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.