Tire shop owner in Florida displays Nazi flag to send ‘Free Palestine’ message

A Florida tire shop’s inflammatory political statement about Israel sparked a firestorm of outrage that could result in the business being roadkill.

In a move that was guaranteed to be provocative, the establishment displayed a flag of the Nazi swastika outside next to the United States and the Palestinian flag with the owner explaining that he wanted to promote the message of “Free Palestine” about the conflict in Gaza.

According to owner Radi Ahmad, the Nazi flag flying from the 904 x 4 tire repair shop on Philips Highway in the Northeast Florida city’s Spring Park neighborhood is to draw comparisons between the war between Israel and Hamas and one of the darkest periods in the history of humanity.

(Video: YouTube)

“I put that out there to bring awareness, to bring remembrance … to let people understand, we’re living … or Palestinians are living in a modern-day holocaust,” Ahmad explained to Action News Jax, another of the flippant and historically clueless takes on the industrialized slaughter of millions of Jews by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis that have become all too common these days.

“Unfortunately, nobody is standing behind us; there is no help,” Ahmad added. “If you’re carrying an Israeli flag, what does that stand for today? That stands for the same thing.”

“What happened in World War II is happening today,” the shop’s owner told First Coast News. “It’s a modern-day Holocaust and nobody’s saying anything about it. Voicing the opinion for my people, my cousins, my family, members my country, people that are getting bombarded and killed and displaced. They’re getting their homes demolished.”

To say that Ahmad’s display of a Nazi flag is a controversial way to make a point would be a massive understatement and the flying of Hitler’s symbol drew strong condemnation.

“Disgusting. This flag is a symbol of evil and hatred, and it has no place in the Sunshine State,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the Sunshine State’s former governor. “Antisemitism will NEVER be welcome in Florida.”

“We are horrified to learn that a Jacksonville business is displaying a Nazi swastika flag in an effort to demonize Israel. Antisemitic expressions like this should not concern only the Jewish community, but should be firmly denounced by all,” the Florida chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a post to X.

“This act of hatred and antisemitism, which attempts to compare contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, is not only reprehensible but a direct affront to our Jewish community and our history,” Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida CEO Mariam Feist, said in a statement. “One Nazi flag in Northeast Florida is too many.”

“It shows racism,” said Ahmad’s neighbor Derrick Blunt. “And it just upsets me that it’s right there.”

“You never know people until they show themselves, and he’s really showing himself to me now,” Blunt added.

Ahmad denied that his Nazi flag is anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish.

“There’s nothing on there that says antisemitic, anti-Jew, anti-black or anti-anybody,” he told Action News Jax, the owner added that he isn’t planning to take the swastika down during the shop’s business hours.

Chris Donaldson

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