Washington State GOP Lawmaker Wears Holocaust-Era ‘Jew’s Star’ to Attack COVID-19 Vaccination Drive
Another far-right Republican lawmaker has invoked the analogy between the “Judenstern” (“Jew’s Star”) which the Nazis forced Jews to wear in their outer clothing and vaccine mandates to roll back the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Jim Walsh, who represents the city of Aberdeen in the Washington State legislature, wore the star affixed to his shirt at a conservative rally on Saturday, the Seattle Times reported.
“It’s an echo from history,” Walsh wrote on a Facebook page where a video of the event was posted. “In the current context, we’re all Jews.” He said that he had been given the star by someone at the event, where most attendees were wearing one. He described some of the organizers as “deeply concerned about vaccine passports and vaccine segregation.”
For good measure, Walsh also likened any disparate treatment of people who freely choose not to be vaccinated with the Supreme Court’s 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld “separate but equal” racial segregation laws targeting African Americans.
Walsh received strong criticism from a local Holocaust educator for using a symbol inextricably associated with the murder of six million Jews with public health initiatives to counter the pandemic.
“Our government is making an effort to protect their own citizens, not kill them,” said Dee Simon, Baral Family executive director of the Seattle-based Holocaust Center for Humanity. “It not only trivializes it, it distorts history.”
Other GOP lawmakers from the extreme right, most notably Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), have made identical comparisons between the Holocaust and the coronavirus pandemic during the last year. In May, Taylor Greene declared on Twitter, “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s (sic) forced Jewish people to wear a gold (sic) star.”