MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he was right to liken a prominent Mexican Jewish figure to Adolf Hitler for his political thinking, including an outcry from the country’s Jewish community. shook off.
Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday that advertising executive and political analyst Carlos Alazraki, a critic of the president, was “Hitlerian,” prompting the Mexican Jewish community to issue a statement dismissing the comments as “unacceptable.”
Lopez Obrador referred to Alazraki after a video was shown during a regular press conference of the latter talking to opposition politicians who said Mexico was allowing undocumented migrants from Venezuela at a new airport. The government denies this.
“He is extremely conservative, just like a Hitlerian,” Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Jewish Community of Mexico rejected the use of the term “Hitler” to refer to anyone: “Any comparison to the most bloodthirsty regime in history is deplorable and unacceptable.”
Hitler’s Nazis murdered 6 million Jews during World War II.
Some Mexican opposition politicians also took offense. “The president’s comment to Carlos Alazraki not only violates free speech, but is undignified and disproportionate. It is extremely grotesque and derogatory to call a prominent member of the Jewish community ‘Hitler’,” opposition congress said. Santiago Creel in a tweet. †
On Thursday, Lopez Obrador returned to the matter at his regular press conference, saying, “Alazraki is a follower of Hitler’s thinking,” pointing to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and his use of lies to manipulate public opinion.
“This is the essence of Alazraki’s publicity or propaganda strategy,” said the president, who regularly invoked Goebbels to discredit his critics.
To make his point, Lopez Obrador showed a short video clip from 2021 in which Alazraki said the key to electorally defeating the president’s ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) was using lies and propaganda.
Alazraki told Reuters he could not understand the president’s comments. He said his comments in the clip were taken out of context and that he illustrated that to compete with MORENA, one had to use propaganda like the party did.
Alazraki also posted a video to Twitter on Thursday condemning Lopez Obrador’s comments and underlining his opposition to his policies. He concluded by saying that he has forgiven the president for the insults “because you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Lopez Obrador noted that he had long disagreed with Alazraki, but expressed his respect for the Jewish community.
“I have very good friends in the Jewish community,” he said.
(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Dave Graham in Mexico City; editing by Matthew Lewis)