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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)

Bad enough that the Holocaust happened. Worse that some actually make a living propagating the falsehood that "their" people suffered any more than the gypsies, gays and dark-skinned folks persecuted en masse right alongside them.

If we're splitting hairs here, this "nation of immigrants" saying is also untrue as there were people here for thousands of years before that lost and greed-lusting banker landed in the Carribean.

@joesquid - last time I checked the US economy relies on California, your boycott talk is hilarious.

No one is comparing the Shoa with this action, but the spirit of the law is discrimination, and we the Latinos in Arizona are being discriminated against, it is very analogous to the Nuremberg Race Laws.

Joe Squid, thanks for "desecrating" the English language. Are you "boycotting" (two ts) our spelling standards?

It is interesting to me all the hoopla from the Jewish quarter when referencing Nazi Germany. It appears that they seem to think only Jews were sent to work camps and were targeted for genocide. I have also seen comments about the people who the Nazi's victimized were "citizens". Citizens of where? Citizens of Germany? Thier effort encompassed all of Europe and how would one be able to determine if a Jew in France, Austria, Holland, etc were citizen of that country? Who is a citizen during a time of occupation? There were so many groups that the Nazi's targeted - among them the Roma or Gypsies of Europe. There was a concentrated effort on the part of Hitler's Nazi to exterminate the Gypsies as well - but we don't really hear about that. I wonder if the Gypsies are o.k. if we use Nazi Germany to make a comparison?? How about the Polish victims that were exterminated?? I wonder if it is o.k. if someone chooses to reference Nazi Germany?? Or, do the Jewish people have final say on when it is appropriate to reference Nazi Germany??

By the way - Hitler LOVED what the United States had done to the American Indian and hoped to achieve similar success with thier Jewish *problem* in his own country. Thank God they were not as succesful as the US was in decimating the indigenous population in the US. There have been MANY genocides that have happened since what occured in Nazi Germany - Guatemala comes to mind...I do not remember these esteemed Rabbis protesting as vehemently against what was going on then...

BUT - call to memory Nazi Germany...apparently you must get thier stamp of approval first!

L.A. city council is part of the problem, not part of the solution!

@ enough is enough

What you and most people who support the AZ law don't seem to realize is that its not the illegals most people are worried about in opposing this law, its the LEGAL Hispanics who are going to suffer under this law. You can't be a "second-class" citizen unless you are already that, a citizen. It "stigmatizes" them because if they're legal they still will be questioned and made to show papers. Everyone who supports this law is hung up on people opposing it thinking that they're for illegal immigration. In reality they're against racial profiling of innocent people. Say they decided that the illegal immigration of Russian or some other people of white complexion needed to be stopped. How would all the white people react to being forced to show their papers just because they looked a certain way. If your answer is you'd support that. Then you support living in a police state which is how the hispanics in AZ have to live.

The Nazi's persecuted anyone not deemed Arian and not just the Jews. The point of the Nazis were that if you weren't Arian, you couldn't live in Germany and should be treated like a 2nd class citizen. Arizona is doing the same thing, because the law is clearly aimed and will abuse only one group. An Irish immigrant who speaks English but is here illegally, will NEVER be asked for their papers. An Australia immigrant, same thing. So how is this not racist, not targeting only one group...when we all know that it is? Hate disguised as a law is truly shameful, when we all know what people say behind closed doors, which is get the Latinos out, BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT.

Hate, just like in Nazi Germany, likes to legalize itself so that it hides behind the walls of Justice.

Why are Americans boycotting Americans? Lets look at the root problem, Mexico. It's time to cut Federal Aid to Mexico, it's time to boycott Mexico!

XENOPHOBIA always materializes itself under tough economic times, as nationals of any country hate to blame themselves for their poor choices. So the immigrants always get the brunt of it, as they are the least able to defend themselves, look and sound different and therefore, its their fault. Its the oldest scapegoat of history. The US and its citizens should be ashamed for falling into this oh so convenient trap.

yeah!!!! an niether is what is happening in Palastine

L A comparing Arizona to Nazi Germany is wrong. It is wrong to punish Arizona businesses, when all Arizona is doing is trying to protect its own citizens. We can't depend on the Federal government for protection of our border states. I agree ILLEGAL IS NOT A RACE IT IS A CRIME.


Whats wrong with those of you who oppose strict immigration control. The law is the law and must be enforced. We as a society have become to lazy regarding enforcement of these laws. What you do not realize is that we are continually allowing uneducated people into this country to live off the system without giving back, having 3 or 4 and even 5 kids when they have no job. They vote people into office like the mayor of Los Angeles who has done more harm to L.A. than good and has done nothing for the people that voted him into office. I take my hat off to the people of Arizona for taking action. Every city in the country should follow suit. Our economy is in the state its in partly due to the immigration crisis. I not only speak of the Hispanic crisis, but we also have issues regarding all the Persians and Middle Easterners who are pouring in here as well. Apparently, its legal to come to this country pregnant in order to have your child here and receive instant citizenship for your family. There are organizations in our country who for a fee, will plan your trip to America in order to have your child and get citizenship. They plan for a place to stay, hospitalization etc. This is outrageous as far as I'm concerned. We are losing control of our country to foreigners and we are rapidly feeling the negative results. Wake up America and take action and demand your country back!

