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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Was "Heil Hitler" Confrontation Staged?

Think Progress, the Democratic policy and media-watch organization, broke the story that someone in the audience at a health care town hall in Las Vegas shouted "Heil Hitler" at an Israeli giving a talk about the Israeli system. Needless to say, the video is being spread to show that health care protesters are crazy/racist/anti-Semitic.

But was this real or staged? I cannot say definitively, but something is wrong here. The video shows the woman who shouted "Heil Hitler," in the screen shot below:

Notice the shirt she is wearing? It is an Israel Defense Forces t-shirt, available on-line at Judaism.com (and possibly elsewhere):

Is this proof positive that this was a set-up? No. Does it raise suspicions? Definitely. How many people who shout "Heil Hitler" go around in an Israel Defense Forces t-shirt? How convenient that this shout was made only when the Israeli was being interviewed for television.

Given the imposters who have appeared at town halls to discredit health care protesters, anything is possible.

UPDATE: A video is available at ABC 13 in Las Vegas. The video shows the two individuals, but there is no mention of a "Heil Hitler" statement being made by the woman (the Think Progress video does not show who made the comment, and assumes it was the woman pictured). The woman is identified as Pamela Pilger, and the man as Samuel Blum.

The audio on the ABC 13 video also does not contain the "Heil Hitler" statement or show Blum conronting Pilger about the statement. (As as aside, Blum says he agrees there should be no health care support for illegal immigrants.) The ABC 13 web post on the town hall also makes no mention of a "Heil Hitler" statement.

Was the statement made, and who are these two people? Was it real or staged? Assuming this was not a set-up, why could an obvious supporter of Israel make such a statement; was it anti-Semitism, or just wrong-headed, like when blacks call other blacks the n-word? ... or mayby it's just a variation on the stupidity in which each side calls the other side Nazis, Godwin's law gone mad.

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  1. Wow. I think your question is valid, but if you've seen any number of the crazies at these town halls, not only are they obviously mis-educated (or they were educated on history and then had their minds wiped or something) and possibly psychotic but they have no ability to comprehend the humor in their contradictive and ironic actions.

  2. You got that from Wonkette.

    You should credit them.

  3. What kind of person can wear that shirt and stand up to say something like that to anyone anywhere in the world? It is an insult to us all? Have we all forgotten what came from Hitlers' Germany? Not even comparable, at least not yet. I am a Conservative Republican and not nearly all of us are crazy or radical or racist. When the left has to play the race card maybe they have already lost. Disagreement with the left does not equal racism.

  4. @michilines - No I didn't get it from Wonkette. I posted it, and only later saw it at their site as an update via Memeorandum.

  5. What's interesting is that she was first criticizing Blum for INSULTING Obama. Doesn't sound like something a conservative would do...

  6. @snickerkisses, I listened a few times and it is tough to make out everything that's said. There is no camera on the woman when the Heil Hitler statement is made. We see the man move toward her and the confrontation that follows. The woman says to him early on that the man should be most afraid of Obama. That is what I heard.

    If the woman wearing the shirt did make the Heil Hitler statement, she might not have been intending any anti-semitic connotation. First, she could be a Jewish woman herself. There are American Jewish voters who find Jewish supporters to be in denial of Obama's lack of support for Israel very worrisome. This is comparable to Christian voters who find the denial of Obama's abortion policies troublesome in fellow Christians.

    While the woman's statement is certainly provocative and taken out of context it could be construed as anti-semitic, I think the shirt and the context changes the meaning entirely. There is no "misinterpreting" the hate spewing from the group commenting at Think Progress, however. Those wishing she is torn apart thrown from her home etc., jump to the same hateful conclusions about her, they accuse her of holding toward Mr. Blum.

  7. Probably she was doing what a number of conservatives have been doing: suggesting that any supporter of Obama and health care reform is a Nazi. Unfortunately for her, this supporter turned out to be an Israeli Jew. You can see the deer-in-the-headlights cognitive dissonance kick in after Blum says this. But Pilger recovers in time to mock Blum for complaining about outrageous medical bills. A true conservative warrior, she is!

  8. Maybe this will help...

    Orly Taitz: Obama policies are 'clear and present danger to Israel'
    The driving force behind the 'birther' movement has found her star is rising in Israel.

