Worst antisemitic incidents 2018: SWC’s annual top ten list
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish and human rights organization, announced Tuesday its list of the top ten worst instances of antisemitism in 2018, including the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue considered the worst attack on Jews in US history.
Eleven Jewish worshipers – among them a 97-year-old woman, an octogenarian couple, and two brothers – were killed when white supremacist Robert Bowers stormed into Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday during morning prayer services, yelling “all Jews must die” as be opened on the mostly elderly congregants. Bowers sits at the top of the center’s list for 2018.
Police said in court that Bowers told them he hated Jews because they were “committing genocide to his people.” He has been linked to a rash of online antisemitism, notably on Gab.com, a site frequented by white nationalists.
Listed as number two was outspoken antisemite Minister Louis Farrakhan, who leads the “Nation of Islam” movement.
Farrakhan has been known for decades for proudly spouting antisemitism, once calling Hitler “a very great man” and arguing that Jews orchestrated September 11.
Most recently, in an speech given this October, Farrakhan said: “I’m not mad at you because you’re stupid… So when they talk about Farrakhan, and call me a hater, you know what they do: call me an antisemite… Stop it, I’m an anti-termite.”
According to the Wiesenthal Center, “throughout the 1930s, before the Holocaust, Nazi propaganda serially demonized Jews as vermin and rats, seeking to dehumanize German Jews in the eyes of their neighbors.”
US college campuses were placed third on the list due to “alarming antisemitic attacks on American campuses” following the attack in Pittsburgh. Antisemitic pamphlets, graffiti, and social media rhetoric have dramatically increased in the US this year, according to the report.
Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labour Party’s embattled leader, earned the fourth spot on the list. The center quoted a joint editorial published by the UK’s top Jewish newspapers which said that a Corbyn-led government presents an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country.”
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is dedicated exclusively to serving Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, placed fifth of the Wiesenthal Center’s list. UNRWA, according to the center, are “enablers of Hamas’ massive child abuse with a ‘peace’ curriculum that erases Israel.”
Hamas, the Islamist group ruling in the Gaza Strip, “effectively controls the UNRWA teachers’ union and teachers resort to social media to promote terrorism against Israelis and to ‘stab Zionist dogs,’” the center wrote.
“To its credit, the US stopped further payments to UNRWA, but Germany, Japan and other nations rushed in with increased donations,” it added.
Airbnb, the short-term property rental company that recently announced it would freeze all listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, was placed sixth on the center’s list.
“There is no indication that Airbnb, who claim to oppose BDS, is extending its interventionist diplomacy to Cyprus or the scores of other disputed territories around the world,” it wrote.
BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel and represents an international campaign against the Jewish State’s alleged human rights violations against Palestinians.
The German Bank for Social Economy received the seventh position on the list of antisemites and antisemitic institutions, for standing with “antisemitic BDSers,” according to the center.
“When it comes to issues related to antisemitism and threats to the Jewish state, Germany receives a great deal of attention. In recent years, to their credit, German cities, companies and financial institutions have recognized the antisemitic underpinnings of BDS and shunned interaction with a global campaign seeking the Jewish state’s demise,” it wrote.
“In 2018, however, one important financial institution, the Bank for Social Economy, insists on doing business with the radical ‘Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East,’ which strongly endorses boycotting the Jewish state.”
A US-based bishop earned the eighth position on the list for fabricating specific stories of human rights violations by Israeli soldiers, including a claim that she “witnessed an Israeli soldier arrest a three-year old Arab child on the street.”
Sweden’s Karolinska University Hospital placed ninth for its alleged discrimination against several Jewish medical doctors.
Lastly, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters received the tenth spot on the list for being the “leading BDS cheerleader and antisemite who wants to tell Jews what antisemitism is.”