Some people baffle me sometimes even though they have the best of intentions. This past weekend that exact thing took place off the coast of southern New Jersey. A group known as the International Raelian Movement flew a plane towing a banner with a swastika. This is part of their 3rd annual take back the swastika day. A day which they claim is to get rid of “Any negative emotions regarding the swastika by people under the age of 70 years old" and that any ill will to the symbol "are obviously linked to their education and not to their experiences.”
“It’s about time people were re-educated to understand the original meaning of the oldest and most recurrent symbol in the world.” This part, however well intentioned they are is absolutely true. The Swastika was not invented by the Nazi party in 1930's Germany. The Swastika is found in nearly ever culture around the world and holds different meanings from good luck to harmony. Here is a little chart I found showing the swastika being used by different cultures around the world:
So like I said, this is well intentioned, but is highly insensitive to the suffering that was caused to many people alive today and many people whose family was murdered and persecuted by the Nazis. “They use the swastika in the traditional Eastern context, not the Nazi context,” Etzion Neuer, acting head of the Anti-Defamation League in New Jersey, said. “But to us it’s incredibly insensitive because it’s dismissive of the pain it causes to the Jewish community. It’s an egocentric attitude, completely unconcerned about the way it’s viewed by others.”
Some people complained to their rabbi that it practically ruined their weekend.“They may have good intentions, but the image is more powerful than good intentions at this point,” Don Pripstein, president of the Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island, said. “The image is so horrendous that no matter what their ultimate purpose is, it’s extremely negative. We still have people in this generation who lost parents or grandparents” in the Holocaust.
The International Raelian Movement is a group of people who believe that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call the Elohim. The group is estimated to have over 80,000 members world wide and is responsible for such things as Clonaid. The company that claimed they cloned a human back in 2002.
Here are some real time twitter reactions from some of the beach goers:
Plane pulling a sign over the beach saying that swastika= peace & love... What the fuck
Why is there a pro swastika sign flying around the beach? How is that even allowed ?
working at the beach enjoying my day and then a plane flies over with a banner saying pro swastika #Wtf
Just saw an airplane ad on the beach for nazis with a giant swastika on it ... #sickpeople