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January 24, 2013 8

Holocaust Imagery Taints Gun Control Debate

Update 1/17/14: The polit­i­cal debate over gun con­trol con­tin­ues to be marked by the inap­pro­pri­ate use of Holo­caust imagery by some gun advo­cates. Musi­cian and gun advo­cate Ted Nugent com­pared film pro­ducer Har­vey Wein­stein to a Nazi pro­pa­gan­dist.

Update 3/5/12: The list of inap­pro­pri­ate Holo­caust analo­gies regard­ing gun con­trol con­tin­ues to grow. NRA Pres­i­dent David Keene defended the depic­tion of New York Gov­er­nor Andrew Cuomo as Hitler at a rally in Albany protest­ing new state gun reg­u­la­tions. In an inter­view on March 1, Keene said, “Folks that are cog­nizant of the his­tory, not just in Ger­many but else­where, look back to the his­tory, and say we can’t let that sort of thing hap­pen here.”

The charged polit­i­cal debate over gun con­trol in the after­math of the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School shoot­ing con­tin­ues to be tainted by inap­pro­pri­ate invo­ca­tions of Hitler, Nazis, and gen­eral Holo­caust imagery.

These com­par­isons, made by polit­i­cal pun­dits on national news pro­grams as well by oth­ers out­side pol­i­tics, are not only mis­placed and offen­sive, rely­ing on fac­tu­ally incor­rect premises and exag­ger­a­tions, but also deflect atten­tion away from an impor­tant national discussion.

One anal­ogy sug­gests that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is some­how rem­i­nis­cent of Hitler because of his gun con­trol pro­pos­als. For exam­ple, on Jan­u­ary 9, the home­page of The Drudge Report fea­tured an image of Hitler and Stalin with the cap­tion “WHITE HOUSE THREATENS ‘EXECUTIVE ORDERS’ ON GUNS.”

A sim­i­lar com­par­i­son was made by Ohio State Board of Edu­ca­tion Pres­i­dent Debe Tehrar, who posted a num­ber of pro-gun and anti-Obama mes­sages on her Face­book page, includ­ing a photo of Hitler with the cap­tion: “Never for­get what this tyrant said: ‘To con­quer a nation, first dis­arm its cit­i­zens.’ — Adolf Hitler.”

Another com­mon theme that has emerged in recent weeks is that if only the vic­tims of the Holo­caust had bet­ter access to guns, the Nazi regime would not have been able to sys­tem­at­i­cally mur­der so many people.

For exam­ple, Fox News’ Andrew Napoli­tano made this argu­ment in a Jan­u­ary 10 col­umn on FoxNews.com. Napoli­tano wrote that, “If the Jews in the War­saw ghetto had had the fire­power and ammu­ni­tion that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more per­sons would have sur­vived the Holocaust.”

Indi­vid­u­als on the fringes of the polit­i­cal debate also have weighed in with this nar­ra­tive. In a Jan­u­ary 15 col­umn for the web­site World­Net­Daily, dis­graced for­mer Major League Base­ball pitcher John Rocker wrote that “the Holo­caust would have never taken place had the Jew­ish cit­i­zenry of Hitler’s Ger­many had the right to bear arms and defended them­selves with those arms.”

It should be noted that the small num­ber of per­sonal firearms in the hands of the small num­ber of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000) remain­ing in Ger­many in 1938 could in no way have stopped the total­i­tar­ian power of the Nazi Ger­man state. When they had weapons, Jews could sym­bol­i­cally resist, as they did in the 1943 War­saw Upris­ing and else­where, but could not stop the Nazi geno­cide machine. Gun con­trol did not cause the Holo­caust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.

Invok­ing the Holo­caust in dis­cus­sions of con­tro­ver­sial issues is noth­ing new. Con­spir­acy the­o­rist Lyn­don LaRouche, leader of a fringe polit­i­cal cult that defies cat­e­go­riza­tion, and his sup­port­ers have con­tributed to the divi­sive­ness sur­round­ing the pub­lic debate on health care reform by pro­duc­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing mate­ri­als com­par­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and other gov­ern­ment offi­cials to Hitler, Nazis and fas­cists.

Offen­sive Holo­caust analo­gies have also been used by Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans alike on a num­ber of issues, and by pub­lic fig­ures from var­i­ous sec­tors of soci­ety when dis­cussing top­ics rang­ing from abor­tion to ani­mal rights to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict to LGBT rights.

