The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which has helped more than 4.5 million people in its 125-year history, is calling for the dismissal of Lou Dobbs, the CNN personality, who on Monday suggested that immigrant rights groups use propaganda tactics reminiscent of the Third Reich.
“Comparisons to Nazis – especially in this day and age – are abhorrent,” said Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of HIAS. “Mr. Dobbs has crossed the line between responsible television commentary and hate speech propaganda of his own. Keeping him on the air is essentially sanctioning by CNN – which is why we’re asking CNN to remove Dobbs from his very public platform.”
Referring to immigration advocates and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Dobbs said, “They might as well work for Hermann Goering; I mean, they’re running so much propaganda, trying to confuse the debate, the national dialogue, by talking about immigrants rather than illegal aliens and legal immigrants. It’s mindless beyond belief.”
(It is not clear whether Dobbs actually meant Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, rather than Goering – who was actually commander of the Nazi Air Force – the Luftwaffe – and who was the highest ranking government official who issued written authorization for the Holocaust) In a weekend speech, Mayor Newsom reiterated San Francisco’s policy of not assisting federal officials with immigration-related raids.
Aronoff says the Jewish community should be particularly concerned about Mr. Dobb’s comments. “Comprehensive immigration reform should involve a civil, national conversation that includes the American people and professionals who actually work with refugees, asylum-seekers and immigrants; make policy, or both – not dominated by TV blowhards, whose raison d’etre is entertainment. Setting himself up as an arbiter of common sense may make for amusing television, but it is insulting to the serious matter of immigration reform.”