Jerusalem, January 1, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage and horror at participants in a demonstration in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim who donned Holocaust-era attire, including yellow Stars of David and concentration camp garb. Those who dressed up, including children, were protesting alleged persecution by the secular population against the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community in Israel.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Israel is a vibrant democracy and all are free to gather and express their opinion. However, the costumed demonstrators in the Mea Shearim protest crossed the line and violated the basic decency, sensitivity and good sense which bind societies together.
The events in Mea Shearim show an ignorance and lack of understanding of the Shoah. It is a total perversion of Jewish history and a lack of sensitivity to those who were lost in the Holocaust and a lack of sensitivity for those who survived. The cooption of children in this behavior is particularly troubling, and it is worrisome what this next generation will learn about the Holocaust and the persecution of the Jewish people. This kind of behavior aids, abets and legitimizes Holocaust denial.
While we understand that this is a small minority within the Haredi community, we call on the decent and respectful leaders and members of the Haredi community to condemn Nazi imagery and inappropriate comparisons to the Holocaust.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.