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March 8, 2016 7:40 am

The Vile Comparisons of Donald Trump With Hitler

avatar by Shmuley Boteach

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Donald Trump. Photo: Facebook.

Donald Trump.
Photo: Facebook.

The disgusting, vile comparisons of Donald Trump to Hitler are an affront to decency, the Jewish community, the victims of the Holocaust and the man. The Washington Post published a column by a Harvard Professor comparing him to Hitler. The NY Daily News had the words “Trump is Hitler” on its front cover. The Huffington Post and The Daily Telegraph have also compared Trump to Hitler. The latest episode of Saturday Night Live compared Trump’s rise to power to “Germany in the 1930s.” High-profile personalities such as Bill Maher, Louis CK, Former Mexican President Vicente Fox and even Glenn Beck have all made comparisons between Trump and Hitler.

Have we all gone mad? Are we going to seriously trivialize the murder of six million Jews by saying that a Republican presidential candidate is running for office in order to perpetrate genocide?

Is there any political pundit in America with half a brain who actually believes that?

Love him or hate him, the fact is Donald Trump has never murdered anyone in his life. He has never incited violence against any group. He has never called for people to be rounded up in ghettos. Most important, Trump has a daughter who converted to, and is observant of, orthodox Judaism. Being friendly with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, I was aware of the process of Ivanka Trump becoming Jewish. At any point during the multi-year journey her father could easily have said to her, “Are you kidding me? Seriously? You’re from a prominent family. You’re rich. You’re famous. Get this becoming Jewish idea far out of your head.”

But not only did Trump not do so, he did precisely the opposite. He has, on many occasions, spoken very proudly of his daughter embracing the Jewish faith. Donald Trump has Orthodox Jewish grandchildren.

Then there is his son-in-law, Jared himself, who stems from one of the most prominent and philanthropic New York/New Jersey Jewish families. Jared and the Kushners are among the staunchest supporters and defenders of Israel. They are renowned for the innumerable Jewish causes they support. Jared stems from a family of survivors. I can only imagine how sick they must be in seeing these disgusting comparisons of the patriarch of their daughter-in-law’s family to the most evil man that ever lived.

Furthermore, those who use the word “Hitler” to describe Trump don’t realize the injustice they are doing to those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. The fact is that there are certain powerful words that we possess in the English language that are reserved for the worst forms of evil imaginable. The word “genocide” is one such word. When Israel is attacked with 14,000 rockets from Hamas, and must defend its citizens by attacking Hamas rocket-launchers, those Israel-haters who fraudulently say that Israel is committing a “genocide” are doing a huge injustice to the victims of real genocides. That word must only be applied to true atrocities, and it loses all meaning when misapplied to wars that are moral and just.

The word “Hitler” is another such word that must never be misused. Comparing Trump to Hitler trivializes world war, genocide and the one-and-a-half million children gassed by the monster, and is a vulgar attack on the good citizens of the United States who are being accused of getting behind a murderer. Try telling someone who lived through the concentration camps and lost their entire family to the Nazis that Trump is Hitler. When these words are misapplied, we all suffer for it.

Trump is a controversial candidate, but no one denies that whatever else we may disagree with him on, he’s a staunch supporter of Israel. Americans are sick of the decades of poll-driven drivel offered up to us by so many fake politicians who lack any kind of conviction and simply want to hold office. So it’s easy to see why Trump’s straight talk of actually saying what he’s thinking has taken hold. I agree with him on the need for candor in American politics and, involved as I am with some political figures, I can see why America is hungering for someone to simply tell it like it is.

But there are also obvious areas of disagreement. I reject Trump’s call for collective punishment for the families of terrorists. If a US citizen goes and joins ISIS, does that mean that his family here in the US would need to be punished as well? The Bible is clear that “a son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and a father shall not bear the iniquity of the son (Ezekiel 18:20).” The real Trump-haters ought to remember that Roosevelt, Churchill and Truman all engaged in collective punishment by bombing entire cities and then nuking two. And even President Obama has ordered drone strikes that no doubt have killed terrorists’ dependents, even if it was not intentional. And perhaps if we did engage in collective punishment, then we’d end the terror threat much more rapidly. And still it is morally unacceptable, as it undermines our values and the all-important idea of personal accountability.

