Storm over Wiesenthal hate list pick

A row has erupted in Germany after the Simon Wiesenthal Centre included a selection of excerpts from Spiegel Online writer Jakob Augstein’s columns on its list of top ten antisemitic and anti-Israel slurs of 2012.

Mr Augstein was placed on the list alongside Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime, in what one German newspaper called “a serious intellectual and strategic error”.

Among the comments made by Mr Augstein that led to his inclusion on the list was his statement that Israel’s nuclear capabilities are “a danger to the already fragile peace of the world”.

Mr Augstein also wrote “Israel incubates its own opponents” in Gaza.

Solomon Korn, Vice President of The Central Council of Jews in Germany said: “I never had the impression that what he wrote was antisemitic.”

Spiegel Online tried to organise a debate between the Wiesenthal Centre’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who compiled the list, and Mr Augstein, but Rabbi Cooper refused to interact without Mr Augstein first apologising to the Jewish people. “He crossed that red line,” Rabbi Cooper said.

Last updated: 6:45pm, January 10 2013