Wiesenthal Center ranks top 10 worst outbreaks of anti-Semitism in 2015

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December 29, 2015 01:16

Leading the list at No. 1 was the hatred that inspired Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife to murder 14 people in a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, earlier this month.

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A girl holds an Israeli flag on a hilltop near the Maaleh Adumim settlement. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Simon Wiesenthal Center ranked the European Union’s labeling of settlement products higher than incidents of Palestinian and Iranian incitement and threats against Israel in its annual 10 worst outbreaks of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism around the world in 2015.

Presented to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, the list enumerates what the organization believes are the worst occurrences of hate against Jews and their state over the course of the past year, which it characterized as of one of “unprecedented explosions of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred.”

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“Our Top Ten this year shows how pervasive anti-Semitism has become around the world. The 10 examples selected by the Simon Wiesenthal Center are tragically indicative of burgeoning threats and challenges to the Jewish people not encountered since the end of World War II,” the organization said.

Leading the list at No. 1 was the hatred that inspired Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife to murder 14 people in a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, earlier this month.

The center cited Farook’s father’s statement to Italian newspaper La Stampa that he had told his son that “he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist anymore. Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China and America don’t want Jews there anymore. They are going to bring the Jews back to Ukraine.”

No. 2 on the list were a pair of videos released by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria threatening the imminent launching of a war against the Jews and promising that “soon, there will not be even a single Jew left in Jerusalem or the rest of the country. We will keep going until we eradicate this disease worldwide.”

No. 3 was the EU’s decision to label settlement products.

“The European Union has chosen to label products from the Golan Heights and disputed territories in the West Bank alone, ignoring the products of other occupied and disputed territories in the world such as Western Sahara, Kashmir, Tibet and products from areas controlled by terrorists Hamas and Hezbollah,” the group stated, adding that “this use of double standards against Israel typifies modern anti-Israelism and has been at the core of anti-Semitism for many centuries.”

Citing a survey carried out by Trinity College and the Louis Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law showing that 50 percent of 1,157 self-identified Jewish students at 55 campuses reported having been subjected to or having witnessed anti-Semitism on their campuses, the center gave American college campuses fourth place on the list.

The group listed such incidents as a candidate for a position in student government at UCLA being asked, “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view,” and graffiti calling for Jews to “be sent to the gas chamber” being scrawled on a sidewalk at UC Berkeley.

The Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees jointly took fifth place.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s statement “Al-Aksa is ours, and the [Church of the] Holy Sepulchre is ours, everything is ours, all ours. They [the Jews and Christians] have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet and we won’t allow them to,” was quoted as an example of Palestinian anti-Semitism.

Many Israelis have blamed such rhetoric from Abbas as contributing to the current “stabbing intifada.”

Also quoted was Palestinian UN delegate Riyad Mansour, who engaged in a modern-day blood libel when he claimed that “Israelis harvest body parts by people killed by Israeli troops.”

“The UN acknowledges that at least 22 Palestinian employees of UNRWA… including some UNRWA teachers, have openly encouraged and celebrated the knifing and shooting attacks against ‘Jewish apes and pigs,’” the center stated.

Iran’s eliminationist rhetoric and plans to hold another Holocaust cartoon contest in 2016 gave the Islamic Republic place No. 6 while Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu being booted from a music festival in Spain for refusing to sign a pledge supporting a Palestinian state bought European culture and sport spot No. 7.

The center also cited a Bosnian soccer match in which fans yelled “Kill, kill, kill the Jews” and a game in the Netherlands that featured the chant, “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS. Together they burned Jews, because Jews burn best.”

British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn’s statement that the "majority of the 'attempted stabbing' incidents are based on false claims," and that Israelis are "executing Palestinians on the streets" garnered him spot No. 8.

Meanwhile, Kuwait Airways’ decision to cease service between New York and London because the US was compelling it to sell tickets to Israelis on the route bought it No. 9.

Poland came in 10th on the strength of several incidents, including an anti-Syrian immigration rally in which a hassidic Jew was burned in effigy.

Several incidents garnered dishonorable mentions by the center, including the city of Munich allowing a BDS event on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a columnist at Germany’s Der Spiegel comparing the Likud government to France’s extreme Right anti-immigrant National Front party, and former Argentine president Christina Kirchner’s use of the of the Jewish moneylender from the Shakespearean play The Merchant of Venice, widely considered an anti-Semitic stereotype, to explain her country’s financial troubles to children.

The center said it "urges people of good faith everywhere to commit in 2015 to break the apathy and silence and to stand up and speak out against history’s oldest hate wherever it rears its ugly head."


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