(JTA) — The San Francisco city supervisor has demanded a personal apology from the city’s mayor for a text the mayor sent to his top staff people comparing Aaron Peskin to the Gestapo.
In a private group text, Mayor Ed Lee used the word “gestapo” to describe legislation backed by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who is Jewish, which would allow the option of putting witnesses under oath when they testify before the board. The legislation had failed earlier in the week by a vote of 7 to 4.
“When things like this happen, you have to say it like it is. When the mayor is talking about a Jewish-American person and using Nazi terms, it chills me to my core,” Peskin wrote in a letter to the mayor on Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. “History has taught us what careless and hateful comments can engender, particularly in the halls of power.”
Mayoral press secretary Deirdre Hussey said Lee intended to use the term “McCarthyesque,” and said that the use of the word Gestapo was indicative of the mayor’s fear that requiring an oath could be used to “intimidate, harass and bully” members of the public.