The ZOA opposes the expected nomination of Emory University lecturer Deborah Lipstadt to be the U.S. Combating Antisemitism Envoy, because of her statements displaying partisan left wing bias. Lipstadt obscenely and falsely likened President Trump to Nazi murderers and propagandists; helped promote a video that wrongly did the same; promoted the Charlottesville Hoax (despite President Trump’s clear condemnation of neo-Nazis and white supremacists); and falsely called President Trump (the grandfather of Orthodox Jewish children) an “antisemitic enabler.” Lipstadt’s abuse of false Nazi and antisemitism charges against those with whom she disagrees politically should disqualify her from serving as the U.S. Combating Antisemitism Envoy.
Lipstadt’s primary focus is antisemitism on the right (both real and imagined), at a time when the major threat is Islamist and far-left antisemitism. We are concerned that Lipstadt will ignore and/or give far too little attention to antisemitism from groups such as the Black Lives Matter organization, and leftist and Islamist BDS groups and Israel-bashing NGOs.
President Biden promised to heal and bring all Americans together when he assumed office. Nominating and confirming Lipstadt would increase partisan divides. The Combating Antisemitism Envoy is a sensitive position that requires someone non-partisan, who will honestly and strongly address all real forms of antisemitism, from the left wing to the right wing, and who will not make inaccurate charges of antisemitism to defame political adversaries. Lipstadt is a bad choice.
Below is a reprint of ZOA’s previous statement about Deborah Lipstadt’s promotion of the false, obscene comparison of then-President Trump to Nazis:
ZOA Condemns Holocaust Lecturer Deborah Lipstadt for Defending & Promoting Biden’s Obscene Comparison of Trump to Nazi Goebbels
October 7, 2020
Note: The ZOA does not endorse, oppose, or recommend any political candidates.
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
ZOA strongly condemns left wing Emory University lecturer Deborah Lipstadt’s horrific and absurd defense of Joe Biden’s obscene statement likening pro-Jewish, pro-Israel, Noble Peace Prize nominee President Donald Trump to Nazi monster propagandist Joseph Goebbels. As “Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War,” “Reich Minister of Propaganda,” and Hitler’s appointed successor, Goebbels was a prime architect of the Nazis’ “total war” and the Nazis’ massacre of six million Jews. Yet, sickeningly and wrongly Trump-hater Lipstadt tweeted that Biden’s outrageous analogy was “historically apt.”
Last week, ZOA demanded that Joe Biden must apologize for his outrageous analogy of President Trump to Nazi monster Goebbels. (See “ZOA to Biden & Jewish Democratic Council of America: Apologize/Retract Offensive/False Analogy of Trump to Nazis,” Sept. 29, 2020) Biden has still not apologized. Lipstadt should join ZOA in demanding that Biden must apologize, instead of defending Biden’s despicable Nazi analogy.
There is nothing “historically apt” about Biden’s analogy. In fact, President Trump has a long record of combatting and condemning antisemitism and white supremacy, including: Trump’s prosecution of Charlottesville white supremacists (all of the white supremacists that were charged eventually pleaded guilty and received prison sentences); President Trump’s December 2019 “Executive Order on Combatting Antisemitism” to protect Jewish students facing growing campus antisemitism (also see here); and Trump’s decision to end previous administrations’ payments to the Palestinian Authority. By ending these payments, President Trump ended indirect American support for the PA’s official program paying Arab terrorists to murder Jews and Americans.
ZOA and Morton Klein, as a child of holocaust survivors, strongly opposes the abuse of Holocaust analogies by anyone, because this demeans the unmitigated horror perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jewish people and many others. However, it is especially disgraceful that Deborah Lipstadt defended Biden’s false analogy. Lipstadt, as a public debunker of Holocaust deniers, has a special obligation to maintain her credibility, and to not defend Biden’s false Holocaust analogy.
