Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance

Rabbi Meyer May, Executive Director
9760 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035-4792
(310) 553-9036 Fax:(310) 553-8007

Simon Wiesenthal [at: SWC]

The center seems to get a lot of press. What's behind this organization?
  1. Purpose: "an international center for Holocaust remembrance and the defense of human rights and the Jewish people." --SWC
  2. Finances: The Philanthropic Advisory Service contains financial information about the organization. Assets: $64,078,711, Income: $20,133,860, Chief Executive Officer: Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean 1995 Compensation: $254,855
  3. "The Simon Wiesenthal Center has a long and somewhat noble history of tracking down escaped Nazi war criminals, with the exception of those who got good jobs with NASA. ("Oh, come let me tell you of Wernher Von Braun..."). But, now, fifty years after the end of the war, the War Criminal supply has started to dwindle ..." --From War Crimes to Thought Crimes - The Degeneration Of The Wiesenthal Center
  4. The SWC and the Internet. The February 6, 1996 letter to Internet ISP asking that they control content on their systems. A reply from Nick Sayer. SWC's CyberWatch page provides their Perspective on Hate on the Internet. They seem to have backed off of their position suggesting that "government monitors" police the Internet.
  5. NEWS RELEASE June 5, 1997 Wiesenthal Center Protest to Nobel Committee: Revoke Yasser Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize The Simon Wiesenthal Center today urged the Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to rescind the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Yasser Arafat. --News and Op-Ed pieces
  6. "The protest to President Mandela from the leading Jewish human rights agency expressed concerns that such a meeting would lend legitimacy to theological terrorists just as the civilized world was attempting to destroy their infrastructure and base of support." --News Release
  7. "All Arabs Out of Israel Now! The murders of so many Jewish men, women and children in Israel within the past few days have made it abundantly clear that there is no peace process. We fault the government of Israel for deluding the Jewish people -- in Israel and around the world -- into the belief that there can be peace with Arabs. Furthermore, this nation-state that would not protect its own people will be held responsible by G-d. It is more than ludicrous to run to Head Jew Killer Yasir Arafat and ask for him to stop his fellow Arabs from murdering Jews --JDL on Anti-Arab and Moslem at HateWatch.
  8. ...She did not deny that the Holocaust had happened, but she believed that our teachers, when they taught it every year, used it as a kind of blank check for present-day Jewish interests-- an accusation that made me crazy with anger at the time but which I take more seriously today. --What I Learned From Auschwitz
  9. In an essay reprinted in the May 27th issue of The New York Times, Ari Shavit, an Israeli columnist, reflected sorrowfully on the wanton Israeli killing of more than 100 Lebanese civilians in April: "We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own..." --CNS - June 13, 1996
  10. As Yitzhak Rabihiyeh, an Israeli Army Doctor, described: "NEVER in my life did I imagine not even in my darkest dreams- that WE, the JEWS WOULD DO TO ANOTHER GROUP WHAT THE GERMANS DID TO US. We may not be building gas chambers, and we don't have a regulated system of extermination, but we're not far from it."

    Alexander Cockburn: "Right now, Palestinians get the right to anage the world's largest prison, the Gaza Strip, plus one cow town."

    When compared to the former apartheid state of South Africa, the similarities are haunting. In Palestine, over half of Palestinian men have been imprisoned --some for petty crimes such as identity card violations-- compared with 75% of black males in South Africa. While in South Africa blacks could be held without charge under administrative detention for 14 days without a lawyer, in Israel, the Palestinians can be held for up to 18 days, and detentions can extend for six months without a trial. In both countries there is a disproportionate amount of land ownership: the Jews own 92% in Israel, the whites owned 87% in South Africa. South Africa's unjust use of the death penalty is exemplified by the death of Steven Biko, while Israel admits to using "physical persuasion" (torture) on innocent victims under occupation. Countless reports on human rights violations against both countries were (and are) ignored. Both land from the indigenous natives. While South Africa's citizenship was defined by color, Israel is the only country to grant rights only to a specific religious community, the Jews. To this, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says, "we are proud of our democracy-there are few like it in the world." We agree. Since the liberation of South Africa, Israel is the world's only apartheid state. --Statement on Zionism: the State of Israel - from the Muslim Student Association, Berkeley

