ADL: NJ Union Official's Nazi Analogy "Grossly Offensive"

Teaneck, NJ, June 17, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reacted to a statement made by Christopher Shelton, a union official at the Communication Workers of America speaking at a protest in Trenton yesterday in which he compared Governor Chris Christie to Adolf Hitler.

Etzion Neuer, Regional Director of ADL's New Jersey Office, issued the following statement:

No matter how strong one's objections to any government policy, invoking the Holocaust and the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jewish people is grossly offensive and has no place in civil political discourse.

Using the Holocaust as an analogy for the frustration of union negotiations displays an ignorance of history and an insensitivity to the tragedy in human history that saw the murder of six million Jews and millions of others.

We were pleased to read that Mr. Shelton subsequently apologized for his offensive statement and we remind all public officials that regardless of the issue, we need to rise above the demeaning rhetoric and to encourage advocacy that is vigorous but never personal or hostile.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.