WASHINGTON (JTA) — A New Hampshire state legislator is under fire for suggesting that Jews were vulnerable during the Holocaust because they were different.
Rep. Jordan Ulery, a Republican, introduced a law that would require any shop featuring signs in any language other than English to also include all the official U.N. languages: French, English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic.
"When you establish a ghetto, you’re leaving yourself open to what happened to the Jews in Eastern Europe because you’re setting yourself up to be different," Ulery told Sunday’s edition of the Union-Leader newspaper.
The Concord Monitor quoted him as telling Fox News, "When you do not participate in your society around you, and when you become different, you become subject to what the Nazis did to the Jews."
New Hampshire Democrats called the comments anti-Semitic.
Saying the Holocaust "was the fault of Jews who were forced into ghettos is repulsive," a state party release said. "Rep. Ulery’s abhorrent anti-Semitic comments have no place in New Hampshire and must be immediately denounced."
In an interview with local TV station WMUR, Ulery, who is running for a spot on the Republican National Committee, would not apologize, but acknowledged that he could have chosen a better metaphor.
"The comment was misunderstood and misplaced, and it was not as well enunciated in the interview as it could have been," he said. Referring to the Holocaust "was a bad idea, it should have dealt with Balkanization, which is a less inflammatory word."