Simon Wiesenthal Center Condemns Leipzig Peace Prize Decision to Honor "Handala" Group

March 28, 2024

The Simon Wiesenthal Center(SWC) denounces the decision by the Leipzig Peace Prize committee to award this year's prize to the "Handala" group, known for its controversial stances and involvement in anti-Semitic incidents. The "Handala" group, while proclaiming to be pro-Palestinian, has been repeatedly criticized for not only engaging in actions that clearly cross the line into anti-Semitism but also for denying the State of Israel's right to exist. Recent events in Leipzig, including attacks on journalists and antisemitic provocations, have been linked to the activities of this group. It is unconscionable that anyone or any group in Germany that denies the Jewish state’s right to exist and contributes to Jew hatred in Germany would ever be considered for a “peace prize”.

“Such a move makes a mockery of the legacy of the Shoah and Germany's historic responsibility to never again endanger the Jewish people. This so-called peace prize is morally reprehensible and diametrically opposed to the ideals of peace and reconciliation“, charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action.”

“We urge the Leipzig Peace Prize committee to reverse their decision and to take a stand against antisemitism and hate in all its forms. Peace will not be advanced by those who in effect advocate a genocide of the Jewish nation,” added Daniel Schuster, SWC Senior Representative in Europe.

For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at or Erik Simon at, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).   

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