European Union flags.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Toward the end of the year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) will be publishing again its annual list of leading perpetrators of major anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli slurs and incidents. This list serves as a principal address for identifying these perpetrators and to some extent bringing them to account. My suggestions as to whom to include are as follows:
The European Union is a foremost candidate for the SWC list, primarily because of its actions against Israel and its negligence in fighting anti-Semitism. Here are but a few examples of such actions and negligence: The EU has chosen to identify and label products from the Golan Heights and the disputed territories on the West Bank alone, ignoring the products of other occupied and disputed territories in the world, such as the Western Sahara, Kashmir, Tibet and many more. This use of double standards against Israel typifies modern anti-Israelism, and has been at the core of anti-Semitism for many centuries.
More than 40 percent of EU citizens of 16 years and older agree with the statement that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. This is not only a sign of Europe’s ongoing moral deterioration, it is also partly the result of official EU incitement against Israel and the lack of action against anti-Israelism.
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in many of the EU’s member countries has been increasing for years.
The European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has not even succeeded in obtaining basic data on anti-Semitic incidents from all EU member countries. The FRA has also removed the European definition of anti-Semitism from its website. The existence of such a definition is an essential prerequisite for a coherent European strategy to battle anti-Semitism. Furthermore many EU countries bring in refugees from countries where extreme anti-Semitism is rife. These immigrants are not even asked to sign a declaration that they will adhere to standards of democratic behavior.
Another prime candidate for the 2015 list of slurs is the British Labour Party. More than 250,000 voters supported its new leader, Jeremy Corbyn. He thus obtained an absolute majority in the first round of the leadership elections.
Corbyn has called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends.
He received funds from Ted Honderich, a promoter of anti-Israel violence, and only distanced himself from this retired academic when his donation became public. Notably, Corbyn did not return the money. He also appeared together with Holocaust denier Paul Eisen and donated to his charity Deir Yassin Remembered, an extremist organization.
The Jewish Chronicle has raised many additional questions about Corbyn’s positions.
Veteran Jewish Labor MP Gerald Kaufman deserves a place on the SWC list in his own right. He has claimed that “Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party” have led to a Conservative pro-Israel “bias.”
Kaufman has also accused Israel of fabricating over half of the stabbing attacks of civilians by terrorists in Jerusalem.
He fomented further controversy earlier this year when he said that Israel uses the Holocaust to justify murdering Palestinians. In the past Kaufman has likened Israelis to Nazis. Even Corbyn has had to condemn some of Kaufman’s remarks.
A further candidate is Denmark. Its previous government brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat.
This squeamishness is somewhat surprising, since Copenhagen has for long been the bestiality capital of Europe and has attracted many tourists mainly visiting to have sex with animals. Legislation against this practice was only enacted this year. The Copenhagen zoo slaughtered Marius, an 18-month old giraffe, because his genes were considered too common for breeding purposes. Similarly, they also killed and publicly dissected a healthy lion for “educational” purposes, with many children in attendance to learn from this morally and educationally highly questionable form of entertainment.
Another candidate for the SWC list is the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, a paper with a long record of printing anti-Israel hate cartoons and articles. This year, among other such offerings, it published a comic strip likening Israel to Nazis and North Korea.
Jeremiah Wright is an American Christian inciter-pastor.
In August he participated in a rally with the leader of the Nation of Islam Reverend Louis Farakhan, who has already merited a mention in a previous SWC list of anti-Semitic slurs. Wright called Israel an apartheid state and said that “Jesus was a Palestinian.” This hate-monger should be included in the list of slurs, especially since in the past he served as pastor to US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle for many years.
Finally it would be worthwhile for the SWC to introduce the option of lifetime nomination for repeat offenders, who produce an unabating flow of anti-Semitic slurs and incitement. One possible candidate for this mention is the South African Jewish cartoonist Zapiro. His anti-Israel cartoons include comparisons of Gaza 2014 to the German bombing of the Spanish village Guernica in 1937, drawing parallels between the pogroms and the Holocaust with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The caricatures also reflect the suggestion that South African Jews are brainwashed by Zionism. Zapiro’s cartoons frequently allude to anti-Semitic libel such as claims that Israel is guilty of trying to destroy mosques on the Temple Mount and also depict the idea that the US blindly follows Jewish and Israeli interests.
There are still a few weeks before the list is published and additional extreme slurs will probably find their way into the press. If other commentators also publicize their recommendations for inclusion in the SWC list this can be of great help in increasing public debate and awareness regarding particularly prominent anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli slurs. Thus this list can become even more widely known as the principal address for identifying such smears.The author is emeritus chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and was given the lifetime award for 2012 by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism.