Vaccine protest with swastikas and a yellow star outside a Jewish politician’s office in the Bronx

(New York Jewish Week via JTA) – Analogies to the Holocaust have become commonplace during anti-vaccine protests in the United States and around the world.

But protesters sporting swastikas and a yellow star were particularly piqued on Sunday, when they unfurled the symbols outside the office of a Jewish politician, Bronx MP Jeffrey Dinowitz, whose neighborhood includes the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Riverdale. . The crowd, including a Republican candidate for governor, demonstrated against the vaccination warrants in New York.

According to photos tweeted by Dinowitz, a woman held up a sign with a swastika containing the expressions “crimes against humanity” and “Nuremberg code”, two references to Nazi Germany. Another protester wore a yellow star, an allusion to those worn by Jews under Nazi coercion.

“The display of swastikas and yellow Stars of David in front of my desk today is disgusting and offensive,” Dinowitz tweeted on Sunday. “People are perfectly free to express their opinion on vaccines or any other issue, but openly displaying Nazi symbols outside the office of a Jewish lawmaker is despicable. “

Like other anti-vaccine protesters, members of the crowd sought Sunday to equate the genocide of six million Jews with the demands of the COVID-19 vaccine. Protesters opposed to public health measures have made such analogies throughout the pandemic, and anti-Semitism watchdogs, academics and Jewish groups have strongly condemned the comparisons as offensive trivializations of the Holocaust.

Rob Astorino, a Republican candidate for governor, spoke at the rally, a few feet from the protester with the swastika signs. He wrote on Twitter Sunday night that he hadn’t seen them.

“I had no idea until I saw this photo,” wrote Astorino, a former Westchester County executive. “If I had seen it, I would have told them to remove the panel. No comparison to these atrocities and yes, I have always condemned anti-Semitism.

New York attorney general Letitia James, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, condemned the signs.

“These blatant displays of anti-Semitic hatred are disgusting, and I join @JeffreyDinowitz in rejecting this shameful and unacceptable behavior for the Jewish community,” she said. tweeted.

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