Anti-lockdown protesters invoke Holocaust analogies: Won’t go like docile Jews

“You must ask yourself: Why did the Jewish people not – how did they get in that position?” Bundy asked at a rally.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

U.S. protesters, or extremists (depending on your political outlook), who want to see an end to government-imposed lockdowns meant to stop the spread of Covid-19, have sparked controversy and concern over their use of Holocaust analogies.

On Saturday, Idaho militia leader Ammon Bundy said the Jews were too docile during the Holocaust. He spoke at an “Idaho Is Open For Business” rally on the steps of the State Capitol building in Boise.

“Just look at the pictures of the Holocaust,” Bundy said. “It always amazes me how you see pictures of men and women stripped completely naked, lined up and facing a mass grave, where they are shooting them in the back of the head and falling in the grave.

“You must ask yourself: Why did the Jewish people not – how did they get in that position? I’m not someone to be a judge of another people, but we must learn from history. Because they thought that putting their head down and trying to not be noticed was the better way.

“They thought that compliance would get them through it, and it was just a period of time that they might just pass through and end up better on the other end.

“And that is a decision that we have to make right now. Is it better if we just comply? Is it safer to comply? If we comply now, they will go further … until we are lined up naked facing a mass grave and being shot in the back of the head,” he said.

Bundy isn’t the only one using such rhetoric. Idaho Rep. Judy Boyle said requiring customers to wear masks when entering a business establishment was “too similar to not allowing Jews to shop when they were ‘required’ to wear the yellow star!!!”

Another Idaho congresswoman, Heather Scott, compared the governor to a dictator. “They’re already calling him ‘Little Hitler,’” Scott said.

Similarly, demonstrators have carried placards in Michigan and Illinois that say “Heil Whitmer” or “Heil Pritzker” — referring to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker.

At the Tennessee State Capitol, a woman yelled “Eighty years ago, Jews didn’t have a chance. We f–ing do.”

Such comparisons are offensive to the vast majority of Jews. An article on the website of Boise State Public Radio quotes Thomas Kühne, director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University in Massachusetts, as calling such remarks “extremely stupid.”

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“What shall I say? It’s just such a massive distortion of historical reality,” Kühne said.

Some have labeled all the protesters as neo-Nazis as a result. The Michigan Jewish Democratic Caucus, for example, suggested that the protesters in that state were conspiracy theorists, “anti-Semitism being the oldest conspiracy theory,” and that President Donald Trump was somehow orchestrating it.

However, not all agree with this assessment. JNS Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Tobin writes that while the Nazi analogies are “indefensible,” it doesn’t mean that those making them are Nazis. “To the contrary, they are accusing those who ordered the lockdowns of being fascists,” he says.

“During the protests against the Iraq war, signs were seen accusing President George W. Bush of being a Nazi. The same is true for the Women’s March protests against Trump. Of course, not all anti-Bush or anti-Trump protesters used such language; only a minority has done so.

“The same can be said of the anti-lockdown protests,” Tobin writes.