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July 14, 2014 2

Disturbing Online Messages Say #HitlerWasRight

The pop­u­lar­ity of some dis­turb­ing Hitler-related hash­tags on Twit­ter has grown in reac­tion to “Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge,” Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas and other ter­ror­ist groups in Gaza.HitlerWasRight-hitler-gaza-israel-twitter-hashtag

Many of these responses have included the hash­tags #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong, such as:

  • “World needs another Hitler! #Hitler­Was­Right #SavePales­tine #SaveGaza”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right but he did one thing wrong he let other Jews to live, and they are mas­sacring #Pales­tini­ans today”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong we need a clone of #hitler for #jews #Israel @IsraeliPM”

This online out­pour­ing of anti-Semitism ini­tially appeared in the con­text of the recent series of Nazi and Holo­caust ref­er­ences that flooded social media after Germany’s 7–1 vic­tory over Brazil in the World Cup semi­fi­nals. Some of those wish­ing to protest Israel’s oper­a­tion in Gaza have pig­gy­backed on this phe­nom­e­non, ref­er­enc­ing both Germany’s World Cup vic­tory and Gaza in their #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong tweets:

  • “Ger­many won the World Cup– Israel has won mur­der, destruc­tion and dis­as­ter. #iSup­port­Gaza #Hitler­Was­Right? He did what Israel does now”
  • “I am sup­port­ing #Ger­many because #Hitler­Was­Right he killed jews with this rea­son #GAZA #Gaza­Un­der­At­tack #WorldCuptFinal2014Brazil”
  • “2014 FIFA World Cup CHAMPIONS! ***GERMANY*** #Pray­ForGaza #Hitler­Was­Right #Jew­sAre­Hu­manEn­emy #JewsAreRealTerrorist”

Invok­ing Hitler and Nazi Ger­many to demo­nize Israel is not lim­ited to social media. Bla­tantly offen­sive com­par­isons have appeared at a num­ber of anti-Israel protests in the U.S. Below are just a few examples:

  • At a protest orga­nized by the Mil­wau­kee Pales­tin­ian Sol­i­dar­ity Coali­tion, one young woman held a sign that read, “Don’t Do To Pales­tini­ans What Hitler Did To You.”
  • At a pro­test­ in Cleve­land, one sign depicted Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mus­tache and a Nazi flag jux­ta­posed with an Israeli flag.
  • At a rally in front of the Israeli Con­sulate in Chicago, among the many signs were sev­eral that accused Israel of per­pe­trat­ing a Holo­caust: “End the Pales­tine Holo­caust,” “It was Wrong in Auschwitz, it is Wrong in Gaza!” and “Gaza Concentration/Starvation Camp, Designed, Man­u­fac­tured, Fre­quently Bombed and Man­aged By Israel.”    

A recent ADL poll of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in 100 coun­tries found that knowl­edge about the Holo­caust varies widely depend­ing on the coun­try. In the sur­vey, 54 per­cent of those polled glob­ally responded affir­ma­tively when asked if they had heard about the Holo­caust in Europe dur­ing World War II. Another 35 per­cent of those polled indi­cated they had no knowl­edge of the Holo­caust, and 10 per­cent responded “don’t know.”

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July 11, 2014 1

“Don’t Do To Palestinians What Hitler Did To You”

On Thurs­day, July 10, anti-Israel protests took place in Cleve­land, Knoxville and Mil­wau­kee. At least 25 ral­lies are sched­uled to take place in many major U.S. cities this weekend.

Here are pho­tos from these demonstrations:

nazi-comparison-israel
Pro­test­ers in Cleve­land, OH held signs accus­ing Israel of col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment, killing Pales­tin­ian chil­dren and engag­ing in “ter­ror­ism.” One sign depicted Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mus­tache and a swastika jux­ta­posed with a Star of David. Another accused AIPAC of sub­vert­ing Amer­i­can inter­ests in favor of Israel.

anti-israel-protest-gaza
knoxville-protest-israel

 

A protest called “Stand Up for Pales­tine” in Knoxville fea­tured signs that called for an end to aid to the “racist state of Israel” and an accu­sa­tion that Israel is com­mit­ting a so-called “geno­cide” against the Pales­tin­ian people.

milwaukee-protest-israel

At a protest orga­nized by the Mil­wau­kee Pales­tin­ian Sol­i­dar­ity Coali­tion, demon­stra­tors accused Israel of “war crimes” and “geno­cide.” One young woman held a sign that read, “Don’t Do To Pales­tini­ans What Hitler Did To You.”

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July 18, 2013 0

Raelians Plan “Swastika Rehabilitation Day” For July 20

A fringe reli­gious sect known as the Raelian Move­ment has announced plans for its fourth annual “Swastika Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Day,” sched­uled for July 20.  “Swastika Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Day” activ­i­ties sched­uled for the United States on that day include events at Cop­ley Square in Boston, on bicy­cles on Chicago’s lake front, in Las Vegas on the Strip, in Los Ange­les at the Santa Mon­ica Pier, in the air over New York City, at Point State Park in Pitts­burgh, on the River­walk in San Anto­nio, and in the Cas­tro Dis­trict of San Francisco.raelian-logo

The Raelian Move­ment is a small reli­gious move­ment based pri­mar­ily in West­ern Europe, with some adher­ents in North Amer­ica, Japan, and even Israel.  Its logo con­sists of a Star of David inter­twined with a swastika—a rather star­tling image.  Although peo­ple often report sight­ings of the Raelian logo as a hate sym­bol, the Raelians use the swastika not in its Nazi con­text but in its East Asian con­text as a sym­bol of good for­tune.  For a time in the 1990s, the Raelians shifted to a less con­tro­ver­sial logo, but they soon returned to the orig­i­nal version.

It is because of their logo that the Raelians have for decades been active in so-called “swastika reha­bil­i­ta­tion,” efforts that to date have not achieved their desired pur­pose and are unlikely to do so any time soon, at least in West­ern soci­ety.  The Raelians’ other con­tro­ver­sial cam­paign, their “Go Top­less” cam­paign for women, has also won lit­tle but notoriety.

The Raelian Move­ment was started in the 1970s by a for­mer French race car dri­ver, Claude Voril­hon (now known as Rael); its beliefs cen­ter around advanced extrater­res­trial civ­i­liza­tions.  It does not have a his­tory of violence. 

The most prob­lem­atic aspect related to the Raelians is their opin­ions about other reli­gions.  Though they pro­fess to be tol­er­ant and in most respects live up to such claims, this is not always true when it comes to “com­pet­ing” sets of reli­gious beliefs.  In par­tic­u­lar, the Raelians have launched a num­ber of nasty attacks against the Catholic Church over the years. 

The Raelians have also made prob­lem­atic state­ments regard­ing Jews and Judaism.  Some state­ments have stemmed from the group’s poor gov­ern­men­tal recep­tion in Israel, oth­ers from sym­pa­thy with Pales­tini­ans, while still oth­ers have risen from a desire that Jews accept Raelian teach­ings.  All three sen­ti­ments com­bined in a 2008 state­ment by the group’s spokesper­son in Israel, Leon Mel­lul, in which he claimed that Jew­ish teach­ings were “prim­i­tive ideas from the Mid­dle Ages” and “unfounded non­sense” and said that Israel’s sur­vival depended on:  1) rec­og­niz­ing Rael as the Mes­siah; 2) per­mit­ting the “Raelian Embassy” [in Israel]; and 3) “show­ing love and com­pas­sion for all human beings.”

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