Dipping to a new low level of political discourse, the Jewish Democratic Council for America released an ad comparing President Donald Trump and his supporters to Nazis.
Presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden also recently compared Trump to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda.
The ad features archival footage of Hitler supporters waving Nazi flags and giving the straight-armed Nazi salute alongside images of white supremacists in the U.S. that are quickly followed by Trump and his supporters. The 30-second ad also features images from the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack and defaced present-day synagogues beside similar images of defaced shops in the 1930s.
Interspersed are images of Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
The ad was denounced as unconscionable by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization dedicated to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust.
“Comparing the President of the United States to Hitler and Goebbels is beneath contempt. That a Jewish group produced [it] compounds the offense.
“For 75 years Jews have emphasized the uniqueness of the Nazi savagery, racism, and genocide that mass murdered a third of our people and led to tens of millions dead during WWII,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean and global social action director.
“Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are fair game for loud and sustained criticism on their policies, language, and style. But invoking of Nazi imagery not only slanders the victims of the Nazis [and] the candidate, but the tens of millions of Americans who support him.
“In 2020, anti-Semitism from the far right, far-left, and Islamists remains a real threat to American Jews. We need to demand of our candidates accountability on how they will combat it from all quarters,” added Cooper.
The Republican Jewish Coalition called the ad “despicable.”
“Every time someone compares their opponent to a Nazi, it only diminishes the seriousness of Nazism,” said RJC spokesman Neil Boylan Strauss in an email.
“The repeated accusations that President Trump is a Nazi don’t make more people hate him; it makes the Holocaust seem less awful.
“Diminishing the Holocaust and demeaning the memories of the six millions Jews killed by the Nazis is out of bounds for rational political discourse. The Democrats have fallen far below that standard with their new ad. They owe a retraction and an apology to the American Jewish community they pretend to represent.”
The American Jewish Committee slammed the ad as well, saying, “The problem of antisemitism in the U.S. is grave. Offensive comparisons between 2020 America and 1930s Germany distract from the urgent need to fight Jew-hatred. They also trivialize the memories of both victims and survivors. [JDCA], take down this ad immediately.”
Jonathon Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted:
The video from @USJewishDems is the latest in growing references to Hitler, Goebbels or other Nazi leaders. This has no place in the presidential race and is deeply offensive to the memories of 6M+ Jews systematically exterminated during the Shoah. https://t.co/pvO89COrI6
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) September 29, 2020
For decades, invoking the Holocaust was off-limits for the simple reason that these comparisons were nonsensical hyperbole and diminished the evils of Nazi Germany.
Now, the slur “Nazi” is slung copiously, usually by those on the Far Left looking to silence any dissent to what they view as their exclusive corner on “truth” and hence, their “sacred” moral stance on any given issue.
Most slingers of this slur are millennials or from Generation Z, which, according to a recent survey, are woefully ignorant of the 20th century’s worse horror.
Nearly two-thirds of US adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust – study https://t.co/UAW1WzyjLD
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 16, 2020
The fact that this ad comes from a Jewish group, which one assumes can’t plead ignorance, is so beyond the pale, it defies words.
The ad’s message is essentially that Trump has sent out overt signals as well as dog whistles to white supremacists and thus shares the blame for the recent increased presence of these groups in the American political scene.
JDCA’s executive director, Halie Soifer, defended the ad, saying, “We’re not calling Donald Trump a Nazi. We are warning against the ominous parallel of the rise of Nazism and the use of hatred for political purposes and the numerous signs that Donald Trump is doing the same.”
Yet it seems that no matter how often the president condemns white supremacy, it is never enough for Trump’s detractors or the Left-leaning press. Truth, it seems, does not matter in our increasingly Orwellian world.
In a logic-defying interchange, Fox News’ John Roberts recently asked Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany repeatedly why Trump has not denounced white supremacy. Even though McEnany gives Roberts case after case of Trump doing just that, Roberts keeps asking if the president denounces white supremacy:
In the recent debate, when asked to condemn white supremacy and their militias, Trump said “sure” a number of times. When specifically asked by Biden to condemn the Proud Boys (which is not a white supremacist group), Trump said, “Stand back and stand by.”
The remark caused many to question Trump’s commitment against white supremacists yet again. (Others assumed that he misspoke and meant to say, “stand down.” Trump later clarified, saying, “I don’t know who Proud Boys are. But whoever they are, they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work.”)
While facts unfortunately don’t seem to matter much in American politics these days, it is still worth noting that President Trump:
- Moved the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
- Issued an executive order to protect Jewish students from antisemitic anti-Zionism on college campuses, reiterating that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act protects Jews—just as every other race, color, national origin, and ethnicity—from discrimination at taxpayer-funded universities
- Forged two recent peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (with more countries in line to do the same)