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The comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany being made at protests worldwide against the IDF's Gaza operation are a "cynical perversion" of history that has no place in civil societies, the New York-based Anti Defamation League said Tuesday.
"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," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director and a Holocaust survivor.
Foxman particularly deplored the fact that this comparison was being heard at demonstrations in the United States.
"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," Foxman said.
"Offensive Holocaust comparisons and the use of Nazi imagery are deeply offensive and have no place in a civil society such as ours."
The anti-Israel demonstrations in major American cities have included expressions of support for Hamas, which is designated by the State Department as a foreign terror organization, as well as inflammatory anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, the ADL said.
A January 3 mass rally in New York's Times Square, which was endorsed by Al-Awda, the Muslim American Society, and the Islamic Circle of North America, included 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."
Similar anti-Israel protests using Nazi imagery were held in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tampa and San Diego.