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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 04/30/2010

'NAZI ARIZONA': N.J. artist stands behind immigration cartoon criticized by ADL

By Michael Cavna



marguliesaz.gif

Cartoonists rely on iconography. Symbol is ready metaphor, and not just such trite-and-true staples as donkeys and elephants and American eagles. No editorial toolkit is complete without the darkest of symbols -- the emblems of evil that never lose their emotional impact. The KKK hood. The noose. The swastika.

When employing the most vile of emblems, editorial cartoonists sometimes mine the embedded power for hyperbole. So it is that the Anti-Defamation League might have presumed New Jersey cartoonist Jimmy Margulies was being hyperbolic when several days ago, in reaction to Arizona's new immigration law, he drew Gov. Jan Brewer's state as the mustache of Hitler.

Point made. But powerfully. Arizona puts the "AZ" in "nAZi."

The ADL, however, took issue with Margulies's metaphor.

"We are seeing these offensive and inappropriate Nazi and Holocaust comparisons come to the fore in the public debate once again. We saw it in the health care debate, and now we are seeing it with Arizona," said Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL national director, in a statement released Wednesday.

"It is disturbing that in speaking out against the bill a number of individuals have taken to using Nazi comparisons, in describing the legislation as being reminiscent of Nazi policies that required Jews and others to carry identity cards, or in comparing the governor and other Arizona officials as being like Hitler," said Foxman, noting that it might be "politically expedient" to invoke such symbols.

However, Foxman added: "No matter how odious, bigoted, biased and unconstitutional Arizona's new law may be, let's be clear that there is no comparison between the situation facing immigrants, legal or illegal, in Arizona and what happened in the Holocaust."

To illustrate its point Wednesday, the ADL specifically cited the Margulies cartoon, saying: "In New Jersey, an editorial cartoon in the Bergen Record portrayed Hitler with his infamous moustache rendered in the shape of the state of 'Arizona.' "

Speaking to Comic Riffs on Thursday, Margulies explained -- and reinforced -- his invoking of a Nazi analogy, stating that it was appropriate to tap not only its potency, but also its literal memory.

'"As a Jew of Eastern European descent, I am well aware of the unique horror of the Nazi era. It is all the more important that I, and others of good conscience who are able to reach an audience, do so in the face of abhorrent laws such as Arizona's," Margulies writes.

Margulies continues: "I do not think it diminishes the memory of the Holocaust to point out that the law in Arizona is uncomfortably reminiscent of Germany's in targeting one or more minorities. Before the concentration camps, there were smaller measures enacted which set the stage for greater acts.

"The Arizona law gives police too much power by casting as suspects anyone who looks to be Latino or foreign-born."

If you've got an opinion on the matter, feel free to share it below.

THE RELATED READ: "Family Guy" creator SETH MacFARLANE likens Arizona's new law to Nazi Germany.


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By Michael Cavna  | April 30, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  The Political Cartoon  | Tags:  Abraham H. Foxman, Anti-Defamation League, Arizona, Jimmy Margulies, Nazi Germany  
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Comments

It is ironic that activist are comparing this issue to Hitler when the Hispanics have a history themselves of fascism and anti-Semitsm.

See study: Hispanics Attitudes of the Jews.

http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/11858.pdf

Posted by: ScottD2 | April 30, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

" Before the concentration camps, there were smaller measures enacted which set the stage for greater acts." -- Well put. I wonder if the author would condone the imagery in light of the many tactics being put into sway in such places as the West Bank.

Posted by: johnnormansp | April 30, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The cartoon is horribly offensive. The Arizona law is not like any of the Nazi edicts, and it does not target minorities. It does target illegal aliens, and that seems quite reasonable. If the illegals and their supporters don't like it, perhaps they should not have encouraged 12 million of them to sneak across the border.

I say that as one who came to this wonderful country as a legal alien. You know, filled out all of the forms, had my photo taken, paid the fees, promised to obey the law, not to become a burden on my adopted country, and carry my green card with me at all times as required by the law.

