The Amalek awards

And the award for most virulent antisemite goes to...

PALESTINIAN HAMAS SUPPORTERS in Gaza celebrate the Ariel terrorist attack, earlier this week (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
PALESTINIAN HAMAS SUPPORTERS in Gaza celebrate the Ariel terrorist attack, earlier this week
The world seems to be obsessed with handing out awards: The Golden Globes, the Grammys, the Emmys, and the king of them all, the Academy Awards. But I think the time has come to acknowledge those individuals or groups that stand above the crowd in their hatred for Jews and Israel, for their unrelenting antisemitism and dedication to defaming, demonizing and desiring to destroy us. In short, those wicked scoundrels who emulate the very worst characteristics of Amalek, the arch-enemy of the Jewish People whose raison d’etre was our demise, and whose descendant Haman we verbally vilify on an annual basis.
Now, there are, of course, perennial enemies of our nation who are so obviously evil that they automatically qualify for this dubious distinction, and need no special recognition.
These would include Hamas and Fatah, whose every waking moments are spent devising ways to maim, murder and slander Israelis; the Ayatollahs of Iran; the American or European Nazi parties, and the white supremacist organizations which pollute the world. But then there are others:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s fanatical leader has managed to turn a relatively-modern and moderate ally of Israel into a bitter enemy.
Erdogan never misses an opportunity to castigate the Jewish state, its people and its leaders, and has carried on a hate-fest with Israel since the moment he insulted former prime minister Shimon Peres on the stage of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2009, telling him, “you know how to kill.” Erdogan returned home from that conference to a hero’s welcome, and recognized that ranting about Israel was both a way to gain favor in the Muslim world as well as deflect criticism for his own many misdeeds. Like virtually all antisemitic despots, Erdogan has wreaked more harm upon his own people than upon ours; his fiery, fabricated claims against Israel are clearly Haman-like.
Malaysia. There is no shortage of countries, from Syria to South Africa, whose governments are virulently anti-Israel and/or antisemitic. But Malaysia stands out among the very worst. Israelis are barred from entering the country; in fact, even non-Jews who have visited Israel and have an Israel stamp in their passport are denied entry. Recently, the Malaysian government announced that no Israeli would be allowed to participate in the Paralympic swimming competition that was to be held in Kuching this summer, prompting the International Paralympic Committee to move the event out of Malaysia. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has called Jews “Nazis,” ”hooked nosed” and “money-hungry” and attacked Israel as a war criminal.
The Internet. Of course, the Internet is not antisemitic, per se. But every day, millions of people are exposed to the most vile and violent hate speech against Jews, denial of the Holocaust, and slander against Israel, emanating from hundreds of platforms that operate virtually unrestricted. Israel’s Diaspora ministry has developed special software, known as the Cyber Monitoring System, to track the hate sites, but little else has been done to remove the diatribe.
Amalek has learned to use and abuse the web, and little is being done to stop him.
Ilhan Omar. This newly-elected US representative from Minnesota has vaulted into the public conversation on the strength of her extreme, derogatory views regarding Jews and Israel. With brazen audacity for a freshman lawmaker, she has dragged out of the gutter the long-time slurs against American Jews, inferring they are disloyal to their host country and have undue influence due to “the Benjamins,” i.e., their vast wealth, which they use “to buy politicians.” She counts among her close friends Louis Farrakhan, whose ugly comments about Jews – whom he calls “termites” – dates back more than half a century. Claiming that criticism of her remarks stems from Islamophobia, Omar has given a dangerous credibility to the anti-Israel sentiments of more than a few Democratic leaders, and her ilk bodes badly for the future of the close relationship of American Jews and the Democratic Party.
Imitation Jews. Ironically, Jews often make the worst antisemites. This has been true in every generation; there were even perpetrators of the Inquisition with Jewish roots. Today, so-called Jewish groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, Peace Now, BDS (Bullies Demanding Sanctions) and others work zealously to undermine Israel’s security and threaten its very existence, while ignoring or even justifying Palestinian terrorism. Under the guise of trying to “save Israel’s soul,” they attack Israel’s physical well-being by mounting massive anti-Zionist campaigns to sway public opinion against us. They are particularly active on college campuses, where they intimidate supporters of Israel and prevent pro-Israel speakers from appearing. Heavily influenced and funded by Islamic extremists, these are Jews by accident of birth, whose skewed sense of values define them as “Imitation Jews” with little or no spiritual or ethical connection to Judaism. We must add to this list the Neturei Karta, who wear traditional Jewish costumes – Haman would love the irony of that! – while espousing the most anti-Jewish sentiments imaginable. They are the Jewish equivalent of “Indians for Custer” and are anathema even among much of the ultra-Orthodox community.
It’s not clear exactly what form the Amalek Award should take; it could be a figurine with a caricature of Hitler – Amalek’s chief protege – or perhaps a Star of David with a line through it. But whatever it is, it’s time to openly call out these adversaries of the Jewish people and let them know that, despite all of their efforts, Am Yisrael Chai.
The writer is director of the Jewish Outreach Center of Ra’anana;