WASHINGTON – The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) on Tuesday derided a novel theory about the Holocaust put forth in a campaign ad by Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber,” who is running for Congress in Ohio.
In Wurzelbach’s video, released Monday, the Republican candidate blamed the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide on gun control laws.
“In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” it says. “In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated.”
The ad shows Wurzelbacher at a shooting range firing a shotgun at fruits and vegetables. At the end of the clip, the 2008 election icon says, “I love America.”
NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris quickly pounced on the video.
‘Using the memories of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust to make a political point is never appropriate, under any circumstances’
“Using the memories of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust to make a political point is never appropriate, under any circumstances,” he said.
“For Ohio Republican House candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher to imply that these innocent lives were taken because of gun control laws is simply beyond the pale.”
Harris called on Wurzelbacher to apologize and immediately remove the video, which he deemed “offensive.” The Wurzelbacher campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Democrats criticize Romney
Over the weekend, Harris also attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who joked that he would “do the opposite” of President Obama when it comes to Israel policy.
To laughter and applause from an evangelical Christian political group, Romney said, “You can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite.”
Harris called the remarks “the latest instance of [Romney] speaking in sound bites instead of offering substantive foreign policy ideas.”
“Worse, it is an indication that Romney does not understand the current state of relations between the US and Israel,” he said. Harris then listed Obama’s achievements on Israel, including the administration’s veto of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, its foreign aid package, funding for missile defense, and commitment to maintaining Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (or “QME” in Washington-speak).
Republicans criticize Obama
Republicans believe they can attract more Jewish voters in November as a result of what they describe as President Obama’s “coldness to Israel.” In 2008, more than 75 percent of American Jewish voters chose Obama over John McCain. Tevi Troy, a prominent Jewish Republican and Romney campaign adviser, says “Romney gets Israel” and believes the former Massachusetts governor can peel off some of that support.
‘The Obama administration’s approach to Israel is not just extremely problematic to American Jews, but to supporters of Israel around the country’
“The Obama administration’s approach to Israel is not just extremely problematic to American Jews, but to supporters of Israel around the country and around the world,” he told The Times of Israel.
“Romney, in contrast, is a close friend of Netanyhau going back decades and, as president, he would be more concerned with Iran building bombs than Israel building apartments in Jerusalem.”
To drive the point home, the hawkishly conservative group, The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), is currently airing a television ad in major urban markets excoriating Obama for his handling of Iran.
“President Obama has spent four years talking, Iran has spent four years building,” says the narrator. “Obama is still talking, and Iran has enough fuel for five nuclear bombs… Talking isn’t working. It’s time to act — before it’s too late.”
The NJDC claims the ad “has nothing to do with Iran or Israel. It has to do with one thing: electing Republicans and defeating President Barack Obama.”