A Jewish advocacy group has denounced the pro-life film “180,” which juxtaposes the murders that took place during the Nazi-led Holocaust with abortions performed in the United States, as an outrageous abuse of the memory of the tragedy that occurred during World War II.
The Anti-Defamation League released a statement Wednesday that accused the film’s producer, evangelist Ray Comfort, of manipulating “the young people interviewed to view the killing of innocent Jews during the Holocaust to be the same as the killing of fetuses.”
In the 33-minute documentary, Comfort begins by giving viewers a history lesson on the Holocaust. There is archival WW II footage used in the video showing bodies piled up on top of each other, being transported, and being disposed.
While interviewing people in public places, Comfort discovered that many young people, including college students did not know who Hitler was or what the Holocaust was about. Comfort captures on video their responses to a series of questions from him. He begins by asking whether they know who Adolf Hitler is and the fact that he sanctioned the killing of 11 million people.
Comfort then transitions from talk about lives lost in the Holocaust to lives lost as the result of legal abortions in the United States, a number estimated to be 10 times the amount lost in the Holocaust. In the video it is quite apparent that those interviewed, who had a pro-abortion stance, change their opinion on abortion.
"The film is a perverse attempt to make a case against abortion in America through the cynical abuse of the memory of those killed in the Holocaust," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor. "Not only does the film try to assert a moral equivalency between the Holocaust and abortion, but it also brings Jews and Jewish history into the discussion and then calls on its viewers to repent and accept Jesus as their savior.”
“It is, quite frankly, one of the most offensive and outrageous abuses of the memory of the Holocaust we have seen in years," he stated.
Comfort, who was born to a Jewish mother and father, released a statement of his own Thursday, countering the accusations.
“ADL’s motto is to fight ‘anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.’ There’s no hatred, prejudice or bigotry in ‘180,’” Comfort said. “It’s an award-winning movie that opens with 14 people, mainly college students, who have no idea of the identity of Adolf Hitler. Clearly the American education system has failed these kids. This is a movie that educates young people about the horror of the Jewish Holocaust.”
Foxman said Comfort and Living Waters, the makers of the film, “clearly don’t get it.”
"No Christian who understands Jewish suffering should resort to inappropriate comparisons to the Holocaust to send a message that abortion is wrong. This was one of the most painful chapters in human history,” Foxman asserted. “Must the memory of the 6 million and millions of other victims be continually misused and abused by those with another agenda?"
Comfort replied to Foxman’s assertions, stating: “No one but a Holocaust survivor can really understand the horror of what the Jews suffered. But the analogy stands. Hitler justified their murder by saying that Jews weren’t human. Abortion advocates do the same by calling a baby a ‘fetus’ (as does ADF in their press release).”
“Yet, at 6 weeks 6 days a baby has a heartbeat, eyes, a mouth and hands. We show actual footage of this in our movie. Science now tells us that at the moment of conception there is DNA, determining the eye-color, hair-color and the height and personality of the person. Destroy that, and you destroy the person,” Comfort said.
“With due respect to Mr. Foxman, he speaks of Christianity as if it were some sort of disease, when he should know that the majority of Christians love and support the nation of Israel. We are not the enemy,” he added.
In his statement, Comfort went further into the film’s correlation between the Holocaust and abortions in the U.S.
“Germany lawfully slaughtered six million Jews. America has lawfully slaughtered nearly ten times that amount. Also, every time Hitler killed a Jewish family he lined his pockets by seizing their assets – their paintings, jewelry, cars, homes, and bank account. He also seized the gold from their teeth and the hair from their heads, and it amounted to billions of dollars, financing a third of his war-machine with the blood of the Jews,” Comfort said.
Likewise, he said the abortion industry in the U.S. puts “billions in the pockets of abortion providers.”
“American abortion is not about ‘choice,’ it’s about money … just like the Holocaust. The analogy is legitimate,” Comfort concluded in his statement.
The documentary, which was released in late September, has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times at 180Movie.com and YouTube. On Oct. 25, about 200,000 DVD copies of the film were passed out to students at more than 100 universities throughout the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.
Comfort and volunteer members of his ministry went to three high schools in the Los Angeles and Hollywood area on Wednesday to begin a campaign of distributing the DVD to high school age students.