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October 23, 2012 3

Farrakhan Speaks To NOI About Jewish Control And The Holocaust

On Octo­ber 21, Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Far­rakhan deliv­ered the “Part 2” of his Holy Day of Atone­ment address in Chicago. While “Part 1” of his address in Char­lotte last week pri­mar­ily focused on harshly crit­i­ciz­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney, the audi­ence at the NOI’s Mosque Maryam was exposed to Farrakhan’s views on Jew­ish con­trol in the U.S. and a litany of con­spir­acy the­o­ries. Below are some excerpts from Farrakhan’s speech in Chicago:

Jew­ish Con­trol of America

“Now you know I’m going to be lam­basted and called anti-Semitic… They’ll say Far­rakhan was up to his old canards; he said Jews con­trol Hol­ly­wood. Well, they said it them­selves! Jews con­trol the media. They said it them­selves! Jews and some gen­tiles con­trol the bank­ing indus­try, inter­na­tional banks. They do! In Wash­ing­ton right next to the Holo­caust Museum is the Fed­eral Reserve where they print the money. Is that an accident?”

“The bankers never lose. I’m sorry, Mr. Roth­schild, you and your bankers will lose today. You are not going to suck the life blood of the world’s peo­ple too much longer.”

The Holo­caust

“I don’t know how many Jews were killed. I know some­thing hap­pened in Nazi Ger­many, and if it’s one mil­lion, two mil­lion, three mil­lion; it’s one mil­lion, two mil­lion, three mil­lion too many. But to deny a per­son the right to chal­lenge your artic­u­la­tion of num­bers and to put you in jail if you deny aspects of the Holo­caust… You can’t speak about Jews. You can’t crit­i­cize Jews. If you do, you’re an anti-Semite.”

Israel

“…what kind of friend has Israel been to Amer­ica? … Do friends spy on each other? Israelis spy on Amer­ica! Do friends tap each other’s tele­phones? Do they? Mossad tapped the White House phone sys­tem! That’s how they tapped into knowl­edge of what was going on in the Oval Office that wasn’t quite kosher…Tons of ura­nium was stolen from Amer­ica; it ended up in Israel. Israel destroyed an Amer­i­can ship, the [U.S.S.] Lib­erty. Is this what friends do to friends? Amer­i­cans lost their lives!”

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October 22, 2012 0

Arab Editorial Cartoons Say Obama And Romney Controlled By Jews

As the U.S. Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign moves into its final fre­netic weeks, polit­i­cal car­toon­ists across the Arab and Mus­lim world have made clear that they see lit­tle to dif­fer­en­ti­ate Pres­i­dent Obama from Gov­er­nor Rom­ney, nor Repub­li­can from Demo­c­rat.  In their view, the can­di­dates and the entire U.S. polit­i­cal sys­tem are indis­tin­guish­able in their sub­servience to Jews and Israel. 

Al-Watan, Sep­tem­ber 10, 2012 (Saudi Arabia).

In express­ing their dis­torted views on the 2012 cam­paign, the car­toon­ists from across the Mid­dle East fre­quently fea­ture can­di­dates Obama and Rom­ney kiss­ing the hand or foot of the “Jew­ish lobby” or Israeli lead­ers.  Other car­toons depict Jews/Israeli’s con­trol­ling the U.S. bal­lot boxes.  While many of the fea­tured car­toons include clas­sic anti-Semitic imagery and stereo­types, oth­ers exhibit a more nuanced, yet still defam­a­tory, por­trayal of Jew­ish con­trol over the upcom­ing US pres­i­den­tial election.

The 2008 cam­paign fea­tured sim­i­larly themed car­i­ca­tures, but many focused exclu­sively on then-candidate Barack Obama as enslaved by/in the pocket of Jews and Israel. 

The alle­ga­tion that Jews manip­u­late and con­trol gov­ern­ments has been around for cen­turies.   The canard is a cen­ter­piece of anti-Semitic lit­er­a­ture from The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion to Hitler’s Mein Kampf to the Hamas Char­ter.  Mod­ern iter­a­tions of this charge abound among extrem­ists and hate-mongers, but nowhere as promi­nently, or in main­stream accep­tance as in the Mid­dle East, where “Jew­ish power” is the rea­son com­monly relied upon to explain U.S. sup­port for Israel.  On a daily basis, the edi­to­r­ial car­toons which ADL com­piles from media out­lets across the region fea­ture stereo­typ­i­cal Jew­ish fig­ures (some­times depicted as Israel or Israeli lead­ers) as pup­pet mas­ters of the region, the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity, and most par­tic­u­larly, the United States. 

The mes­sage on these car­i­ca­tures are clear: when it comes to the U.S. elec­tion, the party or the can­di­date doesn’t mat­ter.  Jews con­trol the can­di­dates and the process.  Jews and Israel deter­mine the out­come of the elec­tion and will deter­mine the pol­icy set by who­ever wins on Novem­ber 6.

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