Meron Mendel, head of the Germany-based Anne Frank Center who previously defended the Jew-hatred of a former German journalist, accused a Jerusalem Post reporter and a prominent German Jewish author of damaging the fight against antisemitism in Germany. His actions triggered sharp criticism from a leading Israeli expert on antisemitism, and from a German journalist.
“Again and again, we see instances of Jews such as Meron Mendel of the Anne Frank Center who hinder and harm the fight against antisemitism and are usually exploiting their own Jewish origins, which naturally attracts media attention," Dr. Efraim Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Zuroff is a prolific author on antisemitism and the Holocaust who also heads the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Jerusalem office.
"It is another one of those problems we face when combating antisemitism in different places in the world,” Zuroff added.
The Israeli-born Mendel began attacking Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal, a correspondent for European affairs, and Henryk M. Broder, a German Jewish author and journalist who is widely considered to be the top authority on German antisemitism, on Twitter in late March.
“It is unbelievable what damage Jewish right-wingers such as Weinthal & Broder are doing to combat antisemitism,” Mendel wrote.
This Twitter and blog battle among Mendel, Weinthal and Broder continued for nearly two months over Mendel's tweets. Mendel backpedaled, tweeting, "I never claimed that Jews are responsible for AS." The "AS" in his tweet is an abbreviation for antisemitism.Broder had criticized Mendel on his popular blog, "The Axis of Goodness," for allegedly blaming Jews for antisemitism.
Journalist Frederik Schindler, who has written about antisemitism for German papers, wrote on Twitter to Mendel, "Right-wing Jews carry just as little responsibility for antisemitism or the failure of fighting antisemitism as leftist, apolitical, communist, capitalist, orthodox, moderate or secular, atheist or whatever... Jews."