The Anti-Defamation League has failed to denounce former Vice President Joe Biden for comparing President Donald Trump to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels — though it has criticized politicians for such comparisons in the past.
On Saturday, Biden compared Trump to Goebbels in an interview with MSNBC. “He’s sort of like Goebbels,” Biden told Stephannie Ruhle. “You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge.”
The comparison was shocking enough to draw the attention of the New York Times, which noted that Biden has compared Trump to Goebbels once before, in a statement last fall backing the president’s impeachment for the first time.
Goebbels, as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum notes, was a radical antisemite and one of Adolf Hitler’s closest aides. He whipped up anti-Jewish hatred among the German people and is among those directly responsible for the Holocaust:
Joseph Goebbels was a National Socialist politician and propagandist. He held several roles in the Nazi Party. He served as Nazi Party chief for Greater Berlin from 1926 until 1945. From 1929 until 1945 he was Reich leader of propaganda. In 1933, Adolf Hitler appointed Goebbels Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, a position he held until 1945. Goebbels was an unconditional follower of Hitler and a radical antisemite.
Goebbels remained close to Hitler until Hitler committed suicide as Russian soldiers approached his command bunker under the Reich Chancellery in Berlin on April 30, 1945. In his political testament, Hitler had named Goebbels to be Germany’s new Reich Chancellor. However, Goebbels rejected any possibility of surrender to the Allies. He had no illusions concerning his fate should Germany surrender. He wrote in his diary in March 1943, “We are already so enmeshed above all in the Jewish Question that there is no escape for us.” Instead Goebbels and his wife Magda arranged to poison their six children. They then committed suicide on May 1, 1945. Nazi control of public information ended with Goebbels’ suicide and the collapse of the regime in May 1945.
The Republican Jewish Coalition demanded that Biden apologize on Saturday evening, and retired Democratic state lawmaker Dov Hikind did so on Sunday. But the ADL has been silent, as have other mainstream Jewish organizations.
In 2012, the ADL condemned Democrats’ use of Nazi analogies when the chair of the California Democratic Party compared then-Republican vice presidential nominee to Goebbels. In March 2016, the ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, published an op-ed: “No, Donald Trump is Not Adolf Hitler.” In January 2017, the ADL criticized Trump for asking “Are we living in Nazi Germany?” when intelligence agencies leaked information to suggest he was colluding with Russia. (The country later learned that the intelligence agencies had spied illegally on a Trump campaign associate and there was no Russian collusion.) The ADL also condemned protesters against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year for comparing her to Hitler in demonstrations against her draconian stay-at-home orders.
Yet it has said nothing about Biden.
Biden has used antisemitic language before. In 2014, he used the term “Shylocks” to refer to predatory lenders. He later apologized. The term is derived from the Jewish character Shylock in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
As Beth Bailt noted in the Washington Examiner, some Democrats applauded Biden for making the Goebbels comparison.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.