Calif. council censures colleague for Hitler remark


(JTA) — The remarks by a councilwoman in Santa Ana, Calif., comparing a Jewish businessman to Hitler were condemned publicly by her colleagues.

Members of the Santa Ana City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to condemn Claudia Alvarez’s comments at an Aug. 24 debate on a tax for downtown property owners. The comments were directed at Irving Chase, the son of Holocaust survivors who owns several blocks of downtown property.

Alvarez violated the city’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, the vote stated, and also committed the council to holding a town hall meeting on race relations.

She apologized publicly at Tuesday’s meeting, according to the Orange County Register.

"To err is human, and I am human and I erred," she said. "I was very passionate about an issue and yes I misspoke. By no means did I intent to insult anybody."

Alvarez added, "I do want to apologize for those comments. I understand that I hurt a lot of people. This is not by any means a Jewish-Latino fight. Both communities have worked to stop racism and will continue to do so."

Organizations including the Anti-Defamation League had called for Alvarez’s resignation after she offered what the ADL called a "half-hearted" apology to Chase and his son the day after her remarks, in which she said, "Hey, so if Hitler rents you a place, he’s giving us a great deal, so who cares what he stands for?" 

The council did not remove Alvarez from her positions as mayor pro tem or as chairman of the Orange County Water District board.

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