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Michigan GOP tweet compares gun control to the Holocaust



(JTA) — The official Twitter account of Michigan’s Republican Party posted an image comparing gun control to the Holocaust on Wednesday. Then, following condemnations of the post by Jewish groups, the party doubled down on its message.

It’s the latest example of Holocaust imagery being utilized to deliver a partisan political message.

The image in question shows a trough filled with wedding rings seized by the Nazis from Jews entering the Buchenwald concentration camp. The photo was taken by the U.S. Army in May 1945, when the camp was liberated, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum archives.

In the Michigan Republicans’ post, text pasted over the image of the rings reads, “Before they collected all these wedding rings… they collected all the guns.” The party appended a caption to the image: “#History has shown us that the first thing a government does when it wants total control over its people is to disarm them.” It included the hashtags #2A, referring to the Second Amendment, and #GOP.

A Google search reveals that the image has been circulating as a meme for at least a year. The Michigan Republicans shared it in response to Michigan’s Democratic-led Senate advancing new gun safety measures last week in the wake of a February mass shooting at Michigan State University.

Although the Nazis did have restrictive gun laws, and specifically forbade Jews from owning weapons, historians largely agree such laws were not what led to the Holocaust. Comparing contemporary events to the Holocaust has become a regular political tactic in recent years. 

Several prominent Republicans argued that mask and vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic were analogous to Nazi actions. In 2019, progressive Democrats created an uproar by referring to immigrant detention centers as “concentration camps,” and a 2020 video by the Jewish Democratic Council of America drew parallels between the rise of Nazism and the Trump presidency.

Wednesday’s post drew condemnation from local and national Jewish groups and elected officials. Those criticizing the post online ranged from pro-Israel influencers and the watchdog group StopAntisemitism to Jewish Democrats in the state legislature and Republican Jewish activists. 

“This tweet by @MIGOP is absolutely inappropriate and offensive and should be taken down immediately,” tweeted Matt Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Adar Rubin, a Jewish former staffer for the Michigan Republican Party, wrote, “I’m so disgusted and furious beyond words that this horrible trivialization of the Holocaust is being normalized by my state party.”

Jeremy Moss, the president pro tempore of the Michigan Senate and a Jewish Democrat, tweeted, “Haven’t the victims of the Holocaust suffered enough than to be shamefully exploited in death by this vile post? Anti-semitism thrives when these grotesque  distortions of history diminish it.”

The Michigan GOP did not immediately respond to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency request for comment, but has defended the post in the face of mounting backlash. The party’s new chair, Kristina Karamo, posted her own statement to Twitter three hours after the initial post, seemingly defending the Holocaust comparison.

“Our 2nd Amendment was put in place to protect us from aspiring tyrants. MIGOP stands by our statement,” wrote Karamo, a far-right former candidate for secretary of state who denies the outcome of the 2020 election. In her statement, she also referenced the United States’ history of racism, referred to “government abuse of citizens” and added, “We will not be silent as the Democratic Party, the party who fought to enslave Black Americans, and currently fights to murder unborn children, attempt to disarm us.”

Her state party, in turn, endorsed her remarks, calling the criticism of the initial post a “bogus authoritarian frenzy over the legitimate comparison to the troubling history of governments that have disarmed their citizens.”

Karamo was elected in February to replace outgoing chair Ron Weiser, who is Jewish, following a disappointing election for the state’s Republican Party, as they lost control of both state chambers and all major elected statewide positions. One of the other candidates for chair was former Congressional candidate Lena Epstein, who was raised Jewish but announced during her campaign that she had been “baptized” as “a Jewish Messianic believer of Christ.” Epstein dropped out of the race prior to the state Republican convention.

Attempts to reach Weiser, who continues to serve on the University of Michigan Board of Regents, were unsuccessful.

The post Michigan GOP tweet compares gun control to the Holocaust appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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