Tisha B’Av — the ninth of Av — is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. Traditionally, observant Jews fast and deprive themselves while they pray and remember various major catastrophes in Jewish history. Over time, other calamities have been mourned, including the Nazi Party’s formal approval of “The Final Solution” on Av 9, AM 5701, and the start of the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka one year later. For many, Tisha B’Av is a time of mourning for the Holocaust as a whole.
On Tisha B’Av of all days, thousands of leftist American Jews staged protests across the country against ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
For some time, the Holocaust has been used as a comparative metric in order to condemn the implementation of existing immigration laws. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) famously likened detention facilities to concentration camps and referenced the phrase “Never Again” — synonymous with Holocaust remembrance. The same phrase adorned T-shirts and signs at the protests on Sunday, with the hashtag #JewsAgainstICE going viral.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s weaponization of Jewish tragedy is an example of the uninformed and offensive rhetoric that we have come to expect from the New York congresswoman. However, when the incomparable catastrophe that was the Holocaust is weaponized by leftist Jews in a bid to peddle Democratic talking points, we have moved beyond casual political ignorance and into the realm of deliberate historical destruction.
To compare the Holocaust, or even the preliminary events of the Holocaust, to the treatment of illegal immigrants in the United States is an act of supreme benightedness. The Holocaust began with the systematic dehumanization of Jews through broad and increasingly aggressive government policies. Synagogues were burnt, Jewish businesses looted, and Jews publicly beaten. Then came the summary executions, with Jews murdered like animals in the streets. Jewish citizens were forced to leave their homes and abandon their property. They were crowded into ghettos, where starvation and disease ran rampant.
In their ultimate desire for murderous efficiency, the Nazis then rounded Jews into death camps. Some Jews were worked to death as slave laborers. Those who didn’t serve an immediate economic purpose had their heads shaved, were stripped of their clothes, and were crowded into air-tight rooms. After poison gas was released, their final minutes were spent in agony, surrounded by petrifying darkness. After every person had perished, their bodies were collected. Any remaining valuable items (such as gold teeth) were removed before the bodies were burned to ash.
This is the raw truth of the Holocaust, the darkest moment in our people’s history.
It is more than reasonable to criticize the Trump administration’s immigration policies, abhor the alleged mistreatment of children, or present differences of opinion regarding border security. However, for anyone to compare any element of American immigration policy to that of the Holocaust is as despicable as it is ignorant. For leftist American Jews, it is an act of historical betrayal.
With each new viral hashtag, we are reminded of the increasingly ideological self-ghettoization of some secular American Jews who are willing to actively rewrite our history in a bid to support a leftist narrative. Jewish groups who parroted #IStandWithIlhan ignored the fact that Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric was taken straight from Joseph Goebbels’ playbook. Those who applaud #JewsForPalestine reject the fact that so-called “Palestine” is led by organizations who hope to emulate Nazi Germany in their attempt to destroy the Jewish people. Ultimately, #JewsAgainstICE is indicative of those who are willing to allow their own political party to build irrelevant ideological arguments on the graves of 6,000,000 murdered Jews.
With every absurd tweet, every bastardization of the phrase “Never Again,” and every false comparison of ICE to the Nazis, the memory of the Jews who were slaughtered during the Holocaust grows ever fainter. If such abject ignorance is allowed to spread, the dangers of virulent anti-Semitism will be forgotten, and no number of viral hashtags will protect Jews from the inevitable result.