“Invoking Nazi imagery not only slanders the victims of the Nazis, the candidate, but the tens of millions of Americans who support him,” the SWC stated.
A new presidential election advertisement released by the Jewish Democratic Council of America on Tuesday drew parallels between the rise of anti-Semitism under the Nazis with U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term in office, resulting in an outraged response from some mainstream Jewish organizations.
The 30-second video — titled “Hate Doesn’t Stop Itself, It Must Be Stopped” — juxtaposes archive footage of Jews being persecuted in Nazi Germany with anti-Semitic agitation in the U.S. today.
“History shows us what happens when leaders use hatred and nationalism to divide their people,” the accompanying voiceover says.
The video features imagery of the white supremacist show of force in Charlottesville in Aug. 2017 and the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre of Oct. 2018.
Trump appears in the video addressing a rally in one half of the screen while the other shows a range of Nazi-related images, including a rally from the 1930s featuring Nazi salutes.
“Hate must be stopped. Vote,” the ad urges. “Our future depends on it.”
Two mainstream U.S. Jewish organizations took a dim view of the ad, however, condemning its invocation of the Nazi era during an American presidential election as gratuitous and dangerous.
“The problem of anti-Semitism in the U.S. is grave,” the American Jewish Committee (AJC) declared on Twitter.
Yet, the AJC argued, “offensive comparisons between 2020 America and 1930’s Germany distract from the urgent need to fight Jew-hatred.”
Such comparisons “also trivialize the memories of both victims and survivors,” the AJC added.
The AJC called on the Jewish Democratic Council to “immediately” remove the ad.
In a separate statement, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) denounced the ad as a “slander” on American voters.
“Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are fair game for loud and sustained criticism on their policies, language, and style,” the SWC said. “But invoking Nazi imagery not only slanders the victims of the Nazis, the candidate, but the tens of millions of Americans who support him.”