Mith its annual list, the Simon Wiesenthal Center indicates groups, institutions and people who are warming up old anti-Jewish resentments or creating new ones. The Pole Position for 2020, an anonymous “Center for Disease Control and Prevention” will take over, a center for disease control and prevention that calls on people who have been infected with the corona virus to “embrace Jews” and infect them: “If You have the bug, give a hug, spread the flu to every Jew. “The campaign is called” Holocough “, freely translated:” Holohusten “.
In second place is the short message service “Telegram”, which also offers militant anti-Semitic and racist organizations called “Atomwaffen-Division”, “National Socialist Order” and “Boogaloo Movement” a digital home.
In third place An old friend, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the small but hyperactive “Nation of Islam” is staying. For over 30 years he has blamed Jews for all the evils in the world. It would be a surprise if Farrakhan hadn’t made the top ten this year. The same applies to the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Dschawad Sarif, who, citing Ayatollah Khamenei, wants to bring the question of Palestine to a “final solution”. He finished fifth.
So far, so expectable. It will be remarkable, especially from a German perspective Seventh place. Not just any person or organization is put on the virtual dock, but the “German elite”, represented and embodied by the Goethe Institute, the Federal Culture Foundation, the Berlin Festival, the German Theater, the Einstein Forum, the Humboldt Forum and a dozen Other state-funded cultural institutions that – driven by concerns about freedom of expression – have come together to – in the midst of the pandemic – to protest against a one and a half year old resolution of the Bundestag, which hardly anyone would remember if they didn’t would have called the representatives of the most important German cultural institutions on the scene.
What was it about the united cultural institutions in their appeal to the German public, entitled “Plea of the Initiative GG 5.3 Cosmopolitanism”? In short, to save the honor of the BDS movement, which calls for a political, economic and cultural boycott of Israel until the Jewish state gives up the occupation of Palestinian territories, by which some mean the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while others mean “all of Palestine”, So all lands from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. As ambiguous as the positioning is, it is also practical. Depending on the audience, one version or the other applies. You can be both militant and moderate.
In view of such room for interpretation, it was a good idea that the Bundestag accepted a joint motion by the CDU / CSU, SPD, FDP and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen (“BDS movement resolutely – fight anti-Semitism”) with a large majority on May 17, 2019 . There was no mention of a ban on the BDS in the resolution, which was legally non-binding. Groups that support the goals of the BDS movement should be refused “financial support and the allocation of communal spaces”.
That was what enraged the “representatives of public cultural and scientific institutions”, who like to “criticize the system” from their publicly fully financed institutions. No state dough for groups that had managed to paraphrase the old slogan “Don’t buy from Jews”.
The “Plea of the Initiative GG 5.3 Open-mindedness” also states that it is not appropriate that “with reference to this resolution” of the Bundestag on May 17, 2019 “important voices are pushed aside and critical positions are presented in a distorted way”. It takes a lot of courage to post campaigns to boycott Israel under the heading of “important voices” and “critical positions”.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center will present its 2020 top ten list to the public today. After that there will likely be a discussion. Is it appropriate to suspect well-known cultural workers who have read Eugen Kogon’s “SS-Staat” and wrote reflective essays on Anne Frank’s diary under suspicion of anti-Semitism? Are we even dealing with a case of sublimated hatred of Jews or just an incurably clean conscience looking for an outlet?
They are fair questions. If you want to answer them, you should remember that you don’t have to be an old school anti-Semite, you don’t have to deny Auschwitz and the Holocaust to credibly represent anti-Semitic ideas. We have known that at least since the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” printed a poem by Günter Grass (“What must be said”) in which the Nobel Prize winner fantasizes about how “the nuclear power Israel is endangering world peace, which is already fragile”. Not China, not North Korea, not Iran. No, Israel.
August Bebel is said to have said that anti-Semitism is “the socialism of stupid guys”. It could also have been the Viennese politician Ferdinand Kronawetter, a contemporary of Bebel. No matter who it was, the sentence was right in its time. Today it should be updated a little. “Anti-Semitism is the populism of the educated classes.”