Posted by: AZrls | April 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The situation in AZ is in every way identical to the beginnings of the Holocaust! Anyone who says the two are incomparable is suffering from the same case of denial that allowed millions of civilian in eastern Europe to do nothing as they watched Jews be rounded up like cattle and sent to concentration camps. This is AMERICA for God's sake. AMERICAN soldiers discovered the horrors of Auschwitz, yet it is American politicians that are creating the same horrors, but this time on American territory and with AMERICAN people. America is the country that vowed to never allow the horrors of the holocaust repeat themselves. How can we be such hypocrites to recreate a Holocaust in our own country!

Posted by: aserra999 | April 30, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The situation in AZ is in every way identical to the beginnings of the Holocaust! Anyone who says the two are incomparable is suffering from the same case of denial that allowed millions of civilian in eastern Europe to do nothing as they watched Jews be rounded up like cattle and sent to concentration camps. This is AMERICA for God's sake. AMERICAN soldiers discovered the horrors of Auschwitz, yet it is American politicians that are creating the same horrors, but this time on American territory and with AMERICAN people. America is the country that vowed to never allow the horrors of the holocaust repeat themselves. How can we be such hypocrites to recreate a Holocaust in our own country!

Posted by: aserra999 | April 30, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Cartoons are art and art reflects our lives and cultures. This is a GREAT cartoon that depicts what CAN happen if laws like the one recently passed in Arizona are allowed to stand. It utilizes the universal truth that 'Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.' We are a nation of immigrants and the great melting pot of the world. While I agree with those who say that we have an immigration problem in this country, the Arizona law is NOT the way to deal with it. It is bad enough that all of us are now treated as criminals when we go to ANY airport in the U.S. post 9/11. It is an absolute disgrace and in my opinion is part of the reason the door was opened for the Arizona law. We as Americans are giving up our liberty for security and in the opinion of out great forefather, Ben Franklin, we will lose both. Shame on us if we allow the terrorists and bigots to take over our world. That's what this cartoon depicts and does it quite well.

Posted by: Surfstud31 | April 30, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah this ought to play well in our irrationally Hitlerphobic society. They only scream "Nazi" every other day in this country. If only we WOULD adopt some of the Reich's laws (many of which were identical to America's at the time), we could be on fast track to pull America out from the abyss that the Marxists have pushed us into (which is exactly what Hitler did).

Posted by: NowSwimBack | April 30, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It works for me. Arizona has taken a lot of heat over their new immigration bill, and rightfully so. So much so, the Los Angles Times reported the Arizona state legislature has recently narrowed it. But their litigious Gerrymandering wouldn't work. Their bill is blatantly unconstitutional, because it violates the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. I don't disagree with the ADL - there I have ambivalent feelings - but Arizona's powerfully offensive immigration bill will generate powerfully offensive responses, in both its support and rebuttal. It's naïve to think otherwise.

Posted by: kstahmer | April 30, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I feel Mr. Marguiles simply jumped to an overly obvious metaphor, instead of pulling from a rather rich US immigration history that includes eugenics.

How about bringing up the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924? Or more recently, the similar law passed in Prince William County 2 years ago?

I guess those pieces of legislation are too complex to easily translate into a quick visual reference. They actually signify that immigration is a complex issue that mixes policy and personal bias. It's much easier to inflame passions with a readily-accessible symbol of evil and intolerance. Except I seriously doubt that the Arizona legislature is setting up concentration camps and has plans to establish a Caucasian hegemony. I think they just want to immigration into their state to be controlled.

That this law was enacted is actually a statement on how poorly Immigration and border security are handled at the Mexican-US border. But it's easier to pounce on Arizona then have that larger discussion.

(On a side-note, as a non-Jew of Polish descent, I would like to politely point out to Mr. Marguiles that the descendants of Eastern European Jews do not have exclusive understanding of the horrors of Nazi atrocities.)

