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.”