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Comparing Arizona to Nazi Germany is wrong, Jewish group tells L.A. politicians

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/images/2008/09/26/marvinhier.jpgIs Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration really comparable to Nazi Germany?

The comparison was made by some on the L.A. City Council on Wednesday as the body approved a boycott against Arizona. But one leading Jewish group says its "irresponsible" to liken the Arizona law to Nazi tactics.

“The Wiesenthal Center along with many other Americans expressed our opposition to the language of the Arizona immigration bill but it is inappropriate and irresponsible to link the bill to the actions of Nazi Germany,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center, said in a statement. “In a democracy, there is no need to demonize opponents, even when they are mistaken, to those whose actions led to history's most notorious crime."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2009/01/28/mahony.jpgOn Wednesday, council members compared Arizona’s action to Nazi Germany and the beginning of the Holocaust, as well as to the internment and deportation of Japanese Americans during World War II. A new Arizona law, which will take effect July 23, will require police to determine whether people they stop are in the country illegally, which critics say will lead to racial profiling.

In April, Cardinal Roger Mahony also compared Arizona's law to Nazism. "American people are fair-minded and respectful. I can't imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation," Mahony wrote on his blog. 

A Wiesenthal Center official did agree with Mahony that the Arizona law is wrong. “This isn’t about immigration, it’s about discrimination,” Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the center, said in a statement. “We should not forget that we’re a nation of immigrants. This law makes no sense -- it guarantees and stigmatizes people of color as second-class citizens and exposes them to intimidation and the use of racial profiling as a weapon of bias."

-- Shelby Grad

Photos: Marvin Hier, Roger Mahony. L.A. Times files.

Comments () | Archives (256)

I am happy with the new law in Arizona. It was much needed for them. #1 state in kidnapping and #2 in the world. Illegal immigration is horrible. Immagration needs to be done the right way. I MYSELF AM AN IMMIGRANT.......

LA City Council is a bunch of idiots, the law is good, necessary and justified. When are you going to do something besides take money from those that earn it and give it to those that will not earn it? We all should boycott LA and any other group that is against Arizona. I will be spending my vacations in Arizona, not in CA.

How dare the American people want to uphold the laws that are already on the books and have been for some 70 years. How insane is that? Keep siding with the illegal immigrants and keep ignoring the will of the American people Obama. That's what a good President should do.

I strongly disagree with the LA city council boycotting Arizona,It will only do harm instead of a solution for the people of both States and to the rest of America.Think something that will educate us rather than separate us.

Loooks like the people from L.A. are over reacting about California turning into a Nazi State. Truth is that Illegals have broken the law, the Jews didn't in Natzi Germany. L.A is miss- informing people. You are wallowing in your lies. This is what was called "heard Poisoning". I'll be you can't sneak in to Israel by jumping the fence without Israels Immigtation prosecuting you. I know, Iv'e there.

Since when did illegal become a race?

Arizona is dealing with it the best way possible, how long can middle class keep supporting the corporations that exploit illegal immigrants without fighting back. If you want to support illegal immigrants then pleas set up a private fund, and from that pay for their school, and other public services, or tax the corporations that use them to the max, but to have the middle class foot the bill every single time is criminal, and don’t tell me that corporations pay a lot more tax, they also get a lot more tax breaks. If the illegal’s want to fight for their rights why don’t they do it in their home countries I am sure it will be much better to fight at home in place of USA.

When does it all stop? Why do people in Calif protest AZ law. Oh that's because CA is half illegal's. People that break the law in this country are rewarded. How ever in other countrys they go to jail. All you sorry asses that support illegal's in this country need to go with them back to the country they came from. You see when some one say's illegal the Mexican's get there ass in an uproar. But we have other illegal's in this country other than Mexican's. All illegal's are breaking down the government. And it's city, state and federal politican's that are allowing it. Any one that support's illegal's in this country need to be voted out of office tried for treason and fined. The American people need to stand UNITED on this matter and tell Washington DC no more and we will not take it any longer.

This comment by Rabbi Cooper is very disappointing to me as a Jew.

BUT, as dissapointing as the comment is, Shelby Grands' headline, distorts the real disdain felt for the Arizona law by all Jews, including Rabbi Cooper, by making it look like this Jewish group supports the law, WHICH IT CLEARLY DOES NOT!! Headlines are what most people actually get their opinions from Shelby!!

Unfortunately the Rabbi forgets how easily logical comments can be distorted, and frankly the comment is simply unneccesary. We Jews have enough trouble without continually sticking our feet in our mouths. Rabbi Cooper, we don't own the Nazi horror, they treated the whole world to it.

