Monday, January 30th | 8 Shevat 5783

May 10, 2022 4:16 pm

Florida Holocaust Museum Slams Swastika Flag Display Outside Disney World


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A man waving a swastika flag outside Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Screenshot/@pcdevv TikTok.

The chairman of the Florida Holocaust Museum has denounced protesters who waved Nazi swastika flags and shouted antisemitic rhetoric at the main entrance to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend.

“It’s a sad day for humanity when even Disney World — the ‘happiest place on earth’ — is not immune to blatant antisemitism,” said Michael Igel in a statement. Igel is also chairman of Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran’s task force on Holocaust education.

In a video posted Sunday on TikTok, two people are seen waving bright red Nazi flags in front of the Walt Disney World Resort sign in Orlando, while another individual reportedly shouted antisemitic remarks through a bullhorn as visitors drove into the amusement park. The protesters also reportedly held an American flag and a sign reading “DeSantis Country,” in apparent reference to Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ dispute with the theme park over its autonomous special tax status.

“Displays of Nazi imagery are repugnant, and this demonstration was clearly meant to offend and provoke,” Igel stated. “No family should be confronted with threatening symbols of hate, least of all on vacation.” He also called on the public to “come together and speak with one voice in opposition to those who support Nazis and their poisonous ideology.”

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“In the face of acts like these, those who have the capacity to speak out have the responsibility to do so,” he added. “Every time we unite to condemn antisemitism, we lift up its intended victims while continuing to make clear that hatred has no home at Disney World, in the State of Florida, or anywhere else.”

The Anti-Defamation League called the incident “an abhorrent display of antisemitism,” adding that “at a time when incidents of anti-Jewish hate are at their highest, it is incumbent upon all in positions of power and leadership to condemn this bigotry.”

A February neo-Nazi demonstration in Orlando featured violent antisemitic rhetoric, swastika flags, and cries of “Heil Hitler.” Gov. DeSantis faced some criticism at the time for being slow to condemn the incident, a charge he rejected as a politically-motivated “smear.”

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