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | April 30, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Enough with the Nazi-Stalinesque comparisons from both sides. Most of the time they are way off the mark. Probably because of the terrible state of historical knowledge Americans have. And the ADL needs to cool it's jets. The Jews were not the only people killed by the Nazi's.

Posted by: jckdoors | April 30, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

This is not a law that will control immigration into AZ. This is as law that will give way to the racial profiling of Latinos. What politicians are failing to see if that not everyone that is in this country illegally is a Latino. There are European immigrant, Canadian immigrants etc. living along side the "illegal Mexicans" that are being targeted by this very unconstitutional law. However, only the short, tan people in Arizona who speak with an ascent will be arrested and asked for documentation, the European immigrants with blond hair and blue eyes will blend right in and AZ government won't bother to ask for their documentation.

Posted by: aserra999 | April 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

This is not a law that will control immigration into AZ. This is as law that will give way to the racial profiling of Latinos. What politicians are failing to see if that not everyone that is in this country illegally is a Latino. There are European immigrant, Canadian immigrants etc. living along side the "illegal Mexicans" that are being targeted by this very unconstitutional law. However, only the short, tan people in Arizona who speak with an ascent will be arrested and asked for documentation, the European immigrants with blond hair and blue eyes will blend right in and AZ government won't bother to ask for their documentation.

Posted by: aserra999 | April 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The Holocaust was an abomination, but World War II and the Nazi activities leading up to it was about more than just Jews and the Holocaust. Nazi's were outrageously xenophobic, which provides more than ample analogy to justify use of a Hitler image in the cartoon. The cartoon is not specifically about the Holocaust. What I find truly offensive is that any one person or group would presume to have definitive authority on the subject.

Posted by: QRBNST | April 30, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I live here in Arizona and the hostility towards illegal aliens is GROWING. They just happen to be Mexican/Central American of Indian/White heritage for the most part.

I see nothing 'racist' about SB1070 here. If anything; I take offence to people trying to use anti (Jewish) Semitic imagery here. Unlike Hitler and his boys; we simply want the illegals OUT of the USA----------unhurt. If they forcibly resist being deported.........then it will be necessary to play hard ball (within the law).

Posted by: Bearhawke | April 30, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

aserra999: just remember that quite a few Nazi's after WW II settled in Latin America. Remember that Hispanic culture is both White supremacist and has a tendency towards anti Semitism as well.

Posted by: Bearhawke | April 30, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

My husband (now dead) was a Jewish teen in Nazi Germany. Escaped, fought in WW II against the Nazis. He told me everything.
Nothing in this horrible cartoon is anything like Nazi Germany. Arizona is defending itself against an invading mass of Mexicans and the drug cartel. Your sympathies are with the drug pushers. I wondeer why?

Posted by: drzimmern1 | April 30, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

The power to stop and question a person who "looks suspicious" means that anyone who "looks Hispanic" may be treated in Arizona as a "suspected illegal alien", including the vast majority of Hispanics who are either American citizens or legal residents in the USA. The comparison to Nazi Germany's treatment of "anything that appears Jewish" is perfectly valid.

Posted by: kilby | April 30, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It is ironic that there is an anti-Arizona backlash. But no one mentions the hypocritical Mexican immigration policy!

Posted by: DoYouTrustThisGuy | April 30, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell Abe Foxman to stuff it?

Posted by: DoYouTrustThisGuy | April 30, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

“Having traveled into Mexico last year to various cities on the Baja Peninsula, a distance of more than 1,000 miles round-trip, we were stopped more than 20 times at various checkpoints. At most of those stops, we were told to exit the vehicle and we were subjected to rigorous inspections. Where does Mexican President Felipe Calderón get off with his hypocritical outrage at our Senate Bill 1070?” ...Mike Sweeney

– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?

– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.

– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).

