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August 26, 2015 0

Holocaust Analogies Continue To Taint Discourse On Wide Range Of Issues

The charged polit­i­cal debates over issues rang­ing from Iran to abor­tion con­tinue to be tainted by inap­pro­pri­ate invo­ca­tions of Hitler, Nazis, and gen­eral Holo­caust imagery.huckabee-israel-holocaust-oven-tweet-twitter

These mis­placed and offen­sive com­par­isons, made by politi­cians, pun­dits, and oth­er pub­lic fig­ures,  triv­i­al­ize this unique tragedy in human his­tory.  They not only rely on his­tor­i­cally incor­rect premises and exag­ger­a­tions, but also deflect atten­tion away from impor­tant national discussions.

For exam­ple, U.S. Sen­a­tor and Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Ted Cruz recently sent let­ters to pas­tors through­out the U.S. to encour­age them to speak out against Planned Par­ent­hood, claim­ing that abor­tion rep­re­sents an “ongo­ing holo­caust.” Of course, invok­ing the Holo­caust in the dis­cus­sions on abor­tion is noth­ing new.

The Iran deal is also an area where offen­sive Holo­caust analo­gies have been increas­ingly crop­ping up. On July 26, for exam­ple, Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mike Huck­abee stated in an inter­view that Pres­i­dent Obama’s poli­cies on Iran will “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Huckabee’s cam­paign also high­lighted this inap­pro­pri­ate com­par­i­son in a graphic on Twitter.

The analo­gies are not only used by politi­cians.  In a sign of how our pub­lic dis­course has coars­ened, crit­ics of pub­lic offi­cials also invoke Nazi analo­gies.  When New York Con­gress­man Jer­rold Nadler pub­licly sup­ported the pro­posed agree­ment on Iran, he report­edly was swamped with hate­ful mes­sages on social media.  One com­men­ta­tor referred to him as a “kappo,” a ref­er­ence to Jews who worked for the Nazis in con­cen­tra­tion camps.  curt-schilling-muslims-hitler-tweet-twitter

The Holo­caust com­par­isons are not lim­ited to the polit­i­cal world either. On August 25, ESPN “Sun­day Night Base­ball” ana­lyst and for­mer major league pitcher Curt Schilling shared a post on Twit­ter that com­pared extrem­ist Mus­lims to Nazis. The tweet sug­gested that a sim­i­lar per­cent­age of Mus­lims are extrem­ists as Ger­mans were Nazis. It also included an image of Hitler.

Such inap­pro­pri­ate Holo­caust ref­er­ences seem to sur­face around almost any con­tro­ver­sial issue. For exam­ple, dur­ing the charged polit­i­cal debate over gun con­trol in the after­math of the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School shoot­ing, there was a flurry of inap­pro­pri­ate invo­ca­tions of Hitler, Nazis, and gen­eral Holo­caust imagery by pub­lic fig­ures.  Oppo­si­tion to Pres­i­dent Obama’s Afford­able Care Act engen­dered sim­i­larly offen­sive comparisons.

Pub­lic dis­course today is seri­ously lack­ing in civil­ity and respect for dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives on impor­tant issues.  One unfor­tu­nate exam­ple of this lack of civil­ity is repeated inap­pro­pri­ate ref­er­ences to the Holo­caust.  It is long past time for pub­lic offi­cials and pub­lic offi­cials to stop invok­ing the Holo­caust in an effort to score polit­i­cal points.

* As a 501(c )(3) non-profit orga­ni­za­tion, the Anti-Defamation League does not sup­port or oppose can­di­dates for polit­i­cal office.

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August 26, 2015 1

Judge Thwarts Anti-Semitic Killer’s Attempt At Show Trial

As open­ing state­ments and tes­ti­mony began this week in Olathe, Kansas, in the mur­der trial of white suprema­cist Fra­zier Glenn Miller (also known as Fra­zier Glenn Cross), the defense strat­egy of the for­mer Klansman—who is rep­re­sent­ing himself—became clear.

Frazier Glenn Miller mugshot

Fra­zier Glenn Miller mugshot

Miller, who has admit­ted com­mit­ting a shoot­ing spree at two Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in Over­land Park, Kansas, in April 2014 that killed three peo­ple, includ­ing one child, indi­cated his inten­tions with his open­ing state­ments on August 24. Miller asserted to the jury that the mur­ders were jus­ti­fied, describ­ing his actions that day as “well-intentioned” and claim­ing that he had “good, moral rea­sons” for the slayings.

These state­ments echoed ear­lier remarks by Miller before the trial that he would attempt a “neces­sity” defense, claim­ing that the shoot­ings were needed to halt the “Jew­ish geno­cide of the white race.” Though Miller had admit­ted that his inten­tions were to shoot Jews, none of the vic­tims he killed at the Jew­ish insti­tu­tions turned out to be Jewish.

Miller told the jury that white peo­ple “have a right to sur­vive” and the right to pre­serve our heritage…and a safe future for white chil­dren.” This was a ref­er­ence to the “14 Words,” a pop­u­lar white suprema­cist slo­gan: “We must secure the exis­tence of our peo­ple and a future for white chil­dren.” It refers to the wide­spread white suprema­cist belief that the white race is threat­ened with extinc­tion because of a ris­ing tide of non-white peo­ples who are con­trolled and manip­u­lated by Jews.

