A Washington state lawmaker comes under fire after wearing a yellow Star of David in protest of COVID-19 vaccine regulations, an advertisement promoting the government’s efforts to protect people from a highly contagious virus with the killing of 6 million Jews compared the Nazis during the Holocaust.
State Representative Jim Walsh, a Republican from Aberdeen, wore the symbol while speaking to conservative activists at a Lacey church on Saturday, the Seattle Times reported. Walsh later said he was “terribly sorry”.
On a Facebook page that posted a video of the speech, he wrote, âIt’s an echo from history. … In the present context we are all Jews. “
A holocaust education leader in Seattle called this absurd.
“Our government strives to protect, not kill, its own citizens,” said Dee Simon, who directs the Holocaust Center for Humanity. “Not only does it trivialize it, it distorts history.”
Walsh’s 10-minute speech made no mention of Nazis or the Holocaust. He called on the crowd of around 100 to oppose the government’s