Throughout the years, I’ve condemned the extensive use of Nazi comparisons in our public discourse.
From across the political spectrum, politicians and pundits have invoked Hitler, the Nazis, or the Holocaust for rhetorical purposes, a phenomenon that historians like me have criticized.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was in error when she referred to US border facilities as “concentration camps,” and Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was also wrong to label advocates of Covid vaccines as “medical brown shirts”, which references Nazi storm-trooper uniforms. Abortion is not akin to the Holocaust.
The problem with such comparisons is that they distort the facts, downplaying Nazi atrocities while exaggerating the actions of the current targets.
However, when a comparison is valid, and a contemporary villain does something that mirrors Nazi behavior, it must be acknowledged.
The Hamas pogrom in southern Israel on October 7th changed the game, including our public discourse.
The attack by Hamas on Israel wasn’t identical to the Nazi Holocaust, but it had undeniable points of similarity.
The mentality of the killers is one such similarity. Over 1 million of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were shot at close range, and the same happened to Jews in kibbutzim across southern Israel.
The “eliminationist” antisemitic ideology prevalent in Nazi Germany can also be found in the media and schools run by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in our time.