Europe dominates the list of incidents of Israel hatred and anti-Semitic violence, with six mentions.
Jerusalem Post (Dec 29) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center has ranked the 10 worst outbreaks of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in 2014. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the human rights organization, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that this year’s list seeks to show how anti-Semitic “rhetoric at the top has filtered down to average people.”
Hier said the center deliberately chose not to include principal Arab leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan because the ranking system reveals the spread of hate on a grassroots level.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center’s associate dean, told the Post that Europe dominated the list of incidents of Israel hatred and anti-Semitic violence, with six mentions.
The No. 1 slot went to a doctor in Belgium who refused to provide medical care to a 90-year-old Jewish woman with a fractured rib. He told her son, who had requested the care: “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she will get rid of the pain. I’m not coming,” and hung up.
Hershy Taffel, Bertha Klein’s grandson, filed a formal discrimination complaint with the authorities, according to the paper Joods Actueel.
“It reminds me of what happened in Europe 70 years ago,” Taffel said. “I never thought those days would be repeated.”
Parts of Jordan’s government and the Palestinian Fatah party in Israel’s disputed territories garnered the second spot. After Palestinian terrorists murdered four rabbis in the Kehilat Bnai Torah synagogue in west Jerusalem, Jordanian MPs organized a moment of silence for the terrorists and read Koran verses aloud, stating their purpose was to “glorify their pure souls and the souls of all the martyrs in the Arab and Muslim nations.”
The Wiesenthal Center’s list noted that Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour sent a condolence letter to the families of the terrorists, writing, “I ask God to envelope them with mercy and to grant you patience, comfort and recovery from your grief…” In response to Palestinian acts of vehicular terrorism, which included the death of a baby at a Jerusalem light rail stop, and the murder of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped from a bus stop, Fatah depicted the boys as rats in a cartoon on its official website.
The brutal assault on a Jewish couple, including the rape of a woman, in an apartment on the outskirts of Paris, resulted in ranking No. 3.
Assailants tied up the couple and demanded, “Tell us where you hide the money. You Jews always have money.”
MPs from the radical anti-Israel wing of Germany’s Left Party secured the No. 4 spot. Annette Groth, Inge Höger, Claudia Haydt and Heike Hänsel fomented hatred of the Jewish state during a talk in the Bundestag. Höger and Groth invited two obscure anti-Israel extremists, Max Blumenthal and David Sheen, to deliver talks against Israel.
According to the center, “On November 10, the Left Party invited notorious Israel-bashers… in the party’s meeting room in the Bundestag, the day after commemoration of the anniversary of Kristallnacht – the 1938 pogrom when the Nazis burned Jewish synagogues across Germany. Blumenthal often casts Zionism as racism and conflates alleged Israeli misdeeds with Nazi imagery.”
The center wrote, “That was too much for top party leader Gregor Gysi, who canceled the usage of the party’s meeting room. The incident came to be known as ‘Toiletgate,’ because Gysi was forced to barricade himself in a bathroom to escape the wrath of Blumenthal and Sheen.
“It highlighted the ongoing efforts to demonize Israel by a group of extreme anti-Israel MPs, led by Inge Höger and Annette Groth. Both of these parliamentarians were onboard the controversial 2010 Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla and upon their return to Berlin, were hailed by many of their party’s MPs.”
In response to the Toiletgate scandal, a petition signed by reform Left Party MPs, local politicians and members directed at but not limited to Haydt, Hänsel, Höger and Groth, states: “By stoking obsessive hatred of and demonizing Israel, members of our party in positions of responsibility are promoting anti-Semitic patterns of argument and a relativization of the Holocaust and the German responsibility for the extermination of millions of European Jews.”
The fifth ranking went to Turkish columnist Faruk Köse, who in his column in Yeni Akit, a newspaper with closes ties to President Erdogan’s government, wrote that Turkish Jews should pay a special tax for damages during Operation Protective Edge this past summer.
Köse also sought to convince Erdogan that the Jewish community should apologize for Israel’s self-defense measures during the operation.
“You came here after being banished from Spain. You have lived comfortably among us for 500 years and gotten rich at our expense. Is this your gratitude – killing Muslims? Erdogan, demand that the community leader apologize. “So of course one feels like saying, ‘God bless that Hitler!’”
The spread of right-wing anti-Semitism by Björn Söder, a Sweden Democrats Party politician, resulted in a sixth-place ranking. He said in an interview, “Most [people] of Jewish origin who have become Swedes leave their Jewish identity,” and that it is important to distinguish between “citizenship and nationhood.”
The Wiesenthal Center blasted Sweden’s government for failing to combat Jew hatred, saying, “Swedish Jews have been targets of hate crimes from Muslim extremists, but authorities have rarely, if ever, taken action against the perpetrators.”
The neo-fascist Mayor Mihaly Zoltan Orosz of Erpatek in eastern Hungary garnered the seventh slot, for his hanging of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres in effigy at a public display in early August. According to the Wiesenthal entry, he told reporters “the Jewish terror state” was trying to annihilate the Palestinians, and he opposed “the efforts of Freemasons to rule the world.”
The sign hanging above the “body” of Peres reads: “I am a war criminal, bastard genocider, that’s why I get my rightful punishment, death by hanging! I am going to my master, to Satan, because hellfire awaits me! – Simón Peresz.”