Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

June 25, 2008 16:35 ET

World Vision Canada to Stop Erroneous Usage of Palestinian Flag at the Urging of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 25, 2008) - At the insistence of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC), World Vision Canada has agreed to remove the Palestinian flag from its correspondence with Canadian supporters.

In a child sponsorship document shared with FSWC, World Vision Canada included a picture of a Palestinian flag, which it identified as the "Flag of Jerusalem West Bank Gaza". In letters addressed to World Vision president, Dave Toycen, FSWC president and CEO, Avi Benlolo, requested an explanation behind World Vision's rationale for using the flag in this context, given that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

A response received from World Vision explained that the organization's "use of the Palestinian flag was not intended as a political statement or an indication of taking sides..." and that it would "...remove the Palestinian flag from our correspondence with Canadian supporters".

"The removal of the Palestinian flag from its correspondence is a step forward for World Vision Canada," says Benlolo. "However, to better demonstrate its balanced approach to serving 'all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender', I would also encourage World Vision Canada to turn its attention to the children of Sderot who are physically scarred and psychologically traumatized from the incessant missiles launched from Gaza."

About Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies is a Canadian human rights organization dedicated to fostering tolerance and understanding through community involvement, educational outreach and social action. It has 25,000 members across Canada, and confronts important contemporary issues including racism, antisemitism, terrorism and genocide. The Center is affiliated with the world-wide, Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, an accredited Non-Government Organization with status at international agencies, including the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE and the Council of Europe. With over 400,000 members of all faiths around the world, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has offices in New York, Miami, Paris, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires and Toronto. Simon Wiesenthal died in 2005 after devoting his life to preserving the memories of the victims of the Holocaust, while simultaneously seeking justice for the war criminals. Visit: www.fswc.ca.

Note to Editors:

- Correspondence and documents related to this issue can be seen at http://www.fswc.ca/news_room.aspx.

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