussions. How radical Islamist Imams, media, school-teachers, could now claim that non-Muslim worshippers at the Wall were trespassers on the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque. How these resolutions could provoke further violence in the Holy Land and across the Muslim world, including its European diaspora.

From this conference, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre urges the Russian Federation to rethink its vote and, at the April 2017 UNESCO Executive Board, to advise its friends and allies to join it in revoking these quintessentially antisemitic Resolutions.

Thank you"

Samuels amplified these arguments in his keynote plenary presentation to the conference.

[Both the Chairman of the Russian Presidential Council and the Deputy Foreign Minister were on the podium"]

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels on +33 609 77 01 58, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

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).