I also disagree with Trump on the temporary ban on Muslims from the United States, because there should never be any religious litmus tests in America. I have said so publicly numerous times. Perhaps if he would have called for temporary bans on citizens traveling from countries heavily infiltrated by ISIS and other radical Islamic ideologies he would not have elicited the same reaction. But to go from there to comparing Trump to Hitler is utterly abhorrent.

As an aside, it should also be noted how absurd it is when people use this presidential election as proof that our America is Islamophobic. I mean, really? Five thousand Americans died in Iraq liberating Muslims being slaughtered by Saddam. A further 5,000 died fighting the monsters of the Taliban to liberate another Muslim nation. And the US taxpayer footed the bill for two trillion dollars. Tell me another nation that magnificent, charitable, and dedicated to Muslim lives? What Islamophobia?

Trump’s outspokenness is in large part a reaction to the anger that much of the country feels over the perceived lack of leadership and strength exhibited by the United States, and he knows that throwing political correctness to the wind and refusing to mince words will very likely be a path to the White House in today’s political climate. And while I can understand why political opponents do not want Trump as president — just as I understand why political partisans likewise don’t want Clinton, Cruz, Rubio or Sanders — that still does not give them the right to dishonor the memory of the millions who lost their lives in the Holocaust, or take a man with whom they may have sharp disagreements and make him into a monster.

The Washington Post calls Rabbi Shmuley “the most famous rabbi in America.” He is founder of The World Values Network and is the international best-selling author of 30 books. Next month he will publish The Israel Warrior: Winning Israel’s Battles in the Marketplace of Ideas. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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  • Robert Weintraub

    Trump seems more like Huey Long or Benito Mussolini. Hitler was a vile creature out of a horror movie.Long and Mussolini more normal than Hitler

  • Jerry Hersch

    It is not often that Republicans are that blatantly outspoken in their anti-Jewish feelings.. Trump’s rise will give cover to more of it…. hatred is now flourishing in the open – unhindered unabated – raw and eventually savage.
    The Joe Straus affair of a couple of years ago has re-emerged… It is the 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 million American Jews that I worry about…You have no idea of the now outspoken anti-Semitism across the rural South that has been given free rein by Trump’s unbridled hate speech.. This is rearing its head across much of the South.…/Judson-injects-religion…
    The Democrats are clearly not as pro-Israel in speech- But the Republican candidates have yet to prove that they are more. Meanwhile, at every local and state level the Republicans are clearly far more anti-Semitic.. SAYING one is pro-Israel does not preclude them from being anti-JEWISH … They have a clear distinction as to what They mean. Most Jews live in the urban areas of America. Fully 1/4 of the US Senate represent states in which the total aggregate of the Jewish population is less than 50,000…power is transitioning to those areas of the nation in which Jews have virtually no presence and even less influence

    • John Train

      As a Christian who has traveled extensively through the conservative US heartland I can testify that the Republicans are not anti-Israel. Nor are they anti-Jewish. I find remarks frequently that are ignorant and misinformed. Unfortunately, many of them come from people signing them with Jewish sounding names. I do my best to correct the record with anyone who saw the last Democratic convention knows that the heartland of the Democratic Party has ventured into what can only be described as Jew hatred.

  • Dave

    No one is suggesting Trump is Hitler of 1945, or even 1938. People who compare him to Hitler see him as Hitler of 1932-36. Hitler’s platform was not “death to Jews” his platform was largely “Make Germany Great Again” (economic reform and jobs mostly).
    The fact that this author seems to think that since Trump most probably won’t isolate “the Jews” (as Trump calls “them”) he is therefore not stirring a problematic atmosphere by calling out other races and creeds is completely blind to the concept of “Never Again.”
    The big issue that people are forgetting when calling out the Trump-Hitler comparisons is the general populations role. Beating up people at rallies is only the beginning if we continue on this path. Trump’s rhetoric most definitely smells of fuhrer but it is the people that rally behind that rhetoric – the unleashed racist in everyone finding a scapegoat – they are becoming the Nazis.
    Even if Trump loses the nomination, we have a huge problem in America because this newly revealed hatred of “others” is not going to disappear post election.

    The author’s aside about America “dedicated to Muslim lives” assumes America is a single mind about anything and just furthers the proof that he is unable to see this issue from more than the “what’s good for the Jews” angle. Hitler had his allies. Don’t suggest that Jews should align themselves with someone who “stands with Israel” (according to you; he claims to be neutral) if it means standing against compassion for others.