    As cable and online news outlets devoted more and more time to the phenomenon, Israeli-American activist Orly Taitz emerged at the forefront of the campaign, and her star steadily rose until a fateful MSNBC interview in which she referred to her detractors as "Obama's brownshirts."

  9. with all the hitler crap being spouted by the terrorist right, just because she is wearing a t-shirt means nothing, most of these nut jobs will say and do anything to get into the meetings so they can disrupt it. There is not one thing that the nutty right has said is a legit point. Every point they make for being against the public option is already being done by the insurance companies.

  10. Again. Americans are showing their lack of education. Saying "Heil Hitler" to oppose health care? Sheesh. Actually, Hitler was one of the first to implement cancer research for breast cancer. Not that I'm defending Hitler, but how lazy are these people that they can't come up with something more original then comparing Obama to Hitler. Ehhh...wasn't Hitler more well known for something other than health care policies. Stupid people, you make the United States the laughing stock of the world!

  11. LOL. It's The Goofus & Doofus Amateur Hour daily show that's a laughing stock.

  12. Is this a joke?? Your analogy is that she is wearing that shirt therefore she is a supporter? Wow, I sure hope you don't work with investigation.

  13. Gail

    speak of the devil...Hitler did implement cancer research..but only after injecting the cancer into prisoner..talk about STUPID..where did you get your lessons on the back of a ceral box

  14. Have you filthy left wing hypocrites forgotten how easily and often you invoked the image of Hitler when trashing George Bush? Here you Obamabots, let's stroll down memory lane:


  15. Wow...if there was ever any "mis-education," it's definitely found in the brainwashing on the left. The statements that regard the left as intelligent and focused, while the right is delusional and dimwitted is simply a ridiculous playground level taunt.

  16. I agree with William, something is definitely not right with this confrontation. If you listen to the whole thing their arguments seem to waver back and forth.

    I'd like to know more about both players before jumping to a conclusion.

    BTW the man is talking about the equivalent in Israel of our VA system, not healthcare in general.

    Dan Maloney
    NY State Coordinator
    Gathering of Eagles

  17. Nancy Pelosi, like an Oracle of Delphi, predicted that nazis and swastikas would come out in opposition and, wah lah, it is reported that they have. Prof. Jacobson, the side column of your blog used to list exposed "plants" by the left. Please restore the list, and add a second list for suspected plants.

  18. Are you seriously trying to defend this woman?

  19. I really think you are on to something here. She PROBABLY was a plant. She cleverly gave an interview with a local station in which she claimed she was a conservative Republican who wants Obama and Reid voted out, before the confrontation with the other guy.

    On the off chance she wasn't a plant, she probably didn't even say "Heil Hitler", but when the guy confronted her, she just thought she would let that go, because who would really care if she said something as innocuous as "Heil Hitler" to a Jew?

    On the off off chance she wasn't a plant and DID say "Heil Hitler" to a Jew she later mocked for complaining about health care costs, she PROBABLY meant "Heil Hitler" in a totally non-racist, totally innocent way.

    Because I think we can all agree that a woman protesting against Obama's health care program even though her husband works 2.5 jobs and has no health care (as she admits in her pre-encounter interview) would NEVER do something as illogical as shout something anti-semitical while at the same time wearing an IDF shirt, right?

  20. Lets all go with the flow, Left, right, center.
    If Jesus ran for office as soon as he put a D or and R after his name instantly he is satan to the other party, instantly! Anyone who marches lock step with their party on all issues and demonizes the other side are acting like nazi's, anyone. If you call someone a name like hater of denier you kill debate and are acting like a Nazi. Planned protests on the right? I new a gal who was part of a group ready to protest John McCain, just in case he won. I remember hearing "I don't like what your doing but I support your right to do it" now it's "I don't like what your doing and here is my team of attorneys to stop you."

  21. Most of the Hitler connections are actually coming from the far left. Lyndon LaRouche a liberal radical who despises Obama his policies and everything he stands for. What the far left and right are actually comparing Obama's health plan to Hitler's first health plan for Germany. Look it up, They're actually very similar. I wouldn't go as far as to call Obama a facist or compare Hitler to Obama but you have to admit the health plans look similar.

  22. @gail: The irony of your post is that save for a few imature internet children I don't see americans making such simple minded, predjudice statements such as that. Check any internet posting of a media report about an american and you'll find a post just like yours, assuming all of America is represented by one ignorant person.

