Wiesenthal Center releases top 10 anti-Semitic incidents of 2014

Top Ten Worst Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents of 2014 poster. Photo courtesy of Simon Wiesenthal

(RNS) Hoping to draw more attention to the global problem of attacks against Jews and Judaism, the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday (Dec. 29) released its list of the top 10 worst anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents of 2014.

Top Ten Worst Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents of 2014 poster. Photo courtesy of Simon Wiesenthal

Top Ten Worst Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents of 2014 poster. Photo courtesy of Simon Wiesenthal

The list can “bring focus to the fact that anti-Semitism has been increasingly manifest in the mainstream of society,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center, which is named for the famed Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter.

“Anti-Semitism is not just a Jewish problem, and it certainly is not going to get solved without awakening the non-Jewish world to deal with it.”

Founded in 1977 to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry in general, the Los Angeles-based center started drawing up the annual list in 2010 to highlight prejudice against Jews, but also criticism of Israel that seeks to delegitimize or demonize the Jewish state.

The three worst incidents on this year’s list are:

1. The Belgian doctor who refused to treat a 90-year-old Jewish woman in pain, saying: “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she will get rid of the pain.”

2. The members of Jordan’s parliament who called for a moment of silence to honor the militants who murdered four rabbis at prayer in a Jerusalem synagogue, saying they wanted to glorify the killers’ “pure souls and the souls of all the martyrs in the Arab and Muslim nations.”

3. The assailants who raped a 19-year-old Jewish woman during a home invasion and robbery of a Jewish family’s home in a Paris suburb. They demanded: “Tell us where you hid the money . . . You Jews always have money.”

Six of the 10 incidents on the list this year took place in Europe, where Jewish leaders have been particularly alarmed by rising incidents of anti-Semitism, including attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses, and assaults on Jews in the streets.

The U.S. claimed two of the last three spots on the list:

8. Steven Salaita, the professor who lost an employment offer at the University of Illinois, after tweeting (among other comments about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza): “At this point if Netanyahu appeared with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?”

9. The killer of three non-Jews at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas remarked: “Wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews … before I died.”

Earlier this month another major group founded to counter anti-Semitism, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, released its “Top 10 Issues Affecting Jews in 2014.”


Top Ten Worst Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents of 2014 poster. Photo courtesy of Simon Wiesenthal

Top Ten Worst Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents of 2014 poster. Photo courtesy of Simon Wiesenthal


About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)


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  • This list doesn’t seem good to me. Some of the incidents are truly horrifying but… others just look like criticisms, extreme criticisms mind you, of Israeli Prime Ministers. Seven and Eight specifically.

    This … I don’t get. Extreme criticisms, accusations of being in league with the devil, are thrown against all types of leaders everywhere. Is criticizing the US President now anti-Christian?? If I criticize the Iranian government’s oppression of my religion, does that make me somehow Islamaphobic??

    Don’t get me wrong, 1-6, and 9-10 are horrifying incidents. But seven and eight?? Surely there were worse incidents of anti-Semitism than some extreme criticisms of Israeli Prime Ministers!!

  • It’s just… calling the Israeli PM a child killer is somehow more anti-Semetic than the guy who killed several people just because he “wanted to kill some Jews”?? I don’t understand how the Wiesenthal Center came to that conclusion.

  • Fourth Valley, #7 and 8 enlist classic anti-Semitic tropes: Jews are behind Freemasonry, Jews seek to rule the world, Jews are predatory child-killers, seeking their blood and body parts. #7 and 8 show how these historic tropes, that led to pogroms and the Holocaust in the past, are resurfacing.

    #7 is also anti-Semitic because it applies a double standard to Israel via “Jewish Terror state,” not “Israeli Terror state” or just “terror state.” In the midst of a Middle East that has nations like Turkey, Syria, and Iran that genuinely finance terror networks, it’s Israel that is labeled the “Jewish Terror state.”

    #8 delegitimizes the Jewish people’s quest for a homeland by labeling that quest as “colonialism.” (A colony of what country?) Recognizing every other people’s national rights but not that of Jews is another form of singling out Jews for inferior treatment.

  • Good points, especially the critical point:

    Anti-Semites have a long history of transforming hateful words into unspeakable deeds — including mass murder.