Wiesenthal Centre Shimon Samuels’ Open Letter of Solidarity with Roger Pinto and Family at the Eve of Paris Trial Against their Aggressors
June 22, 2021
I recall your creation of “SIONA Jewish Defence” and our work together against antisemitic terrorism in the 1980s.
It is ironic that you, your wife and son became the victims of violent Jew-hatred in your own Seine-Saint-Denis home.
The 2017 break-in by three aggressors at midnight - and six others on watch outside - brandishing a knife and a screw-driver, physically attacking you at age 84, your wife Mireille at 74 and your son, shows that age is no limit for hatemongers.
They screamed “You Jews have money, we have nothing”... “You Jews are the spoilt of the earth”... “We will kill you” - threatening rape and murder, while beating and kicking each of you repeatedly. The accused claimed “mistaken identity,” but DNA, prints and CCTV show otherwise.
The nightmare pursues you, as lawyers for the defence shamelessly claim that the aggression was “not antisemitic, only another robbery.” That argument would cut the sentence of “aggravated hate crimes,” leaving the perpetrators the right of early parole, to repeat anti-Jewish violence in freedom. Moreover, the aggressors would become “heroes” in their neighbourhoods, encouraging copy-cat attacks.
Magistrates who just rap the wrists of so-called “victims of poverty and racism” or follow the warped logic of “exoneration because under narcotics or alcohol,” seemingly condone the claims that “Jews have money” and are “the spoilt of the earth,” as not antisemitic. If this were to be applied in this trial, it would be another dangerous step for French jurisprudence towards the abyss.
Roger, be strong and triumphant!
Dr. Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre
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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).