ADL: Rep. Steve Cohen's Nazi Analogy "Offensive" and Has No Place in Civil Discourse

New York, NY, January 19, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reacted to a statement made by Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) on the floor of the House of Representatives in which he compared misinformation about health care reform to Nazi propaganda advanced by Joseph Goebbels and the blood libel propagated against the Jews. 

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

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

Using the Holocaust as an analogy to express frustration or comparing false information to the anti-Semitic blood libel or to Goebbels' genocidal propaganda is inappropriate and serves only to trivialize the dangers of anti-Semitism and the unique tragedy in human history that saw the murder of six million Jews and millions of others. 

We respect Representative Cohen's right to engage in vigorous debate about health care policy. We hope he will reconsider his offensive statement and we urge all members of Congress to reject such odious comparisons.

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.

More from this Section