New York, NY, October 25, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today criticized as "inappropriate and offensive" remarks by actor and director Rob Reiner comparing members of the Tea Party to followers of the Nazis.
During an appearance on Bill Maher's "Real Time" on HBO, Reiner said of the Tea Party: "My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader. Because all they're selling is fear and anger. And that's all Hitler sold." He went on to suggest that both Hitler's Nazi party and the Tea Party shared similarities in that the Nazis benefited from "bad economic times, just like we have now."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Regardless of one's views of Tea Party adherents, likening them to potential Nazis and implying that all they need is another Hitler is inappropriate and offensive.
There is simply no comparison between followers of the Nazis, a fascist regime that perpetrated the slaughter of millions of Jews and others in the Holocaust, and followers of a democratic political movement in the United States. Such comparisons only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II.
Such Nazi analogies also demean the American political system in an election season when the rhetoric has already turned nasty and divisive. We hope that Mr. Reiner will reconsider his words and take them back.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.