Holocaust sensitivity silliness, and a reasonable warning from the ADL on Arizona's immigration law
05/06/2010 - 11:34
James Besser

This is so silly, I can barely stand it.

The New Jersey Education Association is taking Gov. Chris Christie to task for inappropriately using the phrase “final solution” in a Washington speech.

In speaking about tax credits for businesses that offer scholarships to private and parochial school students, he blundered onto the Holocaust language minefield by saying “Because the Educational Opportunity Scholarship Act is not the final solution to that problem, it is the first step in the solution to that problem which will lead to school vouchers across the state of New Jersey so choice is available to every parent.”

An outraged NJEA spokesman said “those are very charged words,” according to NorthJersey.com, .

Well, yes,  but hardly a slur against survivors or the memory of the Holocaust; the context makes it clear he was using the words in a literal sense, not as an historical comparison.

Next thing you know, some people will become out raged if you use the words “final” and “solution” in the same paragraph.

The paper went on to say that a local Orthodox leader who attended the speech saw it as an innocent mistake.

I applaud that Jewish leader's good sense, but I wonder: if Christie had been a Democrat – and if he hadn't been speaking about his support for school vouchers, which the two major Orthodox groups support, would the reaction have been so forgiving?

Also on the Holocaust language front was the ADL's demand last week that opponents of Arizona's Draconian immigration law not compare the statute to Nazi policies.
“It is disturbing that in speaking out against the bill a number of individuals have taken to using Nazi comparisons, in describing the legislation as being reminiscent of Nazi policies that required Jews and others to carry identity cards, or in comparing the governor and other Arizona officials as being like Hitler,” said the ADL's Abe Foxman.

Makes sense to me. It should be noted that the ADL is a strong opponent of the immigration measure.

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The outrage is not only silly it is stupid. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
I think the more obvious question to ask is whether, were Christie a Democrat and had been speaking against school choice, the NJEA would have taken offense at his innocent use of the phrase.