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October 12, 2015 28

Why the Holocaust Has No Place in the Gun Debate

By Jonathan Green­blatt
National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared on The Huff­in­g­ton Post Blog

With the cam­paign sea­son in full swing, the debate over gun con­trol laws once again has taken cen­ter stage. As the can­di­dates reacted to the sense­less mass shoot­ing in Ore­gon two weeks ago, an old meme about guns, Hitler and the Holo­caust resurfaced.

The argu­ment goes some­thing like this: If Jews and oth­ers had had freer access to more guns in the run up to Hitler’s assum­ing power and had been able to use those guns to fight back against the Third Reich, then there wouldn’t have been a Holo­caust, or far fewer would have per­ished. This his­tor­i­cal second-guessing is deeply offen­sive to Jews, Holo­caust sur­vivors and those who valiantly fought against Hitler dur­ing World War II. It is, in fact, as many his­to­ri­ans have pre­vi­ously noted, a dis­tor­tion of his­tory itself.

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Ben Car­son was the most recent to make this out­ra­geous point last week dur­ing an inter­view with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Since then, he’s taken a lot of heat, and for good rea­son. But he’s cer­tainly not the first per­son to make the assertion.

ADL has responded to this talk­ing point count­less times since it first sur­faced in 2013, when there were a slew of Holo­caust and Nazi analo­gies as part of the gun debate. But it was a fringe idea then — and it deserves to be rel­e­gated to the fringe now, not given the cour­tesy of a main­stream con­ver­sa­tion. These are the facts:

  • Guns or lack of them did not cause the Holo­caust. The Holo­caust was the prod­uct of anti-Semitism and the moral fail­ure and indif­fer­ence of humans.
  • It is mind-bending to sug­gest that per­sonal firearms in the hands of the small num­ber of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000 remain­ing in Ger­many in 1938) could have stopped the total­i­tar­ian onslaught of Nazi Ger­many when the armies of Poland, France, Bel­gium and numer­ous other coun­tries were over­whelmed by the Third Reich.
  • Despite the over­whelm­ing mil­i­tary force of the Nazi regime, there were thou­sands of brave civil­ians — Jew­ish and gen­tile — who indeed often resisted with every fiber of their being. Unfor­tu­nately, arm­ing every Euro­pean Jew would not have been enough to stop an evil force that was only over­come by the mil­i­tary might of the Allies.

Amer­i­cans are enti­tled to express strong opin­ions about divi­sive issues. But Dr. Car­son and oth­ers should stick to the facts. When you manip­u­late the his­tory of the Holo­caust and use it to score polit­i­cal points, its wholly inap­pro­pri­ate and offen­sive. Espe­cially for the sake of the vic­tims of the Nazi onslaught and their mem­ory, it must stop.

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July 25, 2014 17

Anti-Semitism On Display: Two Weeks of U.S. Anti-Israel Protests

In the 15 days of protests against Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza, there have been a total of 134 anti-Israel demon­stra­tions held in cities through­out the U.S. Many of these demon­stra­tions fea­tured anti-Semitism with many com­par­isons made between the State of Israel and Nazi Ger­many. In addi­tion, some of the ral­lies have fea­tured con­tent in sup­port of Hamas and over­all Pales­tin­ian “resistance.”



1. Cal­i­for­nia

The state with the most anti-Israel demon­stra­tions was Cal­i­for­nia where there were 19 dif­fer­ent protests held in cities such as Los Ange­les, San Diego, San Fran­cisco, Chico, and Santa Cruz. Quite a few of these demon­stra­tions fea­tured signs that com­pared the State of Israel to Nazi Ger­many. In San Fran­cisco an Israeli flag was burned. In Los Ange­les, a demon­stra­tor held a sign that read “That Jew-Jew Lame shit I ain’t with it Israel you bet­ter quit it Gaza-za #FreePalestine.”





2. New York

Ten anti-Israel demon­stra­tions have taken place in New York State in cities such as New York, Syra­cuse, and Buf­falo. At these demon­stra­tions, some par­tic­i­pants held up anti-Semitic signs and cer­tain speak­ers called for the destruc­tion of the State of Israel and defended the ter­ror­ist group Hamas.



3. Ohio and Washington

In Ohio and Wash­ing­ton State, there were nine sep­a­rate anti-Israel demon­stra­tions held in cities includ­ing Cleve­land, Toledo, Seat­tle and Olympia. In both states, pro­test­ers held anti-Semitic signs that made com­par­isons between the State of Israel and Nazi Ger­many and alleged Israeli con­trol over the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment. “Die-ins” were also held in both states.




