Rabbi Marvin Hier in Jerusalem
Rabbi Marvin Hier in JerusalemHezki Baruch

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has ranked the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Palestinian jihadi movement Hamas and British news organization the BBC as the three worst offenders on the human rights organization’s annual list of worst outbreaks of antisemitism.

Coming in at No. 7 on the Wiesenthal Center’s Global Antisemitism Top Ten list for 2021 is Deutsche Welle, the German government-financed international broadcaster, and German government politician and a civil servant, Israel National News is the first to report.

As Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported on Sunday: “The BBC has been branded anti-semitic by one of the world’s most respected Jewish organizations. The Simon Wiesenthal Center –named after the famed Nazi-hunter – has placed the BBC at No. 3 on its annual ‘Global Antisemitism Top Ten’ list’’ after Iran’s regime and Hamas.

“Rabbi Marvin Hier, head of the Wiesenthal Center, told the Daily Mail on Sunday: ‘People might be surprised to see the BBC on our list but the decision to place the BBC at No 3 came after months of intense debate and discussion. We believe the BBC has been guilty of several incidences of anti-semitism during the past year,” the report continued.

“People might assume we would put neo-Nazi groups on our list but the BBC is there because when a globally recognized organization allows antisemitism to creep into its reporting, it makes it all the more insidious and dangerous,” the newspaper quoted the rabbi as saying.

One example cited by Hier was the BBC’s report on a group of men who attacked a bus carrying Jewish teenagers during Hanukkah while screaming anti-Israel slogans.

“The BBC falsely reported a victim on the bus used an anti-Muslim slur. But what was heard on tape was a distressed Jewish man speaking in Hebrew appealing for help,” he told the paper. A BBC spokesman told the Daily Mail: “Antisemitism is abhorrent. The BBC strives to serve the Jewish community, and all communities across our country, fairly, with accurate and impartial reporting.”
No. 7 on the Wiesenthal Center’s ranking of the worst outbreaks of Jew-hatred is titled “GERMANY: A German Antisemitism Commissioner who ‘likes’ social media comparisons of Israel to Nazis,” and goes on to say the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg is failing to confront BDS and pro-Iranian regime activity.

“In June, the German government confirmed a staggering number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2020 − 2,275 with at least 55 involving violence. More than 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in Berlin during 2020, a rise of nearly 20% over the previous year. Samuel Salzborn, Antisemitism Commissioner for the State of Berlin, admitted, ‘One thing is clear: Berlin has an anti-Semitism problem,’” the Wiesenthal Center wrote.

“However, another German Antisemitism Commissioner has apparently forgotten that his job is to combat anti-Semitism, not ‘like’ it. Michael Blume, Commissioner Against Anti-Semitism for Baden-Württemberg has continued, since 2019, social media activity where he ‘liked’ a Facebook posting comparing Zionists to Nazis. He has since continued to ‘like’ and retweet anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, and conspiratorial Twitter accounts,” the center continued.

“Inexplicably, the German state of Baden-Württemberg’s Green party governor, Winfried Kretschmann, and Christian Democratic Union Interior Minister Thomas Strobl have permitted Blume − the commissioner tasked with fighting anti-Semitism − to continue to engage in these anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activities on social media,” the Wiesenthal center wrote.

“In stark contrast, Blume’s counterpart in Hamburg, Stefan Hensel, has urged his city’s government to close the Iranian regime-controlled Islamic Center in Hamburg because it stokes anti-Semitism. Blume has failed to call on the Baden-Württemberg metropolis of Freiburg to end its twin-city partnership with the Iranian regime’s Isfahan, a city whose administration sponsors calls for the destruction of the Jewish state each year, at its annual al-Quds Day demonstration,” the center said.

The Wiesenthal Center noted in its new list that “While Felix Klein, the Federal Commissioner for Jewish Life and the fight against anti-Semitism, has urged banks not to provide accounts to BDS groups, Blume has failed to urge the partly state-owned Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) to close the account of Baden-Württemberg’s and Germany’s most powerful anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) organization, the Palestine Committee Stuttgart.”

The Israeli Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg told Israel National News: "Once again we are witness to the German government's two-faced and hypocritical policy regarding Israel. The government's 2019 resolution equating BDS to antisemitism is clearly void of any real meaning as a state-backed bank is providing a BDS group the means to attack Israel."

"If that wasn't enough," continued Peleg, "the German government funds rabidly anti-Israel NGOs that promote BDS, defend terrorists and their families in Israeli courts, and slander IDF soldiers."

The experts at the Wiesenthal Center took Deutsche Welle to task for the Jew-hatred unfolding at the news organization in the entry titled “Anti-Semites at German Public Broadcasting.”

“The stench of anti-Semitism reached German Public Broadcaster Deutsche Welle. The Süddeutsche Zeitung exposed a scandal involving anti-Jewish and Holocaust-trivializing comments by members of its Arabic service. One post referred to the Holocaust as an ‘artificial product’ and added that Jews would continue to control ‘people's brains through art, media, and music.’ Another declared that ‘Everyone involved with the Israelis is a collaborator and every recruit in the ranks of their army is a traitor and must be executed,’” the center wrote.

“Deutsche Welle was forced to suspend four of its Arabic service employees and one freelancer pending an investigation led by former German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger,” the Wiesenthal Center continued.

The Unilever corporation also appears on the list of outbreaks of antisemitism, for its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Judea and Samaria in Israel. The Wiesenthal Center is slated to announce the full list in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

According to the Wiesenthal report on Germany, "A new government has been installed in Germany marking the end of the Angela Merkel era. Despite her many achievements as Chancellor, Germany has failed to curb anti-Semitic attacks from the far-Right, Islamists, and the demonization of Israel from the Left. Her administration’s rarely denounced the Ayatollah regime’s Holocaust denial and the regime's frequent calls to destroy the Jewish state."

Benjamin Weinthal is a Jerusalem-based Journalist. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal.