July 31, 2019
News Press Release

ZOA to Defense Dept: Fire Elissa Smith for Her Offensive Analogy of U.S. Border Policy to Auschwitz

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq., ZOA Vice Chairperson Dr. Alan Mazurek, M.D., and ZOA Director of Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. released the following statement:     

The Zionist Organization of America urges the U.S. Department of Defense to fire Office of the Secretary of Defense Cyber-Policy spokesperson Elissa Smith for retweeting an outrageous, offensive, absurd tweet likening U.S. border policy to Auschwitz.  Ms. Smith wrongly likened the humane U.S. government – which is trying to deal with a border crisis not of its making – to the genocidal Nazi regime. Ms. Smith’s retweet shows a picture of the Auschwitz death camp, and says “other governments have separated mothers and children.”  (A screenshot of Ms. Smith’s retweet is at “Department of Defense Spokeswomen Under Fire for Criticism of Trump,” by Kyle Morris, Breitbart, July 30, 2019.) 

Many ZOA members (including the persons releasing this statement) had family members murdered by the Nazis, at Auschwitz and/or other death camps.  We also view all of the 6 million martyred Jews as our family. Many of us also had family members who bravely served in the U.S. Armed Forces, fighting against the Nazis in World War II.  Whatever one’s position is on the U.S. border situation, it is beyond offensive to compare U.S. border policy to the Nazis’ cold-blooded genocide of half the world’s Jewish people, gays, gypsies, and others.  It is particularly abhorrent that a DOD spokesperson would make such an offensive analogy.  ZOA accordingly urges the DOD to immediately fire Ms. Smith.

“Whatever one’s position is on the U.S. border situation, it is beyond offensive to compare U.S. border policy to the Nazis’ cold-blooded genocide of half the world’s Jewish people, gays, gypsies, and others.”

ZOA President Morton Klein added:  

As a child of Jewish Holocaust survivors who were imprisoned and enslaved in Auschwitz, and who had numerous family members murdered by the Nazis there, and as a proud American, I am outraged and deeply offended that Ms. Smith would analogize dedicated U.S. border personnel’s attempts to protect children voluntarily brought by their parents to the U.S. border to illegally enter the United States, to the Nazis dragging millions of Jewish families out of their homes to murder them in death camps.”   

“The Nazis slaughtered one million Jewish children.  The U.S. government protects children coming across the border – including many children who are trafficked into the United States by persons who are not their parents.  After Ms. Smith publicized such a repugnant analogy, it would be a grave insult to allow her to continue in a position where she speaks on behalf of the U.S. Defense Department.”   

ZOA Vice Chairperson Dr. Alan Mazurek, M.D., added: 

My father was also a Holocaust survivor.  I am appalled that a Department of Defense spokesperson would compare the well-meaning efforts of U.S. border personnel to Nazi death camps.”  

Ms. Berney stated: 

My grandfather was imprisoned and suffered in Dachau; other relatives were murdered in Nazi death camps; and after my father escaped to America from Germany, my father went back to Europe with the U.S. Army to combat the Nazis. As an American Jew, I too am deeply offended by Ms. Smith’s absurd, grotesque, untrue analogy.” 

ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq. stated:   

I was horrified to see Ms. Smith’s tweet.  The tragedy of the Holocaust was a unique stain on humanity. The murder of six million Jews should not be compared to the U.S. border situation or any other events.  It is extraordinarily offensive that a DOD spokesperson published such a reprehensible false analogy.