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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)

We are headed in the same direction as Nazi Germany, likening the U.S. to this is not anti-American it's stepping back and examining history so we are not doomed to repeat it. In Arizona as of July American citizens will be required to produce proof of citizenship simply because their skin is brown. Furthermore; Latin cultural study programs in public schools in Arizona have been banned thanks to a new bill signed into law yesterday. The next step will be burning of pro-Latin books and than the round up begins. We must look to Federal Laws for protection from those that seek to destroy the country our forefathers intended, a multicolored land of freedom free from persecution and discrimination. I am a white christian male of German decent, trust me it is not wrong to compare what is happening in Arizona today to Nazi Germany it is being observant.

this is nothing similar to Nazi Germany. This is about population control!!! Arizona is highly overpopulated due to illegal immigrants. we are doing whats best for our country. if they want to live here in the states, then they need to to it the legal way. if thousands of americans poured into their country they would be pissed to, especially if we refused to learn spanish.

I trip out on all the people that think there so big and bad making all these stupid comments. and dont use there full name.what are you scared of?

The radical far- leftist socialist LA City Council and the Cardinal are resorting to name calling, demagoguery, and outright historical distortions and lies, and branding Arizona law as Hitlerian/Stalinist tactics. Let me remind them that Roosevelt, who locked up the Japanese in WWII, is a hero to liberal progessive democrats. The use of demonizing opponents by branding them as Nazi's or racist is a standard communist technique, used to drown out and suppress reasoned arguments.

Resorting to denunciations, name calling, verbal thuggery, ect. are well-known communist, Nazi techniques, used by Lenin, Stalin,Hitler Mao,and rest of 20th century totalitarian thugs. Hahn is a complete socialist dunce catering to the latino mob base.

All the L.A politians are looking for is more votes. They need to get rid of that Mayor, and all his cronies and get some new blood in there. And that goes for Mahony too. Shame on all of them. I have some very good Mexican friends and they think Arizona is right and Calif. has no right to stick their not so clean noses in the problem such as this stupid idea to boycot Arizona. I hope for one that they get taken for boycoting and that goes for any other city or state.

It really bothers me that people cannot see the truth in what is going on. These people, be they hispanic or what, are here illegally. Lets suppose for a moment that you can home and found a family living in one of your bedrooms, no permissions or whatever. Would you tolerate this? This country was built on people from other country. But they came here, assimilated and are now what we call Americans. I am not racist just because I believe that people should follow the rules. My wife of 30 years is hispanic so my kids are half hispanic. Her parents came here the right way and thats all I am asking.

While we are on the subject, perhaps the good cardinal should put as much attention into rooting out the pedophile priests in his dioceses. I am catholic and I used to be proud of it. Today, still in touch with God but the church as a long way to go...

Any time the leftist liberals have a problem with a law or describing the conservative right (Tea Party groups) and meaningful legislation, such as Arizona's recent immigration law, they always resort to name calling, such as, Nazis, Racists, etc.

These folks, without knowledge of the content of the law, immediately swing
into name calling and an assumption that the law is targeting Latinos.

If you have nothing to hide, the law is not a problem. If you have committed an illegal act, such as, crossing into our country illegally from any of our borders, then you are a criminal and should know that you may be arrested and dealt with accordingly.

If you permit and harbor illegal aliens, then you are committing a crime and should also fear arrest.

Every time you are stopped by a law enforcement officer for a traffic violation you must present you driver's license and proof of insurance. Using this information, the officer is able to determine your immigration and outstanding criminal (if you have one) record. If you have broken the law, have outstanding warrants or in this country illegally, then you will and should be arrested and dealt with accordingly.

The Arizona law does not discriminate against Latinos, however is directed at all people, from any country, that are in the United States illegally.

It is very sad to see our Federal Government blatantly select which laws they chose to enforce.

If there was a massive influx of illegal immigrants from Poland, Germany, England, France, Norway, and/or Sweden -- I would still have the same stance...

Illegal is illegal. Go back and get in line with those who want to come here the right -- and L-E-G-A-L -- way.

I used to feel sorry for the victims of Europe...but if it amounts to what AZ is doing...

I guess that WWII propaganda machine got out of hand...

Whoever wins writes history...

Why can’t we just bill Mexico for the Problem. Don’t they care about there own citizens. There are more millionaires per capita in Mexico than California .Why does Mexico’s social program consist of a water bottle, a gray hound ticket and were to get free Medical at USA tax payers expense, and apply for USA citizen jobs thus replacing US Citizens. Remember unemployment, that’s reaching the Great depression era. We now have tent cities. Harvard University did a study on who had more advantages and guess who won. The Undocumented worker. Undocumented workers are not just picking lattice, they are working construction and opening businesses and don’t for get the lucrative drug trade. I had Neighbors (Land scalping Business) that lived in Mexico. They owned a house here in the US and Two ranches in Mexico. I hurd that all one has to do to buy a house in Mexico is cross over to US and replace an US citizen job witch forcing the US citizen on unemployment; and returning to Mexico to buy outright a house the same goes for a college education. Why Boycott Arizona Lets Boycott Mexico .When it comes to Capitalism and Undocumented worker, The US middleman gets it from both ends .I fill sympathy for That Brave Governor who is tiring to stand up for her constituents in Arizona. Like Don King said: "Only in America".

