(March 5, 2019 / JNS) A viral picture of what appeared to be high school students at a weekend party in California saluting alongside a table with cups configured as a swastika has sparked outrage.
“As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, I know that swastikas and Nazi salutes are not a joke or something to be taken lightly,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
“To make light of the industrial scale genocide committed against Jews and others during World War II is to dance on the graves of millions of people,” she continued. “That said, despite the insensitivity and ignorance this incident represents, I believe it also creates an opportunity for a powerful teachable moment.”
Artists4Israel CEO Craig Dershowitz said that “the Holocaust degrades our morality. It is a stain upon our humanity and a time of great sorrow for the world and of particular anguish for the Jewish people and other victims who, to this very day, suffer from its terror.
“There is never a place to make light of it, and especially in these divisive times, we should be more sensitive to hate and intolerance in every form,” he continued. “Our future generations have the opportunity to either sink into the abyss or rise above. We hope it is the latter.”
A community meeting about the incident occurred on Monday evening at Newport Harbor High School and was attended by many of the students at the party.
The area’s congressional representative, Democrat Harley Rouda, did not mince words in condemning the pictures.
“There’s nothing funny about diminishing the history of Nazism, & their genocide against the Jewish people,” tweeted Rouda, a Democrat. “We must confront and condemn hatred without exception. These NHHS students must show the community that they’ll learn from this, & work to bind up the wounds they reopened.”
There’s nothing funny about diminishing the history of Nazism, & their genocide against the Jewish people.
We must confront and condemn hatred without exception.
These NHHS students must show the community that they’ll learn from this, & work to bind up the wounds they reopened
— Harley Rouda (@HarleyRouda) March 4, 2019
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District announced that it is investigating the images, which were posted and spread throughout social media.