German Journalist and Anglican Priest accused of Anti-Semitism

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Father Roy writes:  

Pasted below is an article from the Jerusalem Post which reports a controversy that’s dividing Germany and German Jewry.  I’ve highlighted the cause of the furor. 

A similar development is evolving in the UK.  An Anglican Priest has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism.  The Rev’d Dr. Stephen Sizer is under attack by organized Jewish groups because he challenges Christian Zionism.

Controversy in the Church of England is growing, albeit quietly. Click here for updates. A ruling from Stephen’s Bishop may come later this month. Read on to learn about the controversy in Germany. Notice that the dynamics in the two cases are virtually the same.

Peace, Roy


ADL slams German Spiegel author for anti-Semitism


Anti-Defamation League tells ‘Post:’ Augustein’s statement “crosses the line into anti-Semitic conspiracy thinking.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BERLIN — The deputy national director of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League on Friday weighed in on the raging German dispute over the alleged anti-Semitism of Der Spiegel Columnist Jakob Augstein and his attacks on Jews and Israel. Augstein’s statement about Jewish control of US foreign policy “crosses the line into anti-Semitic conspiracy thinking,“ Ken Jacobson, the ADL‘s deputy National Director, told the Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center included Jakob Augstein in its list of last year’s (2012) top-ten anti-Semites. Jacobson, a leading expert on contemporary anti-Semitism, cited one of Augstein‘s quotes in the Wiesenthal list as being contaminated with conspiratorial anti-Semitism . The quote from Augstein’s Spiegel column reads,“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 Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant.”

The ADL, like the Wiesenthal Center, carries great weight with its assessment of modern anti-Semitism in Europe in general and Germany in particular.

Though Jacobson said the assertion about US Jews controlling foreign policy is anti-Semitic, he added “I don’t know enough about him [Augstein] to say he is an anti-Semite.“

Jacobson also added that Augstein’s quote, in which he equated Haredi with Islamic fundamental terrorists, “crosses the line into steroetypes of Jews.”

Jacobson qualified his remarks as a general matter “anti-Israel criticism is not necessarily anti-Semitic.”

The Augstein controversy has divided Germany’s Jews. German media reported that the vice president of Germany’s Central Council Jews Salomon Korn said Augstein’s writings are anti-Semitic. Korn argued that the Wiesenthal Center should not have included Augstein in its list because the organization “does not know German relations.”

Though the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Dieter Graumann did not completely agree with the Wiesenthal ranking list in connection with Augstein, he, however, said Augstein’s Israel texts are “dreadful and not nuanced.”

Graumann added that Augstein apparently has an “Israel obsession and “spreads “anti-Jewish resentments. “ His Spiegel columns contribute to an “anti-Israel atmosphere” in the Federal Republic, noted Graumann, whose comments were reported in the main German Jewish newspaper, die Jüdische Allgemeine.

Dr. Alexander Brenner, the former head of Germany’s largest Jewish community in Berlin, told the Post on Friday that he agrees with Wiesenthal Center’s designation of Augstein as their number 9 anti-Semitic and anti-Israel person of the year.

Brenner, who has a seat in the directorate of the Central Council, and in the representation board of the Berlin community, sharply criticized Solomon Korn as an “alibi Jew.” The phrase “alibi Jew” is frequently used by German Jews to describe a small group of fringe Jews who serve to protect anti-Semites and anti-Israel critics from rebuke in the public sphere. Brenner, a popular Jewish leader in Berlin, called on the Central Council to stand behind the Wiesenthal Center and Henryk Broder.

Broder was the first German journalist to term Augstein’s articles anti-Semitic and has labeled the Spiegel author a “flawless ant-Semite” because of his writings. Brenner said Korn’s behavior makes one want “to throw up.” He said Augstein is, “without question an anti-Semite.”

Augstein has told the German media that he does not know what prompted him to be placed on the Wiesenthal list and said the inclusion of him on the list only hurts “critical journalism” because it will be stigmatized as anti-Semitic or racist.

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