According to a statement issued by ADL, in-your-face comparisons of Israel’s actions to those of Hitler, or signs altering the Jewish Star of David into a swastika, have been a recurring feature at many rallies across the country, including protests held over the past weekend in several major US cities.
Some demonstrations have included expressions of support for Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, or for terrorism against Israel in general, ADL said. And some protesters at rallies have spewed inflammatory anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
In New York City’s Times Square, six city blocks were filled Saturday with anti-Israel demonstrators holding signs that read “Israel: The Fourth Reich;” “Holocaust by Holocaust Survivors;” “Stop Israel’s Holocaust;” “Holocaust in Gaza;” and “Stop the Zionist Genocide in Gaza.”
One sign juxtaposed gruesome images of Holocaust victims and Gazans and read, “Nazi Genocide, Israeli Genocide.”
'A deeply cynical perversion of history'
On December 30, demonstrators gathered at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles waving Palestinian flags and holding signs, including ones that read, “Every Israeli committing the genocide in Gaza is a 'Hitler'.”
One sign depicted an image of the Israeli flag with the Star of David replaced by a swastika and above the flag, the words, “Upgrade to Holocaust Version 2.0.”
The same day, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Tampa, Florida carrying signs that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and calling for the dissolution of Israel. One sign declared, “Zionism is Cancer; Radiate it,” and other signs featured the word “Nazi” written over an Israeli flag with a swastika.
“Freedom of speech is not just a right, it is also a responsibility,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director and a Holocaust survivor. “Comparisons of Israel to the Nazis are a deeply cynical perversion of history, an attempt to turn the tragedy that befell the Jewish people into a bludgeon against Israel.
“While we have come to expect to see such and hear this type of inflammatory rhetoric in Arab and Muslim capitals overseas, it is deeply disturbing that it is appearing in anti-Israel demonstrations at home,” said Foxman. “Offensive Holocaust comparisons and the use of Nazi imagery are deeply offensive and have no place in a civil society such as ours.”