We told you last week about the appalling, tasteless PETA promotion equating modern livestock animals with Jewish Holocaust victims. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) first openly denounced this callous display “for trivializing the murder of six million Jews,” calling it “the height of chutzpah” in a press release last Monday.
In San Diego, where the PETA installation was on display Friday, ADL’s regional director Morris Casuto said that it “illustrates how far beyond the pale PETA’s leadership is. They do not have a clue or perhaps do not care how offensive their comments are.” In a separate article, he told the San Diego Union-Tribune that “their lack of compassion and sensitivity is stunning.”
Since then, the Canadian Jewish Congress has condemned PETA, calling its program “unconscionable,” “obscene,” and “lacking in any proportionality.” In New York, the Westchester Holocaust Education Center labeled it “a gross misuse and distortion.”
But the famed Simon Wiesenthal Center had perhaps the most pointed words for PETA, calling its work an “obscene distortion of history” that “cheapens memory of the victims of [the] Nazi Holocaust.” In a published statement, Wiesenthal Center dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier observed: “Judaism was the first [faith] to identify cruelty to animals as a sin, but rejects any equivalency between humans and animals.”
PETA appears to be under the mistaken impression that Jews in general support its radical animal rights agenda. Last week PETA’s Matt Prescott, in charge of the “Holocaust” project, defended it in the Jewish weekly The Forward by claiming that “the animal rights movement is largely comprised by Jews.” True or not, the president of Jews for Animal Rights also condemned PETA’s work, telling The Forward that “it obliterates the whole meaning of the Holocaust.”
So what’s the source of this nexus between the Holocaust and animal rights movement? Lisa Lange, PETA’s Vice President of Communications, told CNN’s This Morning With Paula Zahn on Friday that it all stemmed from “a quote from the Jewish Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, who said, ‘to animals, all people are Nazis.”
Oops – it turns out that Singer himself never said this. CNN later reported that the words were only “spoken” by a fictional character in his novel Enemies: A Love Story. Writing in the Calgary Sun, columnist Michael Platt opines that Singer, who died in 1991, was himself an animal rights activist and “a radical vegetarian, and not a fitting spokesman for any race of people, especially on the Holocaust.”