U.S. Navy to spend money on masking swastika snafu
September 27, 2007
A U.S. Naval base that appears in the shape of a swastika when seen from above will receive a US$600,000 make-over after sparking concerns from Jewish groups.
“It doesn’t make any sense that a building on government property would be built in the shape of one of the most hated symbols in human history,” Morris Casuto, the Anti-Defamation League’s Regional Director in San Diego, told CNN.
Barracks at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, Calif. were built as four L-shaped buildings, four decades ago.
But it wasn’t until online satellite imaging tools such as Google Earth made pictures from above readily accessible that the shape sparked controversy.
The swastika, a symbol forever tied to Nazi Germany, is visible to anyone with access to the Internet.
The Navy has said the barracks, used by the Seabees, were constructed in the late 1960s and were not intended to resemble the Nazi symbol.
Casuto readily admits that it was likely an oversight when the complex was built, but says that doesn’t make it right.
After nine months of conversation with the ADL, the Navy has decided to spend US$600,000 on landscaping and architectural changes that would obscure the swastika shape from the air.
“The Navy came to realize that this is a symbol that thousands of people died to defeat and it was inappropriate to have that shape on a military base,” Casuto told Reuters on Wednesday.
Richard Rider, a member of the San Diego Tax Fighters, said spending money on cosmetic changes to military bases is wasteful.
“Should we spend $600,000 on landscaping and cosmetic changes or should we buy three heavily armored humvees for our forces in Iraq?” he told ABC. “Don’t go to the American taxpayer and say we’d rather spend your money on flowerpots and sidewalks than fighting vehicles for our men.”
But the whole debate has flown over the head of John Mock, the architect who designed the buildings, who told CNN last year there was no malicious intent.
“It’s four L-shaped buildings — looking from the ground, the air — it still is,” he said.
The ADL is fighting the appearance of another immense swastika, this one carved into a cornfield in rural New Jersey.
“At a time when Jews around the world and in New Jersey are celebrating the High Holidays, we are confronted with this ugly symbol of hatred against Jews,” said Etzion Neuer, ADL New Jersey Regional Director.
According to the ADL, it’s the third time a swastika has been cut into a New Jersey county cornfield.
from the book “Gentle Swastika – Reclaiming The Innocence” by ManWoman:
Webster’s New American Dictionary (1959) gives this definition for Swastika: “An ancient Jewish religious symbol…”
From the second century BC to the end of the first century AD, a secret, monastic brotherhood of Jews called the Essenes lived in Palestine. Living communally and shunning public life, this hermetic group stressed purity and profound spiritual seeking. The swastika to them was a sacred sign representing the Wheel of Eternal Life. It symbolized the inner movement of the soul which leads through death to resurrection.
Jesus of Nazareth is said to have been trained in his mystical path by the Essene brotherhood, who are probably the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls…
There are associations with the swastika in Hebrew Qabalah, a Jewish mystical teaching. “Aleph” (א) is composed of two “Yodin” (י) and a cross-bar, which is a “Vau” (ו). It represents the World Above separated from the World Below by the Vital Force…
Aleph is symbolic of the primal motion of the Great Breath, the action of the creative center. This may be the source of the swastika as a Jewish religious sign. Some Qabalistic diagrams of the Sepiroth Wheel show a ten-legged swastika-like symbol portraying the manifestation of Primordial or Heavenly Man (Sephiroth) from the Infinite (En Soph)…
The Jewish Defense Leage and the B’Nai Brith Society have been trying to stamp out swastikas, even ones in Chinese shops…
The Jews of the world need to know that there is a gentle swastika, and that they are connected to it by their deepest religious philosophies. Only time can heal the wounds left by Hitler, time and the truth — and that is my purpose in writing this book. Have I chosen an impossible task? I don’t think so.
What do I want from Jews? I want them to realize that the swastika has a life separate and distinct from the nazis.