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August 28, 2009

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 28, 2009 II I By Eric Fingerhut WASHINGTON 0TA)~Rush 'sremar corr aring Democrats to Nazis drew swift condemnation from many comers of the Jewish commu- nity-and also sparked a fight between Jewish Democrats and Republicans over which side isn't doing enough to stop the use of such analogies. Several non-partisan Jewish groups, including the Anti-Def- amation League, the American Jewish Congress and the Simon Wiesenthal Centel:, slammed Limbaugh's comments. Some Democrats also pointed a finger at the only Jewish Republican in Congress, HouseMinorityWhip Eric Cantor bfVirginia, insisting that he condemn Limbaugh's remarks. In response, some Jewish GOPers criticized Limbaugh but attempted to turn the tables, notingthatwhile Limbaughwas just a talk show host, a Demo- cratic lawmaker had generally avoided criticism over his use of a Nazi-related comparison. The controversy underscores the degree to which Jewish organizations continue to lose ground in their fight to keep partisans on all sides from demonizing their, political op- ponents as Nazis. Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Rush Limbaugh on his ra- dio show said the similarities between the Obama health care logo and the Nazi logo were "overwhelming." The latest flap erupted two weeks ago with Limbaugh's remarks on his nationally syndi ted radio show. He was upsetthatHouse SpeakerNancy Pelosi had noted that some of those protesting the Obama health care plan at town meet- ings across the country had carried signs bearing swastikas. Limbaugh responded that the similarities between the Obama health care logo and the Nazi logo were "overwhelming," then launched into a lengthy comparison of "the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany." 'Well, the Nazis were against big business;' Limbaugh. said. "They hated big business and, of course, we all know that they were opposed to Jewish capitalism. They were insanely, irrationally against pollution. They were for two years of mandatory voluntary service to Germany. They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working, one of which was the autobahn." Jewish groups criticized the. remarks, saying they not only were insensitive to Holocaust victims but also undermined American democracy. The comments "are grossly offensive and intolerable," the AJCongress said in its state- ment. "They reflect a nasty and hyperbolic tendency in our political culture, one which makes reasoned discourse im- poss le, confuses disagreement with evil, and which makes it impossible to distinguish evil from ordinary politics. It is not acceptable from either the right or the left, both of which have in recent memory used such analyses." The ADL and Simon Wiesen- thai Center hammered home There's no place Have you ever wondered how the Wizard of Oz seemed to know everything'? Well, the secret's out and it's USA:gov. You can find everyttling from student loans to government auctions and government benefits to, well, almost anything. So go to the official source of federal and state government information, It can make you as all-knowing as the Wizard of Oz, 1 * 1 {800} FED-INFO A public service message from the U.S. General Services Administration, similar messages, though the course, period. It is incumbent radio host;" Brooks said. "To try latterstoppedshortofcriticizing uponCantorandtheRepublican to hold him to the same level Limbaughdlrectly by name. Party to condemn Limbaugh of accountability" as an elected Democratsseemedalmostas and these utterly contemptible officiallike Baird"is ludicrous." interestedinshiningaspotlight tactics." Fred Zeidman, a top Jewish on Cantor as on Limbaugh, Several prominent Republi- Republican activist and chair- demanding that the Virginia canJewsdidslamtheLimbaugh manofthecouncilthatoversees Republican denounce the corn- analogy, but also stressed that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial ments.Theynotedthatjustdays Limbaughwasaradiotalkshow. Museum, said that "Rush is in earlier, Cantor had insisted that hostandnotanofficeholder.For tl e entertainment business, Limbaugh had a place in the example, the executive direc- and so much of what he does" GOP when he said, "My sense is tor of the Republican Jewish is meant to be "provocative." that we need the Sarah Palins, Coalition, Matt