Holocaust survivors and political leaders expressed outrage Sunday over a Jerusalem demonstration in which ultra-Orthodox Jews donned Star of David patches and uniforms similar to those the Nazis forced Jews to wear during World War II.
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered Saturday night to protest what they say is a nationwide campaign directed against their lifestyle. At the protest, children wore the striped black-and-white uniforms associated with Nazi concentration camps. One child's hands were raised in surrender - mimicking an iconic photo of a terrified Jewish boy in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial called the use of Nazi imagery "disgraceful." The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, an umbrella organization of survivors, expressed its "utter contempt at this disgraceful exploitation."
"We who survived and witnessed these Nazi crimes are particularly offended that demonstrators so blithely used children in this public outrage. They have insulted the memory of all the Jewish victims, including those who were ultra-Orthodox," said the organization's vice president, Elan Steinberg.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni called on the ultra-Orthodox leadership to condemn the display.
"This is a terrible offense against the memory of the Holocaust victims who were forced, secular and Ultra-Orthodox alike, to wear the yellow star in the ghetto on their way to extermination, and there is no demonstration in the world that can justify this," she said.
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