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Leah Richman

Nazi Name-Calling

LGBTQ Pride Jewish star by Rabbi Leah Richman

Comparing views you don’t agree with as similar to those held by Nazis both belittles the Shoah (Holocaust) and is a non-starter for civil discourse. Name-calling in general ramps up negative rhetoric and detracts from the useful exchange of opinions in the marketplace of ideas. To give just a few examples:

November 15, 2022 – “A federal judge who just blocked student-loan forgiveness likened the relief to a law that gave Adolf Hitler absolute power.” https://www.businessinsider.com/texas-judge-blocked-student-loan-forgiveness-compares-relief-to-hitler-2022-11

Sept 3, 2022 – “Marjorie Taylor Greene compared Joe Biden to Hitler following his speech criticizing ‘MAGA forces.’” https://www.businessinsider.com/mtg-compared-joe-biden-to-hitler-israel-makes-rare-criticism-2022-9

August 22, 2022 – Minnesota gubernatorial candidate “Scott Jensen likens COVID-19 public health policies Kristallnacht, Naziism”-https://minnesotareformer.com/briefs/gop-candidate-scott-jensen-likens-covid-19-public-health-policies-to-kristallnacht-nazism/

And, here in Israel, Noam Party head Avi Maoz was made a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, in charge of strengthening Israel’s Jewish identity:

November 27, 2022 – “A 2019 campaign video compares Reform Jews, left-wing activists, and gay rights advocates to Nazis and Palestinian suicide bombers…” https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-puts-extremist-homophobic-politician-in-charge-of-israels-jewish-identity/

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and in a democracy, they are also entitled to voice that opinion. But Nazis and Nazi Germany cannot appropriately be compared to Joe Biden, his debt relief policies, COVID-19 safety measures, or gay rights activists. These types of comparisons shut down meaningful conversation and increase polarization in an already divided world.

We need to start listening to one another with open minds, and we need to start speaking to one another with less drama. Most controversial topics deserve a more thoughtful approach.

I’m sharing this Jewish/ LGBTQ design I created some time ago in response to the appointment of Avi Moaz to serve as a governmental authority on national-Jewish identity. In a world where there is so much hate, I pray that we can learn to live and let live, and remember that love is love.

If you’d like to shop this design and others from my shop, view it here https://www.etsy.com/listing/1017077286/.

About the Author
Leah Richman is a rabbi and ketubah designer living with her husband in Hashmonaim, Israel, and wintering in Boca Raton, Florida. She has worked in congregations and Jewish Federations, and currently designs Jewish art at etsy.com/shop/ketubahsandmore, designs files for crafters at etsy.com/shop/nightowllane, blogs, and is available for personal spiritual direction.
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