Prominent German journalist named as one of top 10 anti-Semites

The L.A.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) is drawing criticism for including a prominent German journalist on its annual list of the world’s top 10 anti-Semites. Jakob Augstein—publisher of the weekly Der Freitag and a Der Spiegel online contributor—came in at No. 9 on the Jewish human rights organization’s offender list, just below Iranian President Mahmoud Ah- madinejad. The SWC publication included several Augstein quotes. In one, Augstein compares ultra-Orthodox Jews with Islamic fundamentalists.

In another, he says that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant.” The list has provoked outrage in Berlin. Many journalists accuse SWC of conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Salomon Korn, vice-president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, dismissed the organization as “pretty far removed from German reality.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.