The Ten Top Anti-Semites of 2012
Every year around this time we're inundated with stories about the top ten people or events of the previous twelve months. Holding to this tradition, this past Thursday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center listed their top 10 anti-Semites of 2012.
Mind you, the list is highly subjective, and, no doubt, when we speak of anti-Semites and haters of Israel, many of you have your own favorites. But this group is definitely right up there with the worst. Unsurprisingly, Europe once again is well-represented, as is the Middle East. Likewise, nothing unifies both the far left and the far right better than Jew-hating, since both groups are well represented in this year's list. Without further ado, let's get into it.
Working backwards at number 10 is long-term favorite and anti-Semite extraordinaire Louis Farrakhan. In October, he came out with his latest accusations: "In Washington right next to the Holocaust museum is the Federal Reserve where they print the money." He asks, "[I]s that an accident?" In my opinion, that novel remark alone should have earned him a higher rating, but he must have lost points at Wiesenthal for being unimaginative, repeating the age-old mantra that Jews control the media.
Proudly coming in at #9 is a new one to many: Der Spiegel columnist and editor of the left-wing publication Freitag Jakob Augstein.
In his publications, Augstein frequently castigates Israel's orthodox community as being akin to Islamic terrorists and sees Israel as a nuclear threat to the world. In a September interview with the Jerusalem Post, Die Welt columnist Henryk Broder, Germany's leading authority on anti-Semitism, described Augstein the following way: "He's a pure anti-Semite, an anti-Semitic piece of work, an offender by conviction who only missed the opportunity to make his career with the Gestapo because he was born after the war. He certainly would have had what it takes."
Norway's Trond Ali Linstadt, a convert to Islam, is listed at #8. Also lacking originality, he warns his readers to "beware of the Jews" and the "influence they have in newspapers, in other media, and in many political organs." Why is he important enough to make the list? Until international pressure forced him to backtrack, the king of Norway, Harald V, had slated him to receive a medal for "good works." One must assume that the king agrees with Linstadt that suicide bombings are good and that God wants Jews to live in exile as punishment.
In seventh position, representing the right-wing Hungarian Jobbik Party, is Marton Gyongyosi. This sweetheart of a guy, a flashback of historical Hungarian anti-Semitism, recently had this to say to the Hungarian Parliament:
I think now is the time to assess how many people there are of Jewish origin here, and especially in the Hungarian parliament who represent a certain national security risk of Hungary.
The son of a diplomat who grew up in the Middle East -- namely, in Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan -- his office is replete with souvenirs from these countries.
Number six belongs to the founder of the Greek pro-fascist party Golden Dawn, Nikolaos Michaloliakos. A Holocaust-denier of the first degree, he recently told an interviewer that six million Jews did not die in the Holocaust. He further denies that there were gas chambers or ovens at Nazi death camps and has a penchant for giving the Nazi salute, which he recently gave at the Athens City Council.
What list of anti-Semites could ever be complete without a delegation from that bastion of historical Jew-hatred, the Ukraine? As such, two people -- Oleg Tyagnibok, from the fascist Svoboda Party, and MP Igor Miroshnichenko -- share the inglorious fifth position.
Tyagnibok has called in the past for purges of the approximately 400,000 Jews living in the Ukraine. Granted, with the despicable and sordid treatment Jews have received over the centuries in the Ukraine, one can't help but wonder why 400,000 are still living there.
His cohort, politician Igor Miroshnichenko, sparked an outrage this past year when he denounced Hollywood actress Mila Kunis as a dirty Jewess.
The Wiesenthal Center reserved the fourth spot for fans of European soccer. Before a match in Italy between an Italian club, Lazio, and a mainly Jewish team from England, Tottenham Hotspur, Jewish players and fans were physically attacked, one being sent to the hospital with severe stab wounds. A self-proclaimed fascist from the Lazio team, Pablo Di Canio, celebrated each goal by tauntingly delivering a fascist salute. So much for good sportsmanship.
Not to be outdone, during a match in London against the same Jewish team, British fans of their opponent, West Ham, rained down anti-Semitic chants in support of the aforementioned Di Canio and came up with a few of their own, such as "Adolf Hitler's coming for you" and "You're getting gassed in the morning." To emphasize their disdain, they made hissing noises, like the sound of a gas chamber. Even for the British, infamous for boorish behavior at sporting events, this was over the top.
Next up, for defending his country in the face of incessant rocket attacks from Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu drew the wrath of Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff.
Latuff is famous for depicting Jewish people and Israeli leaders in the most contemptible ways. Many people including this writer believe that political cartoons cast a greater negative stereotype upon Jews than lengthy essays. For that reason alone, Latuff was placed at #3 for 2012.
At #2 is a conglomerate of Jew-hatred led by a little imp espousing Jewish derision in mammoth proportions: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Amongst a myriad of anti-Jewish invective over the years, this past July he's quoted as saying: "It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs." When taken in context with past pronouncements calling for the complete annihilation of Israel, some might argue that this Holocaust-denying anti-Semite is actually moderating. But not to worry: if he is, the head of Iran's armed forces, Major General Hassan Fiouzabadi, isn't. This past August, Fiouzabadi is quoted saying: "The Iranian nation is standing for its cause, the full annihilation of Israel."
Finally, here it is: the Wiesenthal winner of the 2012 Grand Prize for Jew-hatred. This coveted dishonor is shared by Muhammad Badie and Futouh Abd al-Nabi Mansour, two religious leaders belonging to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. The folks at Wiesenthal claim that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood produced the worst anti-Semitic/anti-Israel slurs over the past year. Badie, the Brotherhood's supreme spiritual guide, bemoaned "Jewish control" and the "spread of corruption on earth." What's his remedy? Unremitting jihad.
Badie's partner in Jew-detestation, Mansour took it a step further delivering a nationally televised sermon calling for Allah to "destroy the Jews and their supporters." According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), he went on to say: "Oh Allah, disperse them and rend them asunder, Oh Allah, demonstrate your might and greatness upon them." Interestingly, last month's "mediator" of the Israeli/Hamas ceasefire, Brotherhood strongman and Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi watched the sermon at a mosque and was heard uttering the term "amin" (amen) to every fiery invective hurled at Israel and the Jewish people.
And that sums up the latest entry in a long and ignominious list. From the ayatollahs in Iran to the hallowed halls of the United Nations, 2012 was a good year for the anti-Semites of the world. I won't hold my breath, but hopefully 2013 will see a reversal of this trend.