Posted by: DoYouTrustThisGuy | April 30, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

bearhaekw: protecting your borders is one thing, but racially profiling people just because they look "mexican" is a whole other issue. my support is not with the drug pusher my support is with the millions of illegals that happend to be goodhearted people who work hard and want nothing more than to able to feed their families, and as surprising as this may sound 60% of illegals do pay taxes in this country therefore they have every right to anything this country has to offer them.

Posted by: aserra999 | May 1, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it would have been more accurate for the moustache to have read "Israel".

Posted by: pbyrne1 | May 1, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

So the citizens of Arizona are being called Nazi's while it is they who are being raped, killed and driven from their homes. How horribly ironic.

Welcome to wonderland.

Posted by: checkmate110 | May 1, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

aserra999 ... frankly you apparently do not understand what happened in Germany and what is going on in the USA, whose federal government has failed for 20 years to control the borders.

The NAZIS - "Totalitarian Socialism" targeted Jews (who it so happens WERE citizens of Germany for decades) as scapegoats for the loss of German dignity due to Germany's embarrassing loss of WWI! Seeing how easy it was to use the Jews for his own purposes, Hitler extended his blame of the Jews throughout every nation Germany conquered. Thanks to people like FDR, who intentionally ignored Hitler's persecution of the Jews, Hitler was able to get away with it for many more years.

The federal government of the USA, as with every other nation, is responsible for controlling who enters the nation. As with every nation, foreigners who are legally in the country are expected to carry identification with them. A most reasonable requirement!

Being asked - in a legitimate police situation, to show that ID is NOT unique and carries no particular political context. Marguilies is wrong and has allowed his own personal politics to skewer his thought process.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | May 1, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Arizona as Nazi's? Just because they want to seal their border from criminal trespass?

Nah.

The real Nazi's states and regions in our nation are places like New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Maryland, and D.C. In those places, individual freedoms are greatly curtailed. Even free speech is coming under fire.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | May 1, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Americans who died in WW2

418,500

Mexicans who died in WW2

100

How do you spell Mexican?

H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E

Posted by: BULLFIGHTER11-11 | May 1, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I have a question. Where was the ADL's umbrage when Obama was portrayed as Hitler or did that issue just fall off the radar?
I'm sympathetic to the urgency felt by Arizonans on this issue, but really, nearly all of them were immigrants themselves at some point.
Hopefully the attention drawn to this will spur congress to reach consensus on appropriate legislation that does not go against the main reason our country exists - freedom from persecution.

Posted by: Rudesan | May 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Comparing Arizona to Nazi Germany is contemptible political theater. This sort of rubbish is dragging down the country. It's time to stop.

Posted by: masonjahr | May 1, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

hazmat77:  being stopped and asked for ID is different than being tapped on the shoulder and asked for a green card, not ID, because an officer has reason to believe you are an illegal.  that is discrimination.  obviously, if you are tan and short with black hair, you will be stopped.  I have nothing against controlling the borders. I actually think it does need to be done, but racially profiling all Hispanics as illegals in order to arrest as many as possible and deport them is not the way to do it. for one it's unconstitutional beyond words and two it will worsen AZ economy like a plaque.  AZ is a border state which means that along with a large population of "illegal Mexicans" there is a large population of Hispanics citizens period and they will be ready to close down their stores and businesses if all their costumers are being deported or forces to flee AZ out of fear.  it is also extremely hypocritical of Americans to want all illegals out because when Europeans came to the Americas and conquered NATIVE AMERICAN land, they were not asked to leave even though the were deceiving them and killing them on the very land they had invested their entire lives into.  Europeans should have been deported too but instead native americans got screwed for being good people and trusting the Europeans.

Posted by: aserra999 | May 1, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

A minimal few have read this law they are attacking. I am a strident anti Nazi and anti Fascist/Marxist?Communist for well over 60 years, and this law does not in any way compare or does it allow the discrimination that the so called antagonists say it does.
Read the Law and you will see that it has no comparison with Nazi Germany. The real comparison to encroachment of tyranny is in the Congress and the White House and their destruction of the Constitution.