Questions for the Simon Wiesenthal Center:
  1. Does the Simon Wiesenthal Center advocate government enforcement of rules against "hate" speech on the Internet?
  2. Do you have a position regarding the JDL and it's website?
  3. Do you feel that politicians and mainstream media have "marginalized bigotry" with regard to Arabs and immigrants?
  4. How do you rationalize your position [*] regarding Nelson Mandela meeting with Hamas and the Israeli government's close ties with the former apartheid government of South Africa?
  5. How much money does the Simon Wiesenthal Center get from public agencies and what is this used for?
Mon, 11 Aug 1997 - Reply from SWC ...

Subject: Questions for SWC

Sometime ago you asked us to answer a number of questions. Please find the answers attatched.

1) Simon Wiesenthal Center does not now, nor have we ever advocated any form of Government regulation regarding the Internet. We believe that solutions should come from the Net Community themselves and in that vein, circulated a _voluntary_ code of ethics for providers to sign on to. Of the thousands of letters we sent out, only a handful of ISPs responded. We beleive there are many more that would like to but feel they are "common-carriers", in the business of transmitting data.

It is the Center's position that the WEB is a form of advertising, with the ISPs selling space to individuals, and therefore theyt have every right to limit what goes on their server.

2) Every organization has the right to develop a Web-site, even the JDL. Should the ISP be limiting the content of sites based upon the logic above, they would have every right to do the same to the JDL.

3) The quetion is ambiguous. The response for question one continues to to apply as far as I can determine.

4.) The Simon Wiesenthal Center does not believe that Nelson Mandela or any other public figure should legitimize terrorists by meeting with them and bestowing upon them respect that they do not deserve. All governments that bolstered the former apartheid government of South Africa made mistakes. That includes the United States, her allies, the majority of African states and the Government of Israel. Your inference makes it sound as if only the Stete of Israel engaged in business with the former South African regime. You seem to conveniently leave out the rest of the world, including your own country and particularly the third world countries of Africa.

Hope this helps you understand the Center's position.

Rick Eaton
Senior Researcher-Simon Wiesenthal Center

The phenomenal growth and impact of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is a reflection of the predominant financial-political forces in American society today, and consequently of its prevailing cultural values and historical outlook. It is a barometer of Zionist-Jewish power and influence in the United States, of the hypocrisy and weakness of this country's political leadership, and of the quasi-religious role that the Holocaust story has come to play, not only in America but throughout the world. Radio Islam: An Overview of The Simon Wiesenthal Center

... I caution you that the Internet will reject any form of censorship. Rather than try to enforce a code as you propose, I suggest you let the Internet community make its own judgment about content. You may be surprised at what you find. reply to Letter from Simon Wiesenthal Center by Earthlink

Tuesday, September 29, 1998
SACRAMENTO --Governor Pete Wilson has signed legislation appropriating $2.5 million from the FY 1998-99 Budget to establish a children's Holocaust exhibition and teaching center at the Simon Wiesenthal Center - Museum of Tolerance. [source]

SB 1397 by Senator Jim Brulte (R-Rancho Cucamonga) allows a gross income exemption for amounts received by Holocaust survivors, or their heirs or beneficiaries, as a result of a settlement of claims for any "recovered asset." ... The Governor was joined at the bill-signing ceremony by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Bill Lowenberg, first co-chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Commission; Ozzie Goren, chairman of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation Holocaust Museum; California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush; and Senators Jim Brulte and Tom Hayden. Michael Barenbaum, director of the Steven Spielberg Shoah Foundation was unable to attend the event

Hatemeisters: Documents on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre

See also, ADL WATCH
Hate: Who decides? - Who watches the watchers?

updated: 30-Aug-99

Add your comments to this page!