Finally, my fellow Jews, it would have been helpful had German citizens spoke out as did the L.A. City Council did this week, in the early 1930s, and well before the concentration camps.

"...will require police to determine whether people they stop are in the country illegally, which critics say will lead to racial profiling."

Police MAY check immigration status. They are NOT "required" to.

You don't have to be Jewish to realize that is wrong. This comparison to Nazi Germany has been popping up recently and I'm surprised that it hasn't received a backlash. Unless, of course, Nazi Germany had a problem of illegal immigration and the white supremacy all started when law enforcement felt constrained when they couldn't check suspected illegals' paperwork?

I don't know, maybe since we have a Cardinal involved we should compare it to the inquisition? Wouldn't that analogy be better suited?

As a Californian, this is an embarrassment. To have governmental bodies boycott a state for making laws that it feels are just, is overstepping the bounds of their position. This makes California look more and more like the busybody state that it is. We have no business interfering in the legislative process of another state; especially as a mere city. Don't we have more dire business to attend to? How;s that budget coming? I hear Arizona's budget is doing quite well...

I agree completetly. While the Arizona position is clearly racist, xenophobic (omniphobic? now that it's a crime to teach people about their heritage) and smacks of a 'monsters under the bed' mentality, equating it with the Third Reich is not even close to accurate. Rhetoric always spirals out of control during such debates. Focus on the issues and the facts and allow rational discourse to take place; then and only then can a solution to this mess be discussed.

Oh my god we are not killing them we are just sending illegals back to mexico we need to send all illegals back to there own country and make them come here the right way people are making this worst then is if people want to keep illegals here let them pay for there welfare and med. because i cant afford it i cant get help and im a AMERICAN I will still go to ARIZONA i think they are Right GO ARIZONA

Did the Jews in pre WWII break the law to get into Germany? Were they involved in human and drug smuggling? Did they turn one of the German cities into the kidnap capital of the world? Were they murdering innocent Germans? Of course not! The Arizona law is a response by the citizens of Arizona to bring some civility and safety back into their lives. It follows Federal law abd has built in checks and balances. The only people objecting are the law breakers, those who do not have to live under those situations themselves and the Catholic pedophiles.

so the nazis didnt require jews to carry papers?

Hello? The Jews killed in Nazi Germany were GERMAN CITIZENS. The illegal immigrants that Arizona is trying send home are mostly MEXICAN CITIZENS. The Nazis carried out STATE-SPONSORED GENOCIDE. The Arizona governor just wants to send the illegals back across the border. See any differences here?


If you want to come to this country and work hard, asimilate to America's way of life and values, and pay taxes, great. You won't find many who will not welcome you. All we ask is to follow the proper procedures and policies in place to come here legally. THATS what this is about. We have a huge problem with illegals who DO NOT contribute to the pot, take advantage of the system, human and drug smuggling and cause problems. Not all of them are like this, but a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch. If they would have policed themselves, they would not be in this situation most likely. I support this and hope California adopts similar legislature since incase nobody has noticed, LA County is almost bankrupt, along with the state.

What a bunch of political brown noser's, Cardinal Mahoney, the L.A. city council and everyone who uses this issue to appear as benefactors to the nations 12 million identity thieves, iilegal aliens. does anybody really believe that so-called "liberalized" countries like France or Amsterdam have laws any less effective?? Racial profiling? More accurately, criminal pursuit.

I say we boycott Los Angeles.

I applaud Arizona. I'm an American of Mexican descent born and raised in L.A. I can recall when my family was the only Mexican family on our little street near Van De Kamp's and I really miss those days of cleanliness and relative peace and quiet.

Mahony is a pathetic hypocrite as are the members of the City Council. This Arizona legislation is none of their business and it will cut L.A.'s throat; not Arizona's. Mahony knows nothing about Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. He, more than the ridiculous City Council, has no business pointing fingers.

I'm planning a vacation to Sedona, Az. to show my support for Arizona and spend my money there.

Oh yeah, I forgot Jewish people are the ONLY ONES who suffered on this planet...

It's very obvious that the LA City Council doesn't understand history.....they are a bunch of overpaid fools......

This is so blown out of proportion. I have live in Arizona for a while and the problems they have there are very real with the border. Gangs, murder, drugs, etc. are flooding Southern Arizona. It is not so much the folks coming over the border for a new life; it is the drugs and Mexican gangs that are out of control.

Arizona legislature may have been a bit extreme but it is something they can control and give more power back to police to help clean up the mess. If you do not live there, you really do not get the problem. All AZ wants to do is push this off to CA and the TX boarder. No wonder CA is boycotting; the border problem just shifted to them.

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