The only reason our mayor is against this is because he is mexican! Move his family down on the Arizona border and let all the illegal immagrants stay with his family! Its pretty bad that our own mayor wants to open the border,so the illegals can come and go as they please. When illegals commit a crime,all they have to do is go back to Mexico! How does this sound?Arizona has had enough of these illegals bringing in meth in 50lb barrels,literally thousands of barrels,lots of AK-47s,kidnappings on a daily basis,yes isnt this great for our country?

LA is totally bankrupt and the City Council is doing absolutely nothing to fix the city. But these low level city workers have time to lecture Arizona on how they should operate their state. What a pompous group of boobs. And the lowest boob on the ladder compares an AZ law to the most horrible German period in WW2. And the LA Times is too liberal to tell the truth and list his name. The LA Times has to go and the LA must declare bankruptcy. What a sad pair of old worn out hippies.

The Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, illegal aliens are sent back to their home countries. Seems like a very big difference to me.

While it is incorrect to equate Arizona's new law against ILLEGAL immigration with Nazi-ism, I think it is totally correct to equate LA City Council with stupidity!!!


NEMO, you are exactly the type of idiot that can get elected to the LA City Council....


Does word ILLEGAL mean anything anymore ???

The White Suprematist mentality that influences and informs a lot of the right wing discourse (and actions) in Arizona, can be compared to a Nazi mentality. The Southern Poverty Law Center has unequivocally documented that these hate groups actively recruiting and propagandize by scapegoating immigrants (legal or otherwise). I do agree with the good Rabbi, those folks have not resorted to using ovens (though many in their ranks deny will the existence of them).

L.A. city council. Your not part of the solution to America's problems. Your part of the problem.

As a Jew myself, I think this quote applies to the law in Arizona, and therefore makes the Nazi comparison quite appropriate:

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Oliver...Go back to school and re-learn history.

California has a major problem, it is being over run on a daily basis by Criminal Illigal Aliens and the politicans are whiping up the Hispanic polulation with lied and half truths. Arizona has enacted a law that mirrors the U.S. law and does not violate the U.S. Constution. The United States Goverement is the violater in this situation and refuses to enact or enforce its own laws. As a result states like California are being over run by Illigals. Because of the border between the U.S. and Mexico the majority are of Hispanic decent. We need to rid ourselves of Politicans who stir up racial divide, close our borders until such time as we regain control of our country and then look at an orderly imigration plan. We cannot do this until we stop the flow of uncontrolled traffic across our borders regardless of which coutnry they come from. Calif has a problem with politicians violating the law and ignoring it rather than being responsible and enforcing the law. The continue to pander to the lowerst common demonoator for political gain and corruption. You wonder why the state is broke? Look around and the reason is obvious.

Again, all the dim people on these boards refuse to see that this law violates the rights of LEGAL UNITED STATES CITIZENS!!

The typical knee jerk reaction from the right is pathetic and totally prevalent here. Why is it so hard to understand that this law is not about stopping illegal immigration? This law will violate the rights of our own people.

I am Native American and Latino. My family has been on this land longer than any white person. However, because of my skin color, a cop can make me prove that I am a US Citizen. THAT is wrong.

You want to stop illegal immigration? Strengthen the borders! Fine companies that hire them! Stupid laws like this do nothing but violate US Citizen's rights.

There is nothing wrong in the Arizona Immigration Law. First of all this issue has been blown out of proportion by media, where one can see new debates regarding this law, comments and comparison to Nazism or Communism.

I am from a third world - slum country somewhere in nowhere in Asia. I am 0n a temporary non-immigrant worker visa and have applied for Green card and have been waiting for long years just like many others. I pay federal/state tax, pay mortgage, sales tax, property tax, Medicare, Social Security just like any other american do.

USCIS immigration law clearly states that a copy stating your legality of your status in United States must be carried at all times and must be produced when asked by any law authorities to confirm your visa status. Failure to do so is considered one of the violation of your visa and subject to police confinement till your legality of status has not been verified. I carry the proof all the times with me. I have a copy in car, one in my office and original document in my house. If pulled over by a cop or interrogated by any USCIS official conducting spot check I will be more than happy to produce my driving license ID and proof of my status.
So Arizona essentially is trying to implement the same law but in a stricter essence.
If you are legal and pay tax whats wrong is showing the proofs. Where does racism come in picture? Why all this rucus? Can the critics of this law explain me why this law is racist, nazi..or relating to some genocide?

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