Saturday, Dec. 11th, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) linked to an awful article about the Simon Wiesenthal Center which not only slandered the center but also its Dean & founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier. The IPMN when linking to the article written by Lawrence Swaim, wrote, “Time to point the finger back at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.” Their point is bigoted and shallow. Did they even read the article?
The article “Israel’s War Against the Dead: Mamilla Cemetery and the Simon Wiesenthal Center,” is about the Museum of Tolerance that the Center is building in Jerusalem. They are accused, in the article, of building the museum on top of a Muslim cemetery. But there is much more than complaints about the museum at the end of the article.
Swaim writes of the The Simon Wiesenthal Center:
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an extreme rightwing Jewish organization, tinged by neo-fascism and with many of the characteristics of a hate organization. It is based almost completely on a vulgarized, pervasive form of religious nationalism. Its vision for Israel is consistent with the neo-fascist Jabotinsky tendency within Zionism that was modeled on Italian fascism, and it also promotes the Likudnik doctrine that Judaism itself has no practical or demographic existence separate from Israel. The SWC supports the neo-con belief in permanent war in the Middle East, and it engages in the vigorous dissemination of religious bigotry against Muslims in the US. It portrays anti-Semitism as worse than it is, partly for fund-raising purposes and partly to establish an imagined victim status. It similarly uses the Holocaust both toOf SWC's leadership Swaim writes:
discourage criticism of Israel and to justify Israel’s own violence, aggressively insisting that every criticism of Israel is really aimed at destroying the Jewish people. Above all, the SWC is a dangerous cultural force that seeks religious war as the standard for religious authenticity.
The fight over Mamilla Cemetery is a dispute in which Rabbi Hier, the very incarnation of the charismatic but morally corrupt religious fanatic, seeks to invent a new Judaism that, like medieval Christianity, defines itself by its ability to wound and torment the underdog.Of the membership of the Simon Wiesenthal Center the author writes:
One has the sense that Hier’s followers are primarily lower (and middle) middle-class people, perhaps small businesspersons and conservative professionals who reject Judaism’s traditional concern for social justice, whose level of cultural literacy is not particularly high, and who are attracted to the us-against-them aggression of religious nationalism.To put it very succinctly, I consider the Rabbis at the Simon Wiesenthal Center my friends. I know them to be men of integrity. The IPMN may consider it important to get revenge against those they consider their enemies, but it seems to me that such action fails to honor the Prince of Peace. More than that, using a despicable insulting article full of fraudulent, contrived and exaggerated content to get revenge dishonors the One who is truth himself.
May God have mercy on us all.
 The author of this diatribe, Lawrence Swaim, is listed as Director of the Interfaith Freedom Foundation, an organization that apparently has no web site. The article was taken from a Muslim paper for which Swain writes a column, InFocus News. After clicking around on the site I could not come up with past articles, but here is an overview by the Jewish organization, The Anti-Defamation League.
 To read about the dispute over the Museum read the article that Swaim has written and then go to the Simon Wiesenthal Center and read their page on the Museum, read the whole page, The Museum of Tolerance, Jerusalem.