    I'll enlighten you a bit. The media focuses on individuals such as this because it sparks the interest of simple minded fools like you. Our lack of education has you lining up like bums at a soup kitchen to put all of your money into OUR economy.

    It probably is true that as a whole your country has a better education system and is more educated, but theres a reason for that too. You have to work twice as hard when its someone else's pie that you are trying to get a slice of.

  23. I kinda like this -- you opened a huge can of worms and they've spilled out and are squirming all over the hot pavement!

  24. Some people have tried to post comments with this lady's home telephone number and other info. that would let people contact her. I'm not going to do that, as that only invites the same craziness that she exhibited -- if indeed she said what was on the video. Other websites have published such info., but I will not. As to anyone who thinks this post was a "defense" of her, then you haven't read the post. It is fair to ask if she really did it (the video is inconclusive as to who made the comment), and why she did it (religious hatred, stupidity, Godwin's law, or otherwise).

  25. I really don't follow your logic. If it were staged, then why would who or whatever was staging this thing go out of their way to intensify the cognitive dissonance? I'm reminded of the most obvious object to 9/11 truthers: IF Bush staged 9/11, then why was his response to it so inept? In both cases, Ockham's razor demands we go with the simplest explanation: Pilger is, like many opponents of health care reform (and like many opponents of other past social programs: see the rhetoric surrounded both Social Security and Medicare), a flat out freakin nut. This is your side, Jacobson: suck it up.

  26. Not staged.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcRr5xA-K80&fea ...

    Here she gives a longer interview. The name is Pamela Pilger and her husband owns several McCain/Palin domains.

    Form you own opinion as to why she is bitter toward Obama.

  27. republicans always do this. were they caught on camera saying something awful? they are now a secret democrat sent by nancy pelosi.. you are such a bigot apologist. the gop gives the subtle wink and nod to the racist element of this country, to let them know they are the same team. you may think that your party is so discreet that we outsiders don't notice the cues, but we aren't as thick as the followers you are used to misleading. only one word describes your fake excuses- irrational.
    it's just like the town halls you say dems and repubs like to interrupt... did you see video of blackburn in TN at her town hall? huge numbers, all republicans, and very civil. no interruptions, no shout-downs... where were all of these dem plants you speak of? they only show to disrupt their own party? irrational.

  28. C'mon, they like Israel! That's where the Jesus comes from! It's those Jesus-killing Jews they have a problem with.

    Yes, that was meant to be facetious. No, it's not misrepresentative of their intellect.

  29. Since we have a disagreement over health policy and how and whether reform need to be done why are all you writers blabbing about what this woman said or did not say, who cares? Our health system is broke, medicare which we will all need is broke, our health premiums are rising at double digit rates, health care HMO style for a family of four is unaffordable for the average income earner family. These are important things to discuss not this silly diversion from reality.

  30. Her husband bought that McCain domain as part of their plot to make her not seem like she was a Democratic plant! ITS ALL A CONSPIRACY I TELLS YA!

  31. Bill, to your question of how an "obvious supporter of Israel" could be antisemitic: the right's zealous support of Israel has nothing to do with the reality of Israel. If they had an inkling of what Israel actually was culturally, politically, etc. they would dismiss them as the effete Europeans they are. This is true particularly for someone who wears an Israeli Defense t-shirt--the fashion "statement" is not about strategic democracy, or sovereign statehood--it has to do with killing Muslims.

  32. if only mike godwin were dead, so he could roll in his grave.

    "Unfortunately for her, this supporter turned out to be an Israeli Jew."

    or, as i've said elsewhere, unfortunately for her, the entire rest of the world does not subscribe to jonah goldberg's newfangled definitions.


  33. regarding nygoe's suggestion that the Israeli man was only talking about VA systems... since Israel has national military service conscription for all non-Arab male and female citizens, even if we only consider Israel's veteran health services (rather than its national health service in general), this would cover a much higher proportion of the population than the US VA

  34. I wonder how many here realize that calling democrats "brownshirts" is tantamount to calling Obama "Hitler".

    If proof comes to light that this confrontation should be taken at anything other than face value, than by all means make these claims. However, casting doubt on the authenticity of these events because you feel her T-shirt somehow makes her a shill is absurd. She directly says "Obama hates Israel", so it is congruent with her apparent objective to be wearing what she considers to be "anti-Obama" paraphernalia.

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