The Jewish Democratic Council of America has released a new ad that explicitly ties what it sees as “the emboldening of white nationalism” under US President Donald Trump to the rise of the Nazis in 1930s Germany.
“History shows us what happens when leaders use hatred and nationalism to divide their people,” a narrator in the 30-second clip says. The ad ends with the warning: “Hate does not stop itself. It must be stopped. VOTE.”
JDCA said the ad will target Jewish voters in swing states such as Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania ahead of the November 3 election.
“A majority of American Jews feel less safe today than they did four years ago due to the rise of white nationalism and anti-Semitism under Donald Trump. This, coupled with Trump’s assault on our democratic institutions, are reminiscent of the rise of fascism in 1930s Germany. President Trump’s use of hatred for political purposes has made America less safe for Jews and we are voting accordingly,” JDCA executive director Halie Soifer said in a statement.
Several Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, the Simon Weisenthal and the Republican Jewish Coalition lashed out against the ad. The AJC tweeted that “offensive comparisons between 2020 America and 1930’s Germany distract from the urgent need to fight Jew-hatred. They also trivialize the memories of both victims and survivors.”
AJC called on JDCA to take down the clip “immediately.”
“Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are fair game for loud and sustained criticism on their policies, language, and style,” said the Weisenthal Center’s Abraham Cooper. “But invoking of Nazi imagery not only slanders the victims of the Nazis, the candidate, but the tens of millions of Americans who support him.”
The Tuesday released ad came days after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden compared Trump to Adolf Hitler’s propagandist.
“He’s sort of like [Joseph] Goebbels,” Biden said of Trump. “You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday demanded an apology from Biden for the “egregious comment.”
In a statement, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said: “The rule in debate is that if your only argument is to call your opponent a Nazi, you have no argument at all. Instead of engaging in a debate on policy, Joe Biden has descended to name-calling and Holocaust references.
“There is no place in political discourse for Holocaust imagery or comparing candidates to Nazis. It’s offensive and it demeans the memory of the Holocaust, the suffering of the victims, and the lessons we must learn from that terribly dark chapter of history. Joe Biden has been in politics long enough to know this.”
Last week, the Washington Post reported that Trump said that Jews put their ethnic allegiances above all others, making them unreliable political allies. Following conversations with Jewish lawmakers, Trump said in the past that Jews “stick together” and are “only in it for themselves,” the paper reported, citing former and current senior officials.
Trump and Biden are set to face off in their first debate on Tuesday.