Wiesenthal Centre Demands Steps Against Hate Billboards in Central Paris

February 1, 2021

PARIS, In a letter to JCDecaux General Counsel, Bertrand Allain, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled that "his response to the Centre’s letters of 15 and 21 December 2020, in regard to an antisemitic hate campaign in Toulouse against PUMA sport equipment, that abused the billboards of JCDecaux, was most encouraging in its plans to take serious measures, including police outreach and legal steps.”
The Centre continued: “Unfortunately, we now confront a second wave of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions)  campaign, reaching central Paris - from Belleville to Saint Michel through Chatelet - and in particular, new posters on your billboards targeting Israeli Teva Pharmaceuticals and its pharmacy outlets. This is especially ironic, at a time when Israel is supplying COVID19 vaccines to Palestinian hospitals and medical staff.”

JCDecaux billboards hijacked at three different bus stops in Paris.

The letter recalled, “Puma’s response to hatred was to announce its greater support for Israel. Your remonstrations with the police were, however, clearly ineffective.”
Samuels stressed, “We had appraised our worldwide constituency of the status of JCDecaux, as the victim of 'Collectif Palestine Vaincra', the hackers of your advertising infrastructures."
The letter continued, “We now propose that you take the following three steps...
1) Adopt basic technology:

- a more sophisticated security lock on the billboards;
- an alarm triggered by whoever tampers with the lock;
- an unseen CCTV overviewing (or embedded in) the billboard.

2) A more emphatic demand for action from the police, municipalities and interior authorities. We would appreciate a copy of your complaints in order to provide back up;
3) A clear message to the Jewish and general public, by adopting the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism, already endorsed by governments, cities, football clubs and companies - both in France and internationally.
“Mr. Allain, our membership applauded the good will of your previous letters. It now awaits concrete steps from JCDecaux France, lest this virus of hatred mushroom into your global network,” concluded Samuels.
For further information contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at csweurope@gmail.com,
follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly 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).

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