Today, U.S. Congress representatives Ted Deutch (D-Fl), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued a short, pointed statement condemning recent anti-Semitic attacks leveled at pro-gun control students from Stoneman Douglas High School.
“It is shameful for anyone to attack students – especially survivors of gun violence – with anti-Semitic slurs and Nazi comparisons,” the group stated. “Policy differences are never an excuse for anti-Semitism. We condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms and reject any inappropriate evocation of the Holocaust or comparison to Nazis.”
Until now, these attacks have largely flown under the radar, but they have slowly been circulating since the shooting. Earlier this week, anti-Semitic flyers comparing one of the Parkland student activists to Adolf Hitler were distributed on the campus of American University. Similar memes likening the Parkland students to Nazis have spread online and even been shared by political officials from New York to Maryland. Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones even intercut footage of one female Parkland student with images of the Hitler Youth.
The Stoneman Douglas student population is 40% Jewish, as were 5 of the 17 victims of February’s mass shooting, making such invidious comparisons all the more offensive.