Iran’s supreme leader, Turkey’s premier and United Nations official Richard Falk top the Simon Wiesenthal Center annual list of the top 10 anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs of the year.
This year’s list does not discriminate between Muslims, Jews and Christians and includes some big names like the supreme leader of Iran and lesser-known agitators like a small-town American school district charged with turning a blind-eye towards anti-Semitic bullying.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei topped the list for a comment last month chiding Israel as the “rabid dog of the region” and referring to Israel’s political leaders as sub-human. “Throughout 2013, as the U.S. conducted secret talks with Tehran, the Ayatollah’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate flowed unabated,” the report read.
The center also named Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan for comments made during the Gezi Park protests and the ousting of democratically elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi that placed blame for both incidents on an “interest rate lobby.” According to Erdogan’s deputy, the phrase was reportedly code for “The Jewish Diaspora.”
The list also targets a number of pro-Palestinian western activists, like Richard Falk, a controversial UN human rights investigator who some Jewish groups have long charged with anti-Semitism, for comparing Israeli policies’ in Gaza to that of the Nazis and refusing to acknowledge groups like Hamas as terrorist organizations. Falk is himself Jewish and has warned of a “Palestinian Holocaust.”
The report allocates considerable space to calling out proponents of the Boycott / Divestment / Sanction movement, which it titled “the tipping point of global demonization of Israel.” Included in the section are the American Studies Association for its recent vote in favor of an academic boycott of Israel, Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters and the United Church of Canada for endorsing the boycott of Israeli products.
Max Blumenthal and Alice Walker, both American authors critical of Israel, were named in a section titled “the power of the poison pen.” Blumenthal, whose controversial yet popular book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is referenced against him in the report, chimed in on his personal Twitter account: “they can’t attack the content because it’s factual.”
Also cited were individuals charged with a contributing to rising anti-Semitism in the Middle East and Europe, including the far-right nationalist Hungarian Jobbik party, Arab artists and religious leaders who have reportedly implied that “Hitler was right,” a French cartoonist reportedly “obsessed” with defaming Israel and European sports venues that have become marred by anti-Semitism.