People around the world are mournfully commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established in 2005 by the United Nations and first celebrated in 2006. The day was established to remember the Holocaust – and to ensure that its savagery is never demeaned or forgotten.
The passage of time, and the consequent diminishing number of Holocaust survivors, has slowly dimmed the world’s memory of the horrors of the concentration camps, but the real cheapening of those memories comes, says a coalition of 400 rabbis, from people like Glenn Beck.
Democrats and progressives have criticized Fox News for its hosts’ use of terms like “Nazi” and “Hitler” to describe President Obama and his allies. They criticize Beck, arguing that their rhetoric demonizes opponents and leads to a dangerous political atmosphere.
The rabbis and their allies, however, fear that calling people like Barack Obama a “Nazi” downplays the evils of Hitler and the slaughter of millions.
The group of rabbis took their grievances to news outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which also owns Fox News. A letter to Murdoch, in the form of a full-page advertisement, was published in The Wall Street Journal, the NY Post and other publications, as well as the Jewish Forward, which is not owned by Murdoch.
“We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media,” reads the letter, signed by dozens of rabbis, from Reform, Conservative, Reconstruction and Orthodox synagogues. “But that is not what we have seen at Fox News. It is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year-old Jew hiding with a Christian family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps. It is not appropriate to call executives of another news agency ‘Nazis.'”
Beck said of George Soros, 14-year-old boy referred to in the letter, ” a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.” Beck was referring to Soros’s desperate attempts to pass himself off as a non-Jew to avoid the concentration camps.
Roger Ailes said of National Public Radio’s executives that they “are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left-wing of Nazism.”
When criticized for these and “literally hundreds” of other quotes, Ailes invoked “left-wing rabbis who basically don’t think that anyone can use the word ‘Holocaust’ on the air.”
Abe Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a Nov. 11 Jewish Week article, “”For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say, there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, that’s horrific. It’s totally off limits and over the top.”
The letter signed by the 400 rabbis and issued under the auspices of Jewish Funds for Justice, comes on the heels of a Jan. 10 demonstration by that organization and others outside of Fox News headquarters. There, organizers attempted to deliver a petition signed by 10,000 American Jews, calling for Murdoch to remove Beck from the air.
“We respectfully request,” the open letter concludes, “that Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and that Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis’ sensitivity to how the Holocaust is used on the air.”