Simon Wiesenthal Center Press Release
February 12, 2001


The Swiss government has confirmed to the Simon Wiesenthal Center that it is investigating Vérité et Justice, which has been listed as organizing a conference next month in Beirut, Lebanon, for the so-called Institute for Historical Review. The conference, entitled Revisionism and Zionism, is slated from March 31st to April 3rd 2001 and will be coordinated by the Swiss organization's director, Jürgen Graf, who fled Switzerland in 1998 for Tehran, Iran following his sentence by a Swiss court for denying the Holocaust. "We have urged the Swiss Government to investigate if Vérité et Justice is currently violating any Swiss laws and to pursue additional legal steps against Graf," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center.

In a related development, the Wiesenthal Center has asked the government of Lebanon to intercede. A letter last month to Dr. Farid Abboud, Lebanese Ambassador to the United States, said in part:

"Enclosed is the announcement by the so-called Institute for Historical Review, which is planning to convene a conference of Holocaust deniers and antisemites in your country at the end of March. The IHR was funded and founded by Willis Carto, America's most notorious racist over the past four decades. He has associated himself and supported vicious anti-black and antisemitic causes. Mr. Ambassador, there is a wide range of viewpoints as to how peace can be reached in your region, but certainly the introduction and acceptance of Holocaust denial into the mainstream of Lebanon and the Arab world is not one of them. It will only poison hearts and minds of the uninformed and further fan the flames of hate and mistrust in the region." To date, no response has been received from Lebanese authorities.

The Wiesenthal Center is a leading international Jewish human rights organization that has NGO status at the United Nations.

For further information, contact the Center's Public Relations Department at 310-553-9036.