This is a Top 10 list you won’t see on late night comics’ segments.
Worse, according to chief compiler, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the 2015 list could have been a Top 100.
This particular ranking is the Jewish human rights group’s annual Top 10 Worst Global Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents list. The Top 10 was unveiled at a press briefing Wednesday morning at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center by Cooper, Wiesenthal founder Rabbi Marvin Hier and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
“This was a horrible year of anti-Semitism across Europe and across American college campuses,” Cooper said in a telephone interview. “Just last Thursday an Orthodox Jew was walking through … Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and he was physically assaulted.”
We’re doing [the conference] with Ileana [Ros-Lehtinen] because she created the bipartisan task force. She understands these issues. It’s important we do it here and launch in Miami.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, on revealing the Wiesenthal Center’s Top 10 list
The 2015 list is topped by the Dec. 2 attack on a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center, a social services office that aids people with developmental disabilities in San Bernardino, California. Gunmen Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, wielding assault rifles, died hours after killing 14 people in a gun battle with police.
Additionally, comments by Farook’s father, Sayed, cemented this incident at No. 1. The Wiesenthal Center felt Farook validated his son’s hatred for Jews even while attempting to dissuade him from acting out violently. “I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist anymore,” Farook said an interview with the Italian daily, La Stampa.
Other top-ranked incidents included a video that shows a knife-wielding ISIS fighter standing near two masked gunmen as a narrator announces the pending war against the Jews (No. 2.) Various incidents on U.S. college campuses, including the painting of “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” on a sidewalk at UC-Berkeley in California, at No. 4. Several incidents of anti-Israel sentiment at sports and cultural events in Spain and in Bosnia ranked No. 7.
[Holocaust] survivors should be able to live out their remaining days in comfort and with the knowledge that their long-sought justice has finally been achieved.
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s remarks at the 2015 Top Ten Worst Global Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israeli Incidents press conference in Aventura.
Ros-Lehtinen, who helped form the Congressional Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism earlier this year, said the list is important because it helps educate and inspire action to quash the problem.
“There’s no continent that is immune from anti-Israel and anti-Semitism,” she said. “Hateful speech so often leads to violence and it’s not just empty words. This is not a thing of the past or relegated to the dustbin of history but a very highlighted part of society around the world.”
The reasons for the rise of anti-Semitism are many, Cooper said: “The pervasive hate online and in social media is further fueling a lot of the hatred that has been around a long time. It can be traced to an administration that doesn’t want to name it ‘Islamic fundamentalism.’ If we’re going to turn it back, we have to understand the nature of the threat.”
The list names world leaders who the Center says promotes anti-Semitism, including Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Argentinian president Christina Kirchner.
“We’re looking to name and shame and hopefully they will get off the list. Our world has turned. I think each generation has to reinvent the wheel, unfortunately.”
Top 10 Incidents
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has compiled its list of the 10 worst global anti-Semitic/anti-Israeal incidents in 2015.
1. Inspiring San Bernardino terrorist’s hate. Sayed Farook, father of the man accused of killing 14 at holiday party, validates son’s hatred for Jews in an interview with La Stampa even while attempting to dissuade him from acting out violently.
2. ISIS video. In a video purportedly produced by ISIS, a knife-wielding ISIS fighter stands near two masked gunmen. The narrator announces that the war against Jews “will soon be launched, God willing.”
3. European Union’s double standards. The European Union’s labeling of products from the Golan Heights and disputed territories on the West Bank, but ignoring the products of other disputed territories such as Western Sahara, Kashmir, Tibet and from areas controlled by terrorist Hamas and Hezbollah typifies anti-Israelism.
4. U.S. Campuses. A joint Trinity College/Louis Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law survey reported that over 50 percent of 1,157 self-identified Jewish students at 55 campuses reported having been subjected to or having witnessed anti-Semitism on their campuses.
5. Palestinian Authority/UNRWA. The U.N. acknowledged that at least 22 Palestinian employees of the UNRWA (U.N. Palestinian relief agency), including some teachers, openly encouraged and celebrated the knifing and shooting attacks against “Jewish apes and pigs.”
6. Iran. Officials in Tehran announced a 2016 Holocaust Cartoon contest, expected to draw entries from 50 countries.
7. Europe: Culture & Sports. A music festival in Spain tried to cancel the performance of American Jewish rapper Matisyahu because he wouldn’t sign a pledge supporting the Palestinian State. In June, hundreds of Bosnian soccer fans rioted outside a hotel where Israel’s national football team was staying.
8. UK Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour party leader, and Gerald Kaufman, Labour MP. Corbyn has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends,” received funding from a promoter of anti-Israel violence and donated to Holocaust denier Paul Eisen’s charity. Kaufman claimed “It is enough for an Israeli to scream terrorist and if you look like an Arab you will be shot dead on the spot.”
9. Kuwait. CNN reported that on Dec. 15, Kuwait Airlines informed the U.S. Department of Transportation that they will stop service between JFK and London after U.S. authorities threatened legal action against the airline for its refusal to sell a ticket to Eldat Gatt, an Israeli citizen.
10. Poland. A demonstration against accepting Syrian refugees turned into an anti-Semitic display when dozens of demonstrators burned effigies of Orthodox Jews. Pro-ISIS, Holocaust-denying, Hitler-praising graffiti was painted at the Jewish cemetery in Sochaczew. During a November meeting of the Poznan City Council that was considering new street names came the suggestion to name the street leading to a major garbage incinerator: Oswiecimska (Aushwitz) Street.