Jewish Leaders Outraged By Protesters’ Holocaust Costumes
By SONJA DECHIAN | Published: JANUARY 3, 2012
Mainstream Israeli leaders have denounced ultra-Orthodox Jewish demonstrators who dressed children as holocaust victims to protest the alleged persecution of their community of devout Jews seeking gender segregation. The demonstrators took to the streets of Jerusalem on Saturday night, with some young men and children dressed in striped concentration camp uniforms. They handed out yellow stars inscribed with ‘Jude,’ the German word for Jew, which
some pinned to their clothing.
A spokesperson for the protesters said ‘incitement’ against the ultra-Orthodox community would not be tolerated. ‘We feel what is being done to us here is a spiritual Holocaust,’ he said.
Avner Shalev, chairman ofYad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the six million Jews killed by the Nazis, said the protesters’ use of Holocaust imagery was a ‘profound insult’ to survivors.
A statement from Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, ‘Prisoner uniforms and yellow patches with the word ‘Jew’ written on them in German are shocking and appalling … The use of yellow patches and small children raising their hands in surrender crosses a red line which the ultra-Orthodox leadership, who are largely responsible people, must not accept.’
This piece in the Jerusalem Post traces the misuse of Nazi imagery in recent political discourse: ‘All of these blatantly inappropriate Nazi and Holocaust analogies, whether made in Israel, the United States or anywhere else, undermine our ability to bring the moral authority of Holocaust memory to bear when it really matters.’