Demonstrators who took part in an anti-vaccination protest in London wearing a yellow Star of David are symbols of society’s “moral and intellectual decline”, according to the Auschwitz Museum.
The memorial condemned the “instrumentalisation of the tragedy” of the Shoah in order argue against vaccines which “saves human lives”, after the demonstration in Hyde Park and on Oxford Street, on Saturday.
Twitter user Chloe Adlestone shared images of two protestors wearing yellow star of David badges, with “no Covid” written on it, mimicking yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust to mark them out.
She said it was “so hurtful to see people wearing a yellow star and likening lockdown to the Holocaust where millions of Jews were murdered. I was told I was a nazi for wearing a mask”.
The Auschwitz Museum said the “instrumentalisation of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, and finally isolated in ghettos and murdered during the Holocaust, in order to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”
Comedian and author David Baddiel, shared the picture, saying: “Take. That. Off”.
He added: “What I’ve said there does in fact illustrate one of a number of key differences between this woman’s situation and my grandparents in Germany in the 1930s. She has that option [to take it off].”
Protestors also reportedly held banners saying: “Covid-19 Vaccine Holocaust”.
Instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, and finally isolated in ghettos and murdered during the Holocaust, in order to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) April 24, 2021
There was also communal outrage, with Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust also condemned the scenes, saying: “The use and abuse of Holocaust language and imagery has to stop.”
At the very least, the ignorance of the history these people are invoking is deeply painful, at worst it is provocatively and purposefully antisemitic. This wilful abuse of this episode of history is crass and beyond insulting to Holocaust survivors and their families.”
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “We are appalled at the behaviour of anti-lockdown protestors who chose to don yellow stars at this weekend’s protests, seeking to compare Government policies on Covid to the treatment of Jews by the Nazis. This comparison is highly offensive and has no basis in reality. All such people demonstrate is their lack of basic intelligence with regards to history as well as science.”
Two officers were taken to hospital due to protestors’ violence, the Met said. Five were arrested for offences including assault on police.
The protests comes almost two weeks after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased.
Last week, cabinet minister Michael Gove and deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, travelled to Israel for high-level meetings about ‘vaccine passports’.
Israel and the UK have two of the highest vaccination rates in the world. As of mid-May, any individual who can prove they have been vaccinated can travel to Israel, while a UK government review into “Covid status certification” said it could “potentially play a role” in reopening society further.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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