Unfortunately, Lipstadt also seriously damaged her credibility, reputation, and even dignity by promoting the false, offensive Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) video ad analogizing President Donald Trump to Nazi murderers. On the day that the JDCA released its horrific split-screen ad, showing President Trump side-by-side with Nazi scenes, the JDCA held an accompanying briefing by Professor Lipstadt. Lipstadt was one of the only Jewish voices endorsing this horrendous JDCA ad. The JDCA has also ignored ZOA’s demand that the JDCA must retract and apologize for this ad, and other widespread condemnation of the ad. Even the leftist ADL condemned the JDCA ad (after ZOA urged the ADL to do so).
Moreover, these are not isolated incidents. Prof. Lipstadt has been dishonestly maligning President Trump for some time, in a similar manner. In her 2019 book, “Antisemitism Here and Now,” Lipstadt wrongly calls President Trump an “antisemitic enabler” and falsely and misleadingly claims that Trump equated “neo-Nazi, KKK, and white supremacist marchers with those who had come to protest against them” (the infamous Charlottesville hoax). As we and many others have often noted, President Trump’s “very fine people” statement solely referred to peaceful protestors who had differing views about removing a Robert E. Lee statue, and President Trump specifically excluded and absolutely condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the next sentence.
In the very same breath as his “very fine people” statement, President Trump said: “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.” (See here (includes video) and here and here.)
During her speech at Tufts University in September 2019 (video), Lipstadt again falsely and negligently perpetrated the “Charlottesville hoax” about Trump’s statements. At minute 26:40, Lipstadt clearly referring to her misinterpretation of Trumps statement that there were “fine people on both sides,” she declared: “Nice people don’t march in Charlottesville chanting Jews will not replace us. Nice people don’t come to marches sponsored by the alt-right, an overtly racist antisemitic entity. And they certainly don’t march with tiki torches, which is a direct linkage back to the Third Reich.”
But in fact, Trump condemned the neo-Nazis and KKK members who marched with tiki torches, chanting that Jews will not replace us, and Trump never called neo-Nazis or white supremacists “nice people” or “fine people.”
Furthermore, would Donald Trump ever dream of praising as fine people the Jew-hating, murderous neo-Nazis when his daughter is an Orthodox Jew, his grandchildren are Orthodox Jews, and his son in law is an Orthodox Jew? This is beyond ludicrous, ridiculous, and obscene!
And at minute 40:25, Lipstadt reiterated her absurd claim that the president is an “antisemitic enabler” and “makes people believe it’s okay to put a swastika on the door.” Lipstadt claimed that, although the president wasn’t “involved” with the Pittsburgh and Poway shootings, “but when you read their stuff, they [the shooters] all think he’s [President Trump’s] on their side.”
Wrong Ms. Lipstadt! In fact, when you read the “stuff” written by the neo-Nazi white supremacist shooters at Poway and Pittsburgh, it is clear that they hated President Trump, because of the President’s love for the Jewish people and the Jewish state, and because of Trump’s condemnations and prosecutions of the Charlottesville neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
An hour before shooting innocent worshipers at the Poway Chabad, shooter John Earnest posted a screed on 8chan calling President Trump “that Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorousc-cksucker.”
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers, hated Trump for being surrounded by Jews. The shooter wrote on Gab: “There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation [in the Trump Administration].”
The Pittsburgh shooter also posted an anti-Trump image depicting a man in a yarmulke giving Trump orders, while Trump replies, “Yes, sir.”
The Pittsburgh shooter also agreed with a Gab post that claimed that Trump “betrayed Americans in Charlottesville, by comparing them with a violent mob.” Bowers responded: “For the record I did not vote for Trump, nor have I owned, worn, or even touched a MAGA hat.”
Bowers also shared a post criticizing Trump for having federal prosecutors bring federal charges against Charlottesville white supremacists.
ZOA again reiterates that we do not endorse or oppose any candidates. In light of the fact that many ZOA members are children, descendants, or relatives of Holocaust survivors or victims, we simply cannot abide by the abusive Holocaust analogies and false antisemitism portrayals espoused by Joe Biden, the Democratic Jewish Council of America, and Deborah Lipstadt.