In American politics, there are few accusations more damning than being compared to a Nazi. But New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind might have uncovered one of them – that is, indifference to Nazis living among us – in his new political campaign.
As first reported by Business Insider’s Hunter Walker, Hikind posted a banner ad March 4 on his website claiming “Nazis Are Living Freely Among Us,” and requests that his constituents sign a petition to remove Nazi war criminals living in the United States.
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Citing the example of Jakiw Palij, an slave-labor camp guard who lives in Queens, NY, Hikind said that he would expose these former Nazis and bring them to justice. “This is unacceptable,” he said. “I’m certain that all decent people, regardless of their nationality, would also find this unacceptable if they were aware of it, so I intend to bring this reprehensible situation to everyone’s attention. Decent people don’t want Nazi neighbors.”
Palij, whose story was revealed on The Huffington Post in November 2013, has been a target for protests led by Hikind. But despite the Assemblyman’s successful efforts to get Palij’s citizenship revoked, the immigrant is apparently unwelcome in his native Poland, and no other nation is willing to take him in either, despite his claims that he never worked in a labor camp or wore a S.S. uniform.
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Hikind, meanwhile, is the son of Holocaust survivor. He has appeared as a guest on many right-wing talk shows, and considered running for office as a Republican because he did not expect to be nominated by Democrats. He has further courted political controversy in recent years by advocating racial profiling for individuals who appear to be Muslim, and voted against a same-sex marriage bill, claiming that its passing could lead to acceptance of incest.
Additionally, Hikind was the subject of a federal investigation after multiple Jewish organizations were charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funds, which were allegedly used to pay his personal expenses.
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Hikind’s Change.org petition has thus far only drawn 90 signatures, but he hopes to attract more attention to the campaign through a series of MTA posters and ads urging community involvement. “It’s never too late to get justice for Holocaust victims,” he insists.
For a decidedly different, perhaps lighter-hearted depiction of the Jewish experience, watch Old Jews Telling Jokes, only on FilmOn: