MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has upset the country’s Jewish community by accusing one of its members — a critic of the government — of thinking like Adolf Hitler.
Lopez Obrador hit out Wednesday at newspaper columnist Carlos Alazraki, equating his “Hitlerian” ideas with those of the Nazi dictator.
The Central Committee of the Jewish Community of Mexico issued a statement in response saying it was “unacceptable” to compare anyone with the “most bloodthirsty regime in history.”
Lopez Obrador stood by his remarks on Thursday, saying that the ideals of Hitler and other leaders like Italy’s Benito Mussolini and Russia’s Joseph Stalin persist in the world.
“His thinking … (and) ideals do not die. And that is what I was referring to — the ideals. Mr. Alazraki is a follower of Hitler’s thinking,” Lopez Obrador said.
The leftist leader, who regularly uses his daily news conference to lash out at his critics, said that he had Jewish friends, calling them “good, working people.”
Alazraki, a publicist who has a column in the newspaper El Universal, accused Lopez Obrador of causing “gigantic damage” to Mexico.
According to official figures, almost 59,000 people who practice the Jewish religion live in Mexico.
Politicians of Jewish origin include Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, a close ally and potential successor of Lopez Obrador.