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A new ad by a former chief executive director of the anti-Donald Trump Lincoln Project that compares the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol to the Beer Hall Putsch, during which the Nazi Party attempted a failed coup d’état, has drawn criticism from some who claim the ad is anti-Semitic.
Fred Wellman, who remains a senior adviser to The Lincoln Project, is a cofounder and the communications director of the Beer Hall Project, which says on its website that it “will work to fight the erasure of January 6th through a multi-pronged approach of research and education.”
The ad, which was narrated by actor Edward Norton, likened Trump’s speech on Jan. 6, 2021, and the subsequent events to footage depicting Hitler’s failed putsch in 1923, which ultimately led to the Nazi regime.
“There is a familiar rhythm to what happened there and then, and what’s happening here and now,” the ad continued, also flashing footage of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The ad went on to claim that the Republican Party is planning to steal the 2024 election.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, who is president of The Conference of Jewish Affairs, excoriated the ad in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“This ad is vile and obscene, the exact opposite of the truth,” he said.
Spero went on to say the ad was “done evidently by people whose political ambitions would trivialize the history and the horror of the Holocaust.”
“This is the truth: Whereas the Nazis and Adolf Hitler had as their goal the destruction of the Jewish people, former President Trump and today’s Republican Party have been the greatest friends to Israel and the Jewish people,” Spero also said.
Spero also praised the Trump administration for combating anti-Semitism on college campuses and said the Republicans in Congress have voted most consistently in favor of Israel’s interest.
“As one of only two Jewish Republicans in the House of Representatives and all of Congress, I am appalled and disgusted by the comparison the Beer Hall Project made between U.S. Republicans and the Nazi Party as well as President Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler,” said Rep. David Kustoff, R-Tenn.
“What happened on Jan. 6 in no way can nor should ever be compared to what happened to the 6 million Jewish men, women, and children and many other innocent people who perished at the hands of the evil Nazi regime,” Kustoff continued, urging the members of The Beer Hall Project to visit the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
People visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26, 2020. (ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)
“Not only is this a dangerous comparison that exploits the memory of the Holocaust, but it plays into the drastic rise of anti-Semitism we have seen across our country,” Kustoff added. “I demand this video be taken down immediately.”
Wellman recently said to the St. Louis Dispatch concerning Jan. 6: “The erasure and rewriting of what happened that day is painfully obvious to most Americans, but for so many it is being framed as simply a ‘mass trespassing’ or demonstration that got out of hand.”
“Even as evidence mounts it was planned well ahead of time and coordinated to disrupt the Electoral College certification,” he added.
Protesters climb the west wall of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
“We want to truly dive into how to break through these bubbles. We don’t pretend we will find those answers ourselves and want to work with anyone who is asking those questions, highlight their work with our platforms, and spread the information to those that can use it. We have to figure this out before we lose our republic,” Wellman also said.
A spokesperson for Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who was featured in the ad, told Fox News Digital that “the failed Lincoln Project is desperate to continue its grift.”
“After spending a year covering up for their sex predator founder and their failed white supremacist hoax in Virginia, now they’re hyping fears about a Nazi takeover of the country. Normalizing this kind of rhetoric is dangerous, and the Democrats who have propped them up need to quickly denounce this,” the spokesperson added.
Fox News Digital reached out to both The Lincoln Project and The Beer Hall Project for comment but did not receive one in time for publication. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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