4. Texas

Eight anti-Israel demon­stra­tions took place in cities such as San Anto­nio, Hous­ton, Austin, and Dal­las. Pro­test­ers held signs that read “They’re both the same” (writ­ten next to pic­tures of Adolf Hitler, an equals sign, and Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu), “We’re see­ing Israel’s incre­men­tal geno­cide in the Gaza ghetto,” and “End the Pales­tine Holocaust.”



5. Florida and Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Seven sep­a­rate anti-Israel demon­stra­tions took place across Florida and in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Pro­test­ers attended these demon­stra­tions hold­ing signs that read “Adolf Netanyahu Hitler,” “One Holo­caust doesn’t jus­tify another!,” and “Gaza is the real Holo­caust.” A sign that read, “Blam­ing Hamas 4 fir­ing rock­ets @ Israel is like blam­ing a woman 4 hit­ting her rapist” appeared in Miami.





6. Penn­syl­va­nia and Massachusetts

There were six anti-Israel protests held in both Penn­syl­va­nia and Mass­a­chu­setts in cities such as Philadel­phia, Pitts­burgh, and Boston. At these demon­stra­tions, par­tic­i­pants were seen with signs that read “Not even the Holo­caust gives you the right to do this!” and “Do you think that Israel is a vic­tim? Zion­ism = Nazism.” The sign “Blam­ing Hamas for fir­ing rock­ets is like Blam­ing a woman who punches her RAPIST” also appeared at a rally in Philadelphia.




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July 23, 2014 17

Anti-Israel Protests in South America

Over the past ten days, there have been sev­eral anti-Israel demon­stra­tions through­out Latin Amer­ica protest­ing Israel’s mil­i­tary action in Gaza, known as Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge, some with mes­sag­ing that crossed the line into anti-Semitism. At protests, signs com­par­ing Israel to the Nazis were seen, par­tic­i­pants spoke about Israel com­mit­ting geno­cide and eth­nic cleans­ing against Pales­tini­ans in Gaza, and calls were issued on gov­ern­ments to break rela­tions with Israel.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Argen­tin­ian Com­mit­tee of Sol­i­dar­ity with Pales­tine orga­nized a protest out­side the Israeli Embassy where dozens of social, polit­i­cal, human rights and stu­dent groups par­tic­i­pated. Tilda Rabi, Pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of Argentine-Palestinian Enti­ties, requested that the Argen­tin­ian gov­ern­ment break rela­tions with the Israeli gov­ern­ment, remove Israel from the Free Trade Agree­ment with MERCOSUR, and stated that Argentina can­not be an accom­plice to Israel’s “war crimes”.

In La Paz, Bolivia, a demon­stra­tion took place on July 11, where Israeli flags were burned and pro­tes­tors were over­heard say­ing “Enough with the geno­cide, Zion­ist State of Israel, for your polit­i­cal inter­ests. They killed thou­sands of inno­cent people…”

In San­ti­ago, Chile, a “We Are Pales­tine” protest took place on Sat­ur­day, July 19th where a num­ber of groups protested in front of the Israeli and United States embassies. Omar Salame, Pres­i­dent of the Union of Pales­tin­ian Stu­dents in Chile, said “Pales­tin­ian peo­ple are a vic­tim of geno­cide,” and Chafik Lasen, Pres­i­dent of the group “Pales­tine For All” said “Pales­tini­ans, we are suf­fer­ing from geno­cide by the ter­ror­ist state of Israel, the largest ter­ror­ist state in the world.” Signs read­ing “Sion­ismo (Zion­ism) = Nazism” were dis­played at the demon­stra­tion. Mem­bers of the Chilean Jew­ish com­mu­nity report expe­ri­enc­ing harassment.

In Arau­ca­nia, Chile, Romina Tuma, the daugh­ter of Sen­a­tor Euge­nio Tuma, led an anti-Israel protest where around 200 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated. The protest used the slo­gan “End the Mas­sacre Against the Pales­tin­ian Peo­ple,” and Tuma said that Israelis “are geno­ci­dal.” Israeli flags with a swastika and signs say­ing “Zion­ism = Nazism” were vis­i­ble at the protest. In addi­tion, pro­tes­tors put red paint on an Israeli flag and later burned it.

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