Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie was far from the first Republican lawmaker to compare public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 to the Holocaust when he posted an image of a tattooed wrist on Twitter on Wednesday.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert have also done so, along with several lower-level officials who have made similar comparisons across the country in recent weeks.
“If you have to carry a card on you to gain access to a restaurant, venue or an event in your own country … that’s no longer a free country,” read the text in the image Massie tweeted, which he deleted shortly afterwards.
But Massie’s example got an extra burst of attention after one of his interns resigned in a letter that he posted to Twitter, where it went viral. The intern, Andrew Zirkle, called his former boss’s post antisemitic.
“The tweet that Congressman Massie tweeted last night, in which he compared vaccine passports to the Holocaust, was insensitive to not only survivors of the Holocaust, but the millions who perished as a result,” Zirkle wrote. “The anti-semetic[sic] nature of this post is beyond apology and as a result, I cannot in good conscience continue at my current position.”
In subsequent tweets, Zirkle apologised for misspelling the word antisemitic. He also expressed surprised about how widely shared his resignation letter had been, saying that his tweet “was mostly supposed to be for folks who knew me personally.”
The Anti-Defamation League called on Massie to apologise, saying that “deleting this isn’t enough.” So far, Massie has not commented publicly about his post.
1/ I quit. I wanted to let everyone who knows me personally to know that as soon as I got in to work this morning, I resigned my position in the Office of Congressman Thomas Massie because of his tweet comparing the horrors of the Holocaust to vaccine passports. pic.twitter.com/YXSrPWW80e
— ????Andrew Zirkle???? (@theandrewzirkle) August 26, 2021
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.