Tuesday, 8 January 2013

European Jewish Congress blasts 'Spiegel' writer for 'Israel hatred'

European Jewish Congress head Kantor accuses Augstein of using his columns to stoke hate against Israel and Jews.

Berlin - The head of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), Dr. Moshe Kantor, accused the Spiegel journalist Jakob Augstein of using his columns to stoke hate against Israel and Jews. In a statement issued to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Kantor wrote, "Certain journalists and other opinion-shapers, among them Jakob Augstein, over the last few years have used their columns to promote hate and fear of the Jewish State and the Jewish People.”

The EJC represents more than 2.5 million of Jews throughout Europe, covering 42 national Jewish communities.

Kantor, who is widely considered a leading authority on contemporary anti-Semitism, continued that “ Obviously they are not the same thing, but when the age-old canards that were used against Jews for hundreds  of years appear to be directly replicated against the Jewish State this should tell us something about the dangerous lines which these people are treading. If these people are using the same unoriginal attacks against the Jewish State as were used against the Jewish People then we have a right to defend ourselves in exactly the same way and call this hatred for what it is."

Kantor’s remarks differed sharply from the Vice President of Germany's Jews, Salomon Korn, who argued that Augstein’s writings are not anti-Semitic. Korn along with some German Jewish leaders appear to be a lone voice among major European and American Jewish leaders.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center included Augstein in its 2012 list of top ten anti-Semites and haters of Israel because of a steady stream of writings hostile to Jews and Israel. The ADL told the Post that one of Augstein’s statements   falls into the category of conspiratorial anti-Semitic thinking. The telling example for the ADL was Augstein wrote“ With backing from the US, where the president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups, and in Germany, where coping with history, in the meantime, has a military component, the [Binyamin] Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant.”

Augstein equates Israeli haredim with Islamic terrorists who follow the “law of revenge.” The left-wing Spiegel writer said the attacks on him are “defaming critical journalism.”


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