Top 10 Anti-Semitism/2020: Pandemic Weaponized for Hate; German Elite Push BDS

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has just released its 2020 Top 10 Anti-Semitism list

Not everything in 2020 was a disaster during the raging and unending pandemic, it just feels that way. Truth be told, we could have presented a top 50 or even a top 100 as we have experienced daily reminders that no vaccine exists to eradicate history’s oldest virus: anti-Semitism.

We have witnessed how Covid-19 has been weaponized to promote hatred of Jews and Asians and spread lurid conspiracy theories.(see #1) Thanks to Social media platforms like Telegram(see #2), violent haters are able to target our community 24/7.

No surprise that the Top 10 includes Iran’s genocide-wannabee, Ayatollah Khamenei (see #5) who uses the Nazis’ euphemistic term ‘final solution’ when referring to Israel, while his debonair Foreign Minister Zarif labels Jews- “Johood”- Persian for “kikes”.

Louis Farrakhan’s unflinching 3-decade campaign of hate against Jews, Judaism, and Israel continues unabated (see #4). It has yielded poison fruit as younger adherents among some African American culture and media influencers, spew forth anti-Semitic tropes on Social media and in popular rap music. A few, led by the iconic Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, called out their hate.

US Jewry is still reeling from the FBI statistics for 2019 which confirm that over 60% of all religion-based hate crimes targeted American Jews, who constitutes 2 % of the nation’s population. Desecration of Synagogues, arson, and violent hate crimes continue in the US (see #3), even as most of us have been unable to pray inside our Houses of Worship due to Covid-19. In Europe, attacks continue to surge in UK, France, Germany, and across the EU. But the worst assault against our people was delivered by the European Court. It paved the way for permanent banning of Shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter) on the Continent.(see #6)

The most depressing take-away from this year’s list however, emanates from another source.

A bright spot amidst the gloom of 2020, is the historic blossoming of warm peace between Israel and Arab nations. The facts on the ground in the Middle East from Bahrain to Sudan to Morocco are changing at breakneck speed.¬† Yet, all of these developments have had zero impact on the ongoing war against the Jewish state led by the global BDS campaigns. Even as Israeli and Arab business people are hard at work at making money and creating jobs from an array of joint undertakings, Jewish students on many of America’s leading campuses find themselves under assault. They are threatened, bullied and summarily thrown out of student governments for the sin of being proud Zionists and lovers of Israel by activists who want eradicate the Jewish State. On most campuses, university administrators do precious little to stop the assaults and nothing to hold perpetrators accountable(see#8).

Meanwhile, New York’s Democratic Socialists of America’s(see #9) questionnaire for 2021 potential candidates for the NYC City Council elections demands that they must pledge to never visit Israel and if they oppose BDS they must explain why!

In Chile, Daniel Jadue, an architect of Palestinian descent, who serves a mayor of a city near the capital, Santiago, is a leading contender to be that democracy’s next President. Ominously, he has consistently denounced Chile’s 20,000 Jews, accusing them of dual loyalty (see #10) and violent hatred of Palestinians. (Chile is home to 300,000 people of Palestinian descent most of whose families immigrated to the South American nation starting in 1920).

The biggest and most pernicious outrage in 2020 however, was provided by German cultural elite (see #7). With the guidance and advice from a top Foreign Ministry official, their leaders plotted for 12 months in secret meetings, to demand that last year’s historic Bundestag vote that correctly labeled BDS as anti-Semitic, be overturned. Their campaign was quickly endorsed by 900 cultural figures. All of course, in the name of Freedom of Speech.

Instead of working with Arabs, Muslims and Jews to grow the peace, these progressive elites plot to resurrect anti-Semitic BDS into the mainstream of German life, a move guaranteed to spawn more hate and more threats against German Jewry, already reeling from attacks from neo-Nazis and Islamist extremists.

The goal of BDSers and other anti-peace “activists”- from the University of Southern California to German intellectuals- is to decouple hatred of the world’s largest Jewish community–the Jewish state of Israel– from the now widely adopted IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which inconveniently, includes anti-Zionism.

Tragically, in 2021, no matter how many Arab nations make peace with the Jewish state, it will be business as usual for BDSers. Their war will rage on against the Jewish state and her Zionist supporters– at a campus near you, online, in leading media outlets, in Civil Society and Human Rights NGOs and in major Church groups.

It will be up to each of us to see that they don’t win.

About the Author
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Associate Dean and Global Director of its Ed Snider Social Action Institute
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