Local Jewish groups and students at the University of California, Berkeley have come out against a political advocacy group for driving two trucks with images of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler near the school's campus.
One truck sent by the group JewBelong included a message about the Holocaust that read "we're just 75 years since the gas chambers," while another, which was sent by the group Accuracy in Media, showed images of Hitler with the text, "All in favor of banning Jews, raise your right hand," and the included the claim "Berkeley Bans Jews."
The group's president, Adam Guillette, said in an interview with J. The Jewish News of Northern California the trucks were sent to protest antisemitism following controversy over some student groups at the school barring Zionist speakers.
Multiple students and groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Community Relations Council, and Berkeley Hillel, criticized the truck with images of Hitler after it appeared near the school.
"We know some of you may have seen a truck driving around campus this morning with a disturbing image prominently displayed," Berkeley Hillel wrote on Instagram, adding it "rejects antisemitism of any kind, and in all its forms. We also reject subjecting Jewish students to additional fear and trauma."
"The addition of more antisemitism, like using Hitler imagery to score cheap rhetoric points, only trivializes the memories of the six million," tweeted the ADL's San Francisco branch.
The city's Jewish Community Relations Council, which has criticized the Berkeley student groups' ban on Zionist speakers as antisemitic, said in a statement Guillette's "talk of 'Jew-free zones' is factually inaccurate and not productive," and described the stunt as "unwelcome and unhelpful."
JewBelong co-founder Archie Gottesman noted to J. that his group was not associated with Accuracy in Media and said their "truck scared the crap out of us."
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