Posted by: thenewyorktomesisacomicbook | May 1, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I believe the Nazi comparisons are greatly over used in modern political times (I am a Jew). However, in Arizona's case, this is not true. Arizona is being run by Caucasians and singling out minority groups and asking for "Papers, your papers" and a sheriff in Maricopa County that is abusing the law and prisoners. It is a shame, but Hitler and Himmler's genes have resurfaced in Arizona.

To all accusing the current administration of tyranny, please look up the definition. This is a duly elected administration and represents the country legally. This is not tyranny, just because you disagree with their politics.

Posted by: optodoc | May 1, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Racial profiling is wrong, however the problem deserves the treatment. Illegal Mexican immigrants do not contribute to society. Only 5% of these illegal immigrants have a bachelors degree, compared to 75% of legal immigrants. Majority of the illegal Mexican immigrants are involved in crime, gangs and drug trafficking. Why should the deserve the same rights?

Posted by: divc21 | May 2, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Furthermore, the following article clearly states how racist Mexicans really are.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/january2007/220107mexicangangs.htm

This is supposed to be land of opportunity, not terror.

Posted by: divc21 | May 2, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Hitler's genes are thriving in the Mexican communities.

Posted by: divc21 | May 2, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

The ADL's motto is "never again", as such one would think that would mean utter vigilance against activities reminiscent of Nazism would trump protection of the legacy of Jewish suffering as a result of the Holocaust. True, illegals do not deserve the rights granted to the citizens of this country, however 45.5 million citizens of this country including 2.5 million citizens of Arizona are Hispanic. Police in AZ now have the power to arrest without warrant those they suspect of being illegal. 98% of the illegals in AZ are Hispanic. If you believe this law does not stomp on the rights of American citizens, you are a fool. This is clearly a Nazi law.

Posted by: subg88 | May 2, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Furthermore, the following article clearly states how racist Mexicans really are. This is supposed to be land of opportunity, not terror." - divc21


"If only one country, for whatever reason, tolerates a Jewish family in it, that family will become the germ center for fresh sedition." - Adolf Hitler

divc21 sentiments seem to represent a vast swath of the American public. I am weeping for my country.

Posted by: subg88 | May 2, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

subg88,

And the gun rights lobby will shout Hitler when reasonable gun control measures are proposed, because Hitler enacted gun control in order to control the population. Then Glenn Beck will shout Hitler during health care reform proposals, complaining about 'progressive' policies.

The point is there's a distinction between vigilance and accepting people who are crying wolf. When people call everybody and everyone Hitler, it becomes meaningless.

So, to begin with, if you think this legislation is harmful, you can argue your point on the merits without referring to Hitler. It should be possible to do that, right?

But a lot of people don't realize that in AZ racial profiling is illegal. The Supreme Court of Arizona has ruled if a police officer stops your car on the basis of your race its a violation and ANY CHARGES CAN BE DROPPED and the police department can be sued.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0505racialprofiling.html ( State high court says racial profiling can get cases tossed )

So, racial profiling is legally prohibited in the State of Arizona, and this has held up in courts there.

So, lets say they DON'T use racial profiling, but the illegal immigrants they target for suspicion are Hispanics, and not Canadians? Who cares. If this law was enacted in California people under target for suspicion would also be Chinese, since there's a large illegal Chinese population. I don't fault police for prioritizing enforcement based on the problem.

Posted by: brianshapiro | May 2, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, nobody here seems to understand political propoganda. We've been doing it in this country ever since the invention of comics. Need I remind people of the depiction of the Japanese during World War II? Cartoons such as these are meant to portray the author's sentiment. I don't really see what the problem is with the cartoon here. I've heard Glenn Beck say worse than what I see in this picture. All of you need to lighten up and just learn to appreciate media and art for what it is; satire meant to make you think, instead of sitting there complacently in your comfy little suburban homes.

Posted by: nonarenee | May 3, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

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