Iran, Hamas top Simon Wiesenthal Center's antisemitism 2021 top ten list

Iran, Hamas and the BBC were listed as the top three antisemites on a top ten list published by the SWC on Tuesday.

PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE against antisemitism and in support of Israel at a rally in New York City’s Times Square in May. (photo credit: REUTERS/DAVID 'DEE' DELGADO)
PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE against antisemitism and in support of Israel at a rally in New York City’s Times Square in May.

Iran, Hamas and the BBC topped the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Global Antisemitism 2021 top 10 list published on Tuesday.

The top three were followed by anti-vax conspiracy theorists, Jewish Voices for Peace, social media giants, Germany, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Sunrise movement, the president of the University of Southern California, and Unilever.

“There is no greater existential threat to the Jewish people than the growing nuclear threat from the antisemitic, Holocaust-denying, terrorist-sponsoring, human rights-abusing Iranian regime,” wrote the center in the list.

The list referred to a bill in the Iranian parliament obliging Iran to “destroy” Israel by 2041.

The list also referred to the publication of a threat to bombard all of Israel with missiles published in the Tehran Times headlined “Just One Wrong Move!

Concerning Hamas, the center referred to a string of antisemitic attacks and statements made by Hamas supporters around the world during Operation Guardian of the Walls, including a caravan of cars that flew Palestinian flags and chanting “F*** the Jews and rape their daughters” while driving through London’s largely Jewish Golder’s Green neighborhood.

The center criticized the BBC for falsely reporting that Jews attacked in London had made anti-Muslim slurs, and for hiring reporters who tweeted antisemitic posts. BBC reporter Tala Halawa was mentioned specifically for tweeting “Hitler was right.”

Concerning anti-vaxxers, the organization pointed to widespread use of antisemitic conspiracy theories among COVID skeptic groups and neo-Nazi websites. The center additionally pointed to the use of the yellow Star of David that European Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust, in protests against vaccine mandates and COVID restrictions.

Continuing down the list, center described Jewish Voices for Peace as “a ‘Jewish’ group Hamas can love,” saying that while the group “believes it is immune from being labeled and treated as antisemites,” it is wrong.

“Anyone seeking or enabling the destruction of Israel, home to the world’s largest Jewish community – over six million Jews – is an antisemite, whatever their religion or creed,” said the center.

Concerning social media giants, the center expressed criticism for their lack of action concerning removing antisemitism and racism from their platforms. Specifically concerning Twitter, the center criticized the appointment of Fadah Jassem as its Middle East and North African news curator. Jassem has posted tweets praising Louis Farrakhan and has declared that Israel was “not born” but “dropped like a bomb” in the Middle East.

Concerning Germany, the center stressed that the country has not succeeded in curbing antisemitic attacks from the far Right and Islamists and demonization of Israel from the Left, pointing to the 2,275 antisemitic hate crimes committed in 2020.

The center criticized Michael Blume, commissioner against antisemitism for the German state of Baden-Württemberg, for liking a Facebook post comparing Zionists to Nazis.

The center also pointed to antisemitic comments by members of Deutche Welle’s Arabic service, including one post calling the Holocaust an “artificial product.”

Concerning CAIR and the Sunrise movement, the center pointed to anti-Israel comments and stances, including Sunrise’s decision to pull out of a rally due to the participation of “a number of Zionist organizations.” The center also pointed to statements by Zahra Billoo, the executive director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area affiliate, saying “Zionist organizations” are “enemies” and warning of “Zionist synagogues.”

The center also criticized the president of USC for failing to act effectively against antisemitism at the campus, including the fact that Yasmeen Mashayekh, who serves as one of the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion senators, has made such statements as “I want to kill every motherf***ing Zionist,” and still serves as one of the senators.

Ending the list was Unilever, the company that owns Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which announced that it would end sales in east Jerusalem and the West Bank earlier this year. The center warned that the decision gives legitimacy to anti-Israel BDS campaigns.