How­ever, Miller did not get far in his effort at an anti-Semitic show trial before Judge Kelly Ryan stopped him. Judge Ryan had ear­lier ruled that Miller could not intro­duce his anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries into the guilt phase of the trial, which was to deter­mine whether a crime had been com­mit­ted, not why. The judge said that Miller could make such argu­ments dur­ing the penalty phase of the trial, if he were convicted.

As wit­nesses began to tes­tify, Miller found other ways to intro­duce his anti-Semitic views, such as bring­ing cer­tain books to court with him. At one point he had a copy of his own, self-printed auto­bi­og­ra­phy, A White Man Speaks Out, dis­played on the defense table. Another time dur­ing the trial he held up a book for peo­ple to see: They Dare to Speak Out: Peo­ple and Insti­tu­tions Con­front Israel’s Lobby, an anti-Israel book writ­ten by Paul Find­ley, a long-time anti-Israel activist, in 1985.

Miller was a promi­nent white suprema­cist in the 1970s and 1980s, at one point head­ing a large Ku Klux Klan group, but the white suprema­cist move­ment ostra­cized him for pro­vid­ing tes­ti­mony in a crim­i­nal case against other white suprema­cists. Miller has spent most of the past 15 years try­ing to get back in the graces of the move­ment, with lit­tle suc­cess. His shoot­ing spree was appar­ently a final attempt.

Miller’s Over­land Park attack was only one of a num­ber of deadly shoot­ing sprees by white suprema­cists in recent years. These and other mur­ders have made white suprema­cists the most deadly extrem­ist move­ment in the coun­try, as detailed in ADL’s recent report, With Hate in their Hearts: The State of White Supremacy in the United States.

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August 18, 2015 2

California Strengthens Laws Against “Paper Terrorism”

Cal­i­for­nia gov­er­nor Jerry Brown signed into law this past week a new mea­sure designed to increase pro­tec­tion for Cal­i­for­ni­ans from the so-called “paper ter­ror­ism” tac­tics of anti-government extremists.ab1267

Mem­bers of the anti-government sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment often file bogus liens or other sim­i­lar doc­u­ments in order to encum­ber the prop­erty of their ene­mies in retal­i­a­tion for some per­ceived wrong­do­ing. Although fil­ing a bogus lien is a crime in Cal­i­for­nia, once such harass­ing liens are filed, it still takes sig­nif­i­cant time and money for vic­tims to get them removed—which is why they are so effec­tive as a retal­ia­tory tactic.

In the 1990s, Cal­i­for­nia enacted leg­is­la­tion to pro­vide a fast-track removal process for such bogus encum­brances. How­ever, the law only applied to pub­lic offi­cials or employ­ees, com­mon vic­tims of such sov­er­eign cit­i­zen tactics.

Now, thanks to Assem­bly­mem­ber Richard Bloom (D– Santa Mon­ica), who spon­sored the bill, California’s laws will extend fast track pro­tec­tion to pri­vate indi­vid­u­als and busi­nesses who are tar­gets of “paper terrorism.”

Addi­tion­ally, the new law will allow any­one tar­geted by a false encum­brance to seek civil reme­dies up to $5,000. With this leg­is­la­tion, Cal­i­for­nia joins the 25 other states that have passed sim­i­lar laws.

The Anti-Defamation League pro­posed and drafted the mea­sure and, early in the process, helped gain sup­port for it from a num­ber of orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the Cal­i­for­nia Dis­trict Attor­neys Asso­ci­a­tion and the Cal­i­for­nia Police Chiefs Association.

The bill received bi-partisan and unan­i­mous sup­port in both the Assem­bly and Senate.

Sov­er­eign cit­i­zens believe that gov­ern­ment has no author­ity over them because an insid­i­ous con­spir­acy infil­trated and replaced the orig­i­nal legit­i­mate gov­ern­ment with an ille­git­i­mate, tyran­ni­cal one. They claim to owe alle­giance only to the “orig­i­nal” gov­ern­ment. Con­se­quently, sov­er­eigns often claim that they are out­side the juris­dic­tion of the “ille­git­i­mate” gov­ern­ment and that they can ignore all laws and regulations.

In addi­tion to “paper ter­ror­ism” crimes, sov­er­eigns engage in other ille­gal activ­ity rang­ing from scams and frauds to deadly shootouts and standoffs.

The mort­gage cri­sis and the reces­sion of 2008 sparked a surge in the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment, who exploited the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion to grow in num­bers and activ­ity. The Real Estate Fraud Pros­e­cu­tion Unit of the San Bernardino Dis­trict Attorney’s office, for exam­ple, has esti­mated that their cur­rent case load con­sists of 85% sov­er­eign cit­i­zen cases.

ADL tracks the activ­i­ties of the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment and has trained tens of thou­sands of law enforce­ment offi­cers, gov­ern­ment offi­cials, pros­e­cu­tors and judges about the movement’s ide­ol­ogy, activ­i­ties and ille­gal tac­tics, includ­ing ter­ror­ism and deadly violence.

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