Trivializing the Holocaust is nothing new. When it comes to hyperbole and shock value, de-valuing the Nazi’s attempted extermination of the Jews to score a political point and/or demean the Jews has become standard practice. Demonstrating that there is no bottom to this insulting tradition PETA has even compared modern animal farms to the Holocaust. With that in mind, and with her past record, AOC adopting this approach to malign President Trump with her description of the detention camps on our southern border was predictable.
What’s new with this episode are all of the writers and news services shielding her and defending the indefensible. When the blowback against AOC’s concentration camps analogy began, sycophants were quick to read and research. Over the next few days, they gave us mini-lessons in history and expounded on the differences between concentration camps and death camps. It seems the British used them during the Boer Wars, and there have been American concentration camps. Thanks to this newly reported history, we were assured that AOC’s statement was completely accurate and that no one could deny it. AOC has even jumped back into the melee, insisting that unnamed concentration camp “experts” have backed up her assertion. She refused the invitation of Holocaust survivor, Ed Mosberg to tour Auschwitz, but maybe she considers Mosberg only a specialist, not an expert.
The problem with all of this new found historical education is that the day before AOC’s bogus comparison, had any of these defenders been asked for words to associate with “concentration camp,” they, like the rest of us, would have come up with “Nazis” and “Holocaust.” But times have changed. Now, rather than discover and report the truth, allegedly honest journalists are using facts to obscure the truth. They are trying to reprogram our brains to substitute “Boer War” or “United States” for “Nazis” and “Holocaust,” even though most of the people defending AOC had probably never heard of the Boer Wars or American concentration camps prior to her statement.
None of these “shocking exposes,” written to offer cover to AOC’s ridiculous comparison, can change the fact that concentration camps are associated with the slaughter of Jews, especially when AOC invoked “Never again.” While others have said “Never again” in a variety of contexts, it has special meaning when coupled with concentration camps. One is the result of the other.
George Takei, a reliable AOC defender if there ever was one, offered a sober comparison with his childhood imprisonment in an internment camp during World War II. While the Japanese internment camps were a terrible injustice, nobody was worked to death as Jews were, and I have yet to see photos of emaciated, disease-ridden survivors. Sorry George.
But it’s not just George Takei and AOC. People all over the Internet are now insisting the United States is storing illegal aliens – I mean undocumented immigrants in concentration camps at our southern border. It has entered our lexicon to stay.
One of the reasons this mislabeling is being allowed to stand is the lack of serious history education in public schools and universities. That ignorance allows people to get their information from Internet memes and headlines. The misdirection and lies are fit into bite sized pieces that can easily, and with very little thought, be digested and passed along to friends. Adding to the historical knowledge gap about Jews on the university level are Muslim Brotherhood offshoots like Students for Justice in Palestine. To no one’s surprise, they’ve been force-feeding students anti-Israel/anti-Semitic lessons.
AOC’s alma mater, Boston University, has a vocal SJP chapter. While AOC was probably not a member, judging from her previous statements, her willingness to cut funding for Israel, and her co-sponsoring of House Bill H. R. 2047 – “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” she is obviously sympathetic to the SJP agenda. That agenda is made clear every time SJP members loudly and proudly chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” To SJP, “free” means free from Jews. SJP is playing the same game as the German neo-Nazi group that updated the old Nazi slogan, “Jews are our misfortune to “Israel is our misfortune,” Then there is AOC’s alliance with Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, both of whom have made Jews and Israel an issue.
The object, which is being pursued on many levels by many individuals and organizations, is to erase the Jews. Not only must Jews be erased from humanity, but in order to completely fulfill this Nazi/SJP/Muslim Brotherhood dream, the Jews must also be erased geographically with the destruction of Israel and historically with the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust.
Taking a step in that erasure, AOC, whether knowingly or unknowingly, is pushing a secular Replacement Theology. It is now illegal immigrants who are victims of concentration camps. This comes after years of SJP promoting the fallacy of “Concentration Camp Gaza.” Each new lie builds on a past lie until it becomes part of the normal discourse. It becomes natural to replace Jews with the Boer War or immigrants, and to replace the Jews of Israel with the “indigenous Palestinians.” Linda Sarsour has been facing blowback for taking that absurdity a step further in repeating Ilhan Omar’s delusion that Jesus was a Palestinian. Omar was echoing Omar Suleiman, an imam who has come out strongly against Israel but in favor of Sharia Law. Suleiman was not even the first to replace Jesus’ Judaism with a Palestinian origin, but it currently remains a lie whose time has not yet come.
We can continue to point out AOC’s trivialization of the Holocaust. We can even continue to give factual information as to why her comparison is bogus and insulting to the memory of the six million Jews who were murdered and to the survivors. The problem is that, willingly or not, she has made herself into another cog in the Jew-hating machine. Other humans in this machine include her high profile allies who took the time to dig for articles and information in order to deny the truth. Followers have condensed these articles into memes and tweets in order to cloud the reality even further, a great example being the tweet stating, “Anne Frank and her sister weren’t gassed. They died of Typhus, a result of living in a crowded camp with poor sanitation.” It received 3,439 retweets and 5,420 likes. It’s unknown how many times it was shared on other social media sites in order to help more people ignore the 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, who were murdered at Auschwitz.
Not everyone who is pushing AOC’s concentration camp agenda hates Jews. Some are political opportunists who have no historical knowledge and are willing to accept Jews as collateral damage in order support AOC’s theatrics and trash Trump. They will march in lockstep with any historical narrative that serves their purpose. They will perform all of the mental gymnastics necessary to buy the hyperbole and the trivialization.
The truly dedicated haters who seek the destruction of the Jews will gladly accept help from these useful idiots parroting AOC and her concentration camp lies. We must also understand that for some, it goes beyond simple Jew-hatred. Judaism being one of the lynchpins of Western Civilization, the desire to destroy the Jews dovetails seamlessly with the rabid desire to bring down the West.
In short, AOC did more than trivialize the Holocaust and launch a thousand Google searches. She opened up a new front in the ongoing culture war.
Harry Onickel is a freelance writer. He is currently working on a history of anti-Semitism for high school students.