Brooks, called Still, Zeidman added, "any DickCheneys, RushLimbaughs, Limbaugh's comments"outra- comparison to Nazism is of- the Colin Powells. We need all geous" and "not appropriate,"" fensive to the survivors and the of them." butsaidmoreattentionandcon- victims, and I wish he wouldn't Cantor, who was traveling demnationshouldbedirectedat do it." in Israel two weeks ago, had a Nazi-related comment made Harris agreed that Baird's not commented by presstime, by a Democratic lawmaker, U.S. language was wrong, but as- Multip% JTA requests to his Rep.BrianBairdofWashington. serted that such comparisons office seeking comment were Thecongressmansaidhe'dbe comemoreoftenfromtheright. not returned, holding"telephone town halls .... We think -all Holocaust The National Jewish Demo- instead of in-person meetings comparisons used in p olitics cratic Council took aim at with constituents because he are wrong and unfortunate Cantor. feared "an ambush" on both sides of the aisle," the In a statement, President "Whatwe'reseeingrightnow NJDC leader said. "We've been David Harris said Cantor "is is close to brown-shirt tactics," careful to say over the years wrong; we do not need anyone Baird reportedly said. "I mean that nobody should be engag- who abuses the memory of the that very seriously:' ing in Hitler comparisons, Nazi Holocaust in our political dis- "Rush Limbaugh is a .talk comparisons." By Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf Canadian Jewish News Allegations by a U.S.-based advocacy group that Oxfam International supports its boycottofthe Israeli cosmetics company Ahava are untrue, says the head of the anti-pov- erty group's Canadian branch. Earlier this month, Oxfam international denied a report that it had cut ties with one of its Hollywood ambassadors because she endorses Ahava, an Israeli firm that operates in the West Bank. Ahava manufactures its' products--derived from min- erals in the Dead Sea--in Mitzpe Shalem, a kibbutz near the famed inland body of water. Reached by e-mail lastweek, Oxfam Canada's executive director, Robert Fox, told The CJN that he was unaware of any Oxfam policy to boycott Israeli products. ' )xfam has expressed no view on trade with Israel, just as we have expressed no view on trade from Canada or Brazil or Cameroon, nor to the best of my knowledge has Oxfam ever issued a statement on trade with'Ahava Cosmetics, reached for comment by The thoughweareopposedtotrade CJN's deadline. from the occupied Palestinian An Aug. 6 story in The New territories," he wrote.York Post reported that actress Asked about statements KristinDavis, one of the stars by the U.S.-based, grassroots of popular film and TV show advocacy group CodePink, "Sex and the City," was no which supports an all-out longer working as an Oxfam boycottofAhavacalled"Sto- spokesperson because she len Beauty" and claims that doesadsandisaspokesperson Oxfam supports the boycott, for Ahava cosmetics. Fox responded: "With re- Oxfam spokesperson Matt spect to CodePink, I have no Grainger said, however, that knowledge of their actions Davis and Oxfam have not cut beyond that which I read in ties, but are figuring out how the blogosphere and as such to handle an issue that could cannot comment." become a "distraction" from CodePink describes itself Oxfam's work. The group, he as "a women-initiated grass- said: has advocated against roots peace and social justice settlements in the past. movement." Davis was Ahava's first in- It accuses Ahava of steal- ternational celebrity spokes- ing "Pa|estinian natural person, signing with the resources in. the occupied company in 2007. territory of the Palestinian Grainger added that con- West Bank"and producingtroversial Presidential Medal its products "in the illegal of Freedom recipient Mary settlementofMitzpe Shalem? Robinson, the honorarypresi- It invokes Oxfam's name in dentofOxfamwho some Israel much of its press material for backers say has been an unfair its Stolen Beauty campaign, criticofIsrael, had nothing to implyingthattheinternation- do with the deliberations on al charity supports CodePink. the issue of Ahava and Davis. Representatives for Ahava JTA contributed to this and CodePink could not be report. " ....... ......... I :PAVILION- : Maitland, FL32751 : 407:645..3990 Various Jewish services are q[] at Savannah Court . ~ ALF License N0. 8447 SNF 1635096 thanks to our Frk'nds at The Jewish Pavi~on. ~ ~'w,