Rabbi Spero: Comparing Border Detention to ‘Nazi Holocaust’ is Offensive to Holocaust Survivors

By Jonathan Mizrahi | June 21, 2018 | 2:08pm EDT
Rabbi Aryeh Spero.

(CNSNews.com) — Some critics of the Trump administration’s immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border compared the situation there to the fears faced by Jews in Nazi concentration camps, a claim that Rabbi Aryeh Spero said is “abhorrent” and insulting to real Holocaust survivors.

On June 16, former CIA Director Michael Hayden tweeted a picture of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and wrote, “Other governments have separated mothers and children.” The clear implication is that Trump’s border policy, which leads to some family separation under the law, is the same thing as the separation of families at the Nazi concentration camp.

Rabbi Spero, who heads the Caucus for America, told CNSNews.com, “Michael Hayden's tweet comparing the temporary separation of a group of children from parents on our southern border to the Nazi Holocaust is an abhorrent comparison. It is knowingly wrong; it minimizes the enormity of the Holocaust and unfairly maligns our country.”

“The Nazis separated families as part of a first phase of forced labor and murder of Jews, an entire race,” said Rabbi Spero.  “We, in contrast, are taking care of these children ---perhaps better than they're normally taken care of --- during the limited days of necessary investigation.”

“No animus is intended on our part or on the part of President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, or the Department of Homeland Security,” said Spero.  “Mr. Hayden's offense was not simply against Holocaust survivors and those murdered but America itself.”

“It is unethical to make accusations that are lies and purposely degrading,” said the rabbi.  “One wonders how a man with such lack of judgment, clarity and common sense was head of the NSA and CIA? Just another Deep Stater (a ‘Deeper’) who places politics above truth.”

On June 19, Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the liberal Anti-Defamation League, said “the separation of children from their parents as my colleagues has said is immoral, it’s wrong. Unfortunately, it is all too familiar.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, president of the Anti-Defamation League. (YouTube)

He continued, “As a Jewish American, I a horrified by the echoes of this policy, with our own people’s history. Promising a bath or a shower as a ruse to separate families.”

On June 20, Jennifer Addison, who is the co-executive director for the Center for Popular Democracy, stated, “We cannot tell the world we are a beacon of democracy and freedom and then at home separate children under conditions that seem like the holocaust.”

Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) also spoke on the issue Wednesday during a press conference for his new bill, the Keep Families Together Act, stating, “I want to remind people when the attorney general cites that biblical passage, that you should always obey the government, besides that passage being used to support slavery, support Nazism, and other things.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)  (YouTube)

In response to those comments, President of the Middle East Forum and historian Daniel Pipes said, “Any person or policy the Left disapproves of is in danger of being Fascist or Nazi. Such name-calling offers a mindless way to denigrate without having to bother making an argument.”

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday afternoon ending the separation of children from their parents at the border, leaving action to the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump has said that although this is a step in the right direction, he still wants the Democrats to step forward and work with Republicans to pass an immigration bill.

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