The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today announced that it had launched a “pledge campaign” to demand that federal candidates condemn and refrain from “abusive Holocaust rhetoric and anti-Semitic language.” NJDC officials explained that the campaign was beginning with all candidates for the upcoming Illinois U.S. Senate election, but it would expand around the country in the coming weeks.
“So far, the leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Illinois have committed to condemn and repudiate abusive Holocaust comparisons and anti-Semitic remarks made by anyone claiming to support their candidacy or attending any campaign events,” noted NJDC Political Director Linda Berg. “Where are Mark Kirk and the other Republican candidates on this important issue, and why won’t they pledge to take a stand against this profoundly divisive rhetoric?”
“In the current toxic political environment, an increasing number of voices have employed inappropriate Holocaust and outright anti-Semitic rhetoric to score political points,” explained NJDC CEO Ira N. Forman. “At an official House Republican press conference before ‘Tea Party’ activists in November, for example, political rhetoric opposing health insurance reform invoked disgusting Holocaust imagery and outright anti-Semitism. Top political leaders including House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) stood before a crowd that held a banner displaying a stack of dead bodies at Dachau, titled ‘National Socialist Health Care Plan, Dachau, Germany - 1945.’ Yet another sign suggested that ‘Obama takes his orders from the Rothchilds’ [sic].
“This is just one of many vile examples that rabbinic movements and other national organizations have taken a stand against,” added Forman. “This is not a partisan issue and such speech is simply not acceptable to the Jewish community. Republican and Democratic candidates alike must disavow such rhetoric. Starting in Illinois and expanding around the country, NJDC will call upon candidates for federal office in 2010 to pledge to renounce anti-Semitic and abusive Holocaust language by any supporter.”
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