At the end of this year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) published a list of anti-Semites under the title „GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM 2021 TOP TEN“. The entire nation of Germany is number seven. As a citizen of Germany, I am therefore automatically included on the list.
All German citizens are on the list!
Now, I have several ways to react: I can be offended, complain, tweet indignation, whine, ask Jews for public absolution and reject responsibility, or I can simply take responsibility and see if and how I can solve or at least mitigate the problem.
So what can I do?
First, I can read the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s rationale for this decision. It states:
„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.“
The Simon Wiesenthal Center quotes Samuel Salzborn, the anti-Semitism commissioner for the city-state of Berlin: „One thing is clear: Berlin has an anti-Semitism problem.“
The SCW condemns „far-Right, Islamists, and the demonization of Israel from the Left“ and states that Germany is failing to curb such violence. In addition, Angela Merkel is criticized because the German government „rarely denounced the Ayatollah regime’s Holocaust denial and the regime’s frequent calls to destroy the Jewish state.“
The tax-funded international broadcaster Deutsche Welle has also been criticized, as members of the station’s Arabic service have been publishing anti-Jewish comments which include trivialization of the Holocaust. In a private post one commentator referred to the Holocaust as an „artificial product“ and claimed Jews were controlling „people’s brains through art, media, and music.“ Another Deutsche Welle contributor stated 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 Simon Wiesenthal Center continues to criticize the city of Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg for its association with the Iranian city of Isfahan, whose administration regularly demands the destruction of the Jewish state during the annual Al-Quds demonstrations. The SWC criticized the anti-Semitism commissioner for the state of Baden-Würtemberg, Michael Blume, for failing to ask Freiburg to end that city partnership, unlike his counterpart in the city-state of Hamburg, Stefan Hensel. He has „urged his city’s government to close the Iranian regime-controlled Islamic Center in Hamburg because it stokes anti-Semitism.“
The Simon Wiesenthal Center also takes issue with Michael Blume’s alleged „like“ of the statement, „Zionists, Nazis and radicals should quickly get off my friend’s list…!!!“
The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticizes all of Germany!
The SWC denounces the anti-Semitic acts committed by right-wing radicals, Islamists and left-wing critics of Israel in Germany and criticizes the fact that this hatred is not fought hard enough, but instead is often ignored, downplayed, supported, financed, defended or sometimes even produced by a wide variety of political actors in the German Republic.
I am curious to see which Germans will accept the criticism in order to improve this country and which Germans indignantly reject the criticism and declare themselves the real victims.
„If we really want to defeat anti-Semitism, we must be willing to look at the dark sides of our own hearts.“ I learnt this from reading and listening to Elie Wiesel. For my part, this relates the following:
If public funded anti-Semitism commissioners are installed in Germany, each of the German states, every party, every institution and every organization should have its own anti-Semitism commissioner, who would then engage themselves to name and fight anti-Semitism within its own jurisdiction.
There are anti-Semites who are totally convinced that they have nothing against Jews and yet they support policies that are or can become dangerous for Jews. It is precisely these anti-Semites with whom the Simon Wiesenthal Center is primarily concerned. The SWC list always includes candidates whose anti-Semitic statements and deeds are downplayed. That’s why Iran occupies the number one spot this year. Although the regime leaves no doubt that it wants to eradicate Israel, countries like Germany sign economic contracts with that regime.
Hamas takes second place. Every now and then, there are German journalists working for public broadcasters who interprate Hamas terrorist and rocket attacks against Jews as a legitimate form of “resistance”. On third place is the BBC, because journalists there often downplay terrorism against Jews. One journalist even publicized the statement: „Hitler was right!“
On fourth place are those people who spread Corona conspiracy theories. They claim there’s a secret Jewish plan on conquering the world through the Corona epidemic and vaccinations. The Simon Wiesenthal Center also criticizes vaccination opponents who portray themselves as victims of a holocaust by pinning yellow stars on their breasts.
With its anti-Semite list, the Simon Wiesenthal Center puts the spotlight on Jew-hatred, which is downplayed and ignored.
There is Jew-hatred everywhere, in every party and in every political direction. There are also those who condemn anti-Semitism only where it does not affect themselves. They pretend to fight against Jew-hatred. In reality, they are merely posturing themselves in the public arena in order to condemn their political foes. If they were really concerned with fighting the unbearable situations Jews are faced with, they would do what Elie Wiesel was asking for: doing some soul-searching.
I am a German citizen and a member of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). I criticize some measures in the battle against the Corona epidemic. I watch BBC. I have consumed some products of the Unilever company and I use Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and other social media giants. All these companies are also on the list.
I’m on the list. I accept my responsibility.
Therefore, pay attention during the next few days to recognize who is willing to accept responsibility and who instead is outraged on account of their own reputations, perhaps even self-righteously declaring themselves victims. Some of those outraged self-righteous people are often more concerned in attaining publicity, and even financial benefits for their own causes rather than sincerely tackling anti-Semitism. Even there, I don’t exclude myself completely.
Those who immerse themselves in their own hearts are clearly the better allies with those who aim to create a better world.
If you want to support me, Gerd Buurmann, in my work as an actor or author of „Tapfer in Nirgendwo“, you are welcome to donate any amount you choose to my PayPal account.
(Translation: William Wires)