According to Wikipedia, Godwin’s Law is understood thusly:
Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”
There are many corollaries to Godwin’s law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself) than others invented later. For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress. This principle itself is frequently referred to as Godwin’s Law.
Godwin’s Law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one’s opponent) with Hitler or Nazis or their actions.
Stupid Wikipedia. You know what they forgot to put in that article? The asterisk! You know, the one that says this principle no longer applies to Jewish people!
Yes, it’s true. The victims of the Holocaust themselves should be compared frequently, and with impunity, to Nazis. This is not only a free speech issue, but is the sign of a person wanting to have a legitimate discussion about the actions of the Israeli government towards the Palestinian people.
Or, so saith certain bloggers who call themselves lefties.
Now, I’m reminded of when I was blogging on lefty blogs in the past, and I started bringing up the word “fascism” with reference to the Bushies and their “unitary executive” theory. I was warned not to use that word, because it was too close to comparing Bush with Hitler, and I was violating Godwin’s Law. Never mind that Rummy admitted to using the Blitzkrieg as a model for his invasion of Afghanistan. Never mind that KKKarl Rove’s grandfather was actually A NAZI.
So let me get this straight. According to some on the left, the important thing to remember is that you must be sensitive to actual authoritarian, jack-booted thugs like the Bushies, but not to Jewish people. It’s also important to play the victim when you are called on the carpet for it.
For the incredibly slow learners out there, this is an example of a legitimate criticism of the Israeli government:
“The Israeli government should not have settled illegally in the Gaza Strip. They should pull out immediately.”
This is not.
As the Simon Wiesenthal Center put it:
“The imagery in this cartoon mimics the venomous anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazi and Soviet eras. It is cartoons like this that inspired millions of people to hate in the 1930s and help set the stage for the Nazi genocide.”
Shtuey points out that this cartoon is no different from the anti-Semitic propaganda put out by Islamic terrorists bent on eradicating the Jewish people from the earth. And yes, I’m so sorry to break it to some of you, but anti-Semitism just exists. It’s like racism: some people just hate other people who have different skin color, FOR NO REASON. It’s been that way for thousands and thousands of years. Why can’t the left grasp that? Or do they think the Jews did something to deserve the Holocaust or the Inquisition? Do they think that Africans did something to deserve being ripped from their homeland and sold into slavery?
Even worse, cartoons like this propagate the lie that the Israeli government is genocidal towards the Palestinians. Earth to the clueless: If Israel wanted them dead, they’d be dead. We’ve armed Israel to the teeth in order to ensure its survival. The Palestinians wouldn’t have a prayer in hell if the Israelis decided to destroy them.
Outraged does not begin to express how I feel about this type of vileness. But let me say this loud and clear:
Anyone who compares Jewish people to Nazis is not only anti-Semitic, but is violating the basic laws of decency, good political discourse and, of course, the law of Godwin. This is not legitimate criticism, and it is beyond ludicrous to say so. It is propaganda and hate speech, and should never, EVER be promoted or encouraged by anyone.
What’s really sad is that something like that even needs to be said. No wonder the mantra of the Jewish people is, “Never forget.” Some, it appears, have forgotten – or never knew, in the first place, the terrible power of anti-Semitism.
Cross-posted at Partizane
UPDATE: I have been correctly admonished for my references to Prescott Bush in this context. Apparently his Nazi connection has been unjustly inflated by the Internet rumor mill. I apologize for including him in my post, and his name has now been removed.
However…whether or not the Bushies should be referred to as Nazis was NOT the point of the post. The point is that Godwin’s Law should apply to everyone, but most especially to the victims of the Holocaust.