I wonder if Prager has forgotten that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a decidedly liberal Democratic president, was the Commander in Chief responsible for fighting the Third Reich. In fact, if memory serves, it was largely conservative Republicans who objected to our involvement in that fight and interfered with Roosevelt's assisting Britain and preparing for our own defense. I guess Prager and his Republican audience don't let historical facts get in the way of a good smear.
While none of the Republicans in the audience, including several Republican governors, were willing to speak out on the record against Prager's statement, read below for the reaction of one anonymous Republican unwilling to read from the Republican talking points.
from The Forward: Radio Host: Pacifists Couldn’t Stop Auschwitz
As I have said before, broad historical analogy is the stuff of propaganda, not analysis. Whether coming from the left or the right, using analogies to the Holocaust to score cheap political points is outrageously insensitive to the human suffering behind the history. This is true of anyone who inappropriately throws around the terms "Nazi" and "Holocaust". It was true of George Bush in his bizarre "appeasement" speech before the Israeli Knesset; it's true of Rush Limbaugh with his corny "feminazi" shtick; and it's true of those on the far left and far right who equate Israel with the Third Reich. (The latter is, to my mind, the ultimate in "blame the victim" role reversal, motivated by a psychology of denial similar to that which cast American Indians and black people as villains in U.S. movies and dime novels. It represents the mass-denial of collective guilt by a racist majority.)
Likening liberals to those who appeased Nazi Germany in the run-up to World War II, conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager told 400 Jewish Republican leaders, “They’d still be gassing Jews” if liberals and peace activists had their way.
“The left does not understand that Auschwitz was not liberated by peace activists,” Prager said during a reception honoring GOP governors at the Republican National Convention. “They’d still be gassing Jews if we listened to peace activists,” he said. “Gandhi said to the Jews, ‘Do not resist Hitler.’ Gandhi did a lot of great work in India. You know why? Because when you advocate peaceful resistance against the British, it works. Peaceful resistance against evil does not work.”
Asked later whether some would perceive his remarks as insensitive, Prager called it “inconceivable” that anybody could be offended.
Told that some people might be sensitive about comparisons involving appeasement and the Holocaust, he said, “That’s fine with me, so what?”
At a September 2 event — which was hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition and attracted a who’s who of Jewish Republicans, several governors, state lawmakers, major donors and Sallai Meridor, Israel’s ambassador to the United States — a Jewish leader called the comparison inappropriate.
“The Holocaust is a unique episode in world history and is an issue that should not be used for contrast and comparison with other political or nonpolitical events,” he said. “I think it lessens the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust.”
The misuse of history to demonize any group is wrong. To debase Holocaust history in this manner to win a presidential election is inexcusable. About this, Prager and his Republican friends have simply lost all perspective.