B'nai B'rith Objects to CNN's Christiane Amanpour Usage of Holocaust Imagery to Make Political Point
(Washington, D.C., Nov. 16, 2020)--B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We have sent a letter to CNN expressing our dismay and concern over comments made recently by Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour regarding Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass (also known as the 1938 November Pogroms). Amanpour marked the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht by likening the acts of the Nazis to those of President Trump.
In our condemnation letter to CNN Executive Vice President of News Standards & Practices Richard Davis, we wrote: “Kristallnacht marked the beginning of the Holocaust which has, for far too long now, been trivialized by leading pundits, journalists, media outlets, political figures and others in their reckless analogies to political opponents and others. The genocide of more than six million Jews is not to be exploited to make a political point. Whatever criticisms one might have of their opponents, comparisons to Nazi Germany are grievously offensive.”
And we noted: “What’s more, shockingly, Amanpour does not even mention that the victims of Kristallnacht were Jews.”
Read the full letter here.
In response to our letter and criticism from other organizations, Amanpour read a statement to conclude her program on November 16. While this statement addresses her poor judgment, it fails to fully take into account the pain her comparison evokes.
Christiane Amanpour on CNN International, Monday, November 16, 2020:
“And finally tonight, a comment on my program at the end of last week. I observed the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, as I often do – it is the event that began the horrors of the Holocaust. I also noted President Trump's attacks on history, facts, knowledge, and truth. I should not have juxtaposed the two thoughts. Hitler and his evils stand alone, of course, in history. I regret any pain my statement may have caused. My point was to say how democracy can potentially slip away, and how we must always zealously guard our democratic values.”
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org.