In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 29, 2005 / 22 Sivan, 5765

The overused ‘Nazi’ insult

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The most striking thing about the uproar over Illinois Senator Dick Durbin's comparison of American servicemen to ''Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or ... Pol Pot'' is that his grotesque comparison even caused an uproar in the first place.

Of course his analogy was obscene. Of course he knew perfectly well that there is no equivalence between the treatment of several hundred Muslim detainees in Guantanamo — some of which may have been appalling, but none of which has been fatal — and the Nazis' genocidal slaughter of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust or Stalin's imprisonment of 25 million prisoners in Siberian slave camps or the mass murder by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge of nearly 2 million of their fellow Cambodians.

But since when do such vile comparisons trigger an angry backlash?

When another Senate Democrat, West Virginia's Robert Byrd, declared a few months ago that the Republican effort to bar filibusters on judicial nominations was no different from Hitler's strategy to achieve dictatorial power, where was the storm of protest? When Pennsylvania's Republican Senator Rick Santorum, on the other side of the same debate, said of Democrats objecting to the GOP's stand, ''It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It's mine,''' why was there no outpouring of censure? When pundit Robert Novak, at still another point in the filibuster controversy, fumed that for Republicans to consider compromising with Democrats would be ''like going to a concentration camp and picking out which people go to the death chamber,'' how many commentators and talk-show hosts erupted in outrage and contempt?

Why the silence when a Virginia state senator, Democrat Mamie Locke, likened a proposed amendment preventing same-sex marriage to ''the rise of Nazism in Germany and fascism in Italy?'' Or when Ted Turner, to quote the trade journal Broadcasting & Cable, ''compared Fox News Channel's popularity to Adolf Hitler's popular election to run Germany before World War II?''

None of those revolting allusions — all of them from just the first six months of 2005 — set off any tidal waves of disgust or deafening demands for apologies, penalties, or resignations. And yet each of them was if anything even less defensible than Durbin's ugly comments about US military interrogators in Guantanamo.

Needless to say, this habit of using the Nazis as an all-purpose taunt didn't begin in 2005. Last year, for example, Al Gore derided GOP activists as ''brown shirts,'' a columnist for Newsday identified the Republican presidential convention with ''Nazi rallies held in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler,'' Linda Ronstadt interpreted the November election results to mean ''we've got a new bunch of Hitlers,'' Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner said Condoleezza Rice was like ''a Jewish person working for Hitler,'' US Circuit Court Judge Guido Calabresi pointed to the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore as an example of ''what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in,'' and former Senator John Glenn equated Republican political rhetoric to ''the old Hitler business.''

To hear such crude analogies from the stupid and the clueless is one thing. But from from senators? Columnists? Judges? Do they really believe that an election result they rue belongs on the same moral plane as cramming men, women, and children into boxcars and sending them to death camps? However passionate they may be about the political controversy of the day, should those they contend with really be lumped with the monsters who machine-gunned Jews into ravines and performed horrific medical ''experiments'' on unwilling victims?

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''I compare this to what happened in Germany,'' New York congressman Charles Rangel told a group of state legislators when Republicans running on a ''Contract With America'' won a majority of seats in Congress a decade ago. ''Hitler wasn't even talking about doing these things.'' His fellow Democrat, Representative Major Owen, said the GOP leadership under Newt Gingrich consisted of ''people who are practicing genocide with a smile; they're worse than Hitler.''

Those who draw such insane parallels seek to damn their opponents with the most evil association they can imagine. But all they really accomplish is a kind of Holocaust-denial. After all, if congressional Republicans are ''worse than Hitler,'' then Hitler must have been no worse than congressional Republicans. Which means that the tyrant who drenched Europe in blood, created a hellish network of concentration camps, and sent more than a million Jewish children to their deaths is roughly equal to — maybe even better than — a political party that calls for tax cuts and welfare reform. Anyone who can say (or imply) such a thing is guilty of trivializing the Nazis' crimes and of cheapening the agony of their victims.

This is where the degradation of American political discourse has brought us, but it isn't where it will end. When calling an opponent ''worse than Hitler'' or ''another Pol Pot'' has lost its sting, what new invective will the slanderers move on to? When opponents of the war can no longer whip up a frenzy by depicting Bush as Hitler or by likening US troops to the SS and KGB, what fresh venom will they come up with?

Politics ain't beanbag. But there used to be limits — including rhetorical limits — that decent men and women respected. As those limits are shredded and forgotten, our political environment is growing dirtier, uglier, and sicker.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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