" When it was my turn, their was no one left to stand up for me "

Good for them! This comment was totally wrong and why isn't the LA Times printing which one of the City Councilmembers said it?

And yes - as some pointed out earlier, the Jews (and other impacted by the Holocaust)by the Nazis were legal citizens of the countries that they were deported to the death camps from!

I don't understand how people think this law will only affect illegal immigrants. The point is that law enforcement (many of whom are against this law because of potential liability issues and expense) are supposed to judge who LOOKS LIKE they might be an illegal immigrant and get papers from them. And, no, a valid driver's license isn't enough. If you're a natural citizen, born in the US, but a law enforcement officer thinks you could be illegal, you'd better have your birth certificate or social security card with you. Now, I don't generally carry my birth certificate and would never carry my SS card because of vulnerability to identify theft. Of course, I'm white and no one is likely to accuse me of being an illegal Canadian, so I'm probably safe. There inlies the problem. This law is terribly un-American and seems to fly in the face of the 4th Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure (when the reason for a search is based solely on whether one officer thinks you look like you belong here). The intent of this law may have been to control illegal immigration. That is not a bad intent. But the effect could very well be the profiling and harassment of people who look like they might be Mexican. That is just really, really wrong.

I was just thinking it's about time for another race riot. Let's all do our part to get the Spanish speakers on board, first. Si se puede.

"the jews in nazi germany were legal citizens" - so writes one commentator, but there was the so-called Mexican Repatriation that took place during the Nazi-era in the USA. Thousands of U.S. citizens were deported to Mexico, often in nighttime raids. The only thing that was missing was a fascist armband. Interesting how unstable one's citizenship can be.

comparing arizonas law to nazi germany is wrong. the same man who has helped write the federal law also helped write the one for arizona.and the law states no profiling and they can only ask if there is a reason to. which means they cannot go up to anyone and ask.which means it can only be asked when a crime has been commited.and if you are caught at the border. arizonas law mirrors the federal law.people are just upset because with the feds not doing their job they could come here easier,now that arizona passed the same law they will be caught and sent back.and whats the problem showing proof we do all the time.

Why is it that the legal American public supports what Arizona is attempting to do (polls show 59% in favor of the Arizona law) yet our liberal politicians support the illegals? The irony is deafening!
The election is coming up. Need I say more?

This is confusing. There is something called a GREEN CARD that has been around longer than I have been alive. The LA city boycott is just uneducated in Law. I guess they forgot that a Green card is and always will be how foreigners are identified when pulled over or there place of business is raided. It just shows the importance of voting. We the voting public need to start voting these people out of office. It seems at this point arizona got it right.
And we need to spread the word. As anyone of you may have looked for a job. You will notice they want more spanish speaking people. I will be doing my best to Boycott LA.
And the Mayer is number one on my list. I trully hope that this boycott on arizona backfires on LA. And when the american public in california feels it. WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT.

The real problem in America is the politicians we have elected a bunch of idiots.

The second a person is in agreement with Arizona's policy, they are labled a racist. Why, this is the easiest way to steer the focus away from "illegal immigration" and into a subject of racism.

Who in their right mind can call this racial profiling? Are you aware that over 90% of the illegal immigrants in Arizona as well as California are from Mexico?

It's no wonder that the illegal immigrants are laughing at our laws and when we get into a position to enforce them, they protest in the street while carrying the flag of the country that they escaped from.

Make no mistake, the law in Arizona is doing nothing more then ENFORCING the law. In Europe, if you cross over a countries border illegally, you risk serious punishment and indefinate prison time. In parts of Asia, you risk being shot for crossing a border illegally. In almost all parts of the world outside the US, If you are approached by authorities without identification, green card, passport, etc you can be assured you will detained and deported.

Kudos to Arizona for enforcing the law.

This is just stupid let it go already. Why have borders if you cant defend them? Ok so if you have brown skin you might be detained by the police, but if you are a legal citizen you have nothing to worry about. Arizona is right and California needs to learn something from them. For all you people that agree with this article you need to go back to school and realize what Nazi Germany and Hitler were all about. Because if you think there similar then you wouldnt be sent back to Mexico you would be abused, starved, stripped of everything you own or would ever own and then put to death. So tell me how does Arizona have anything to do with the Nazi's you foolish radicals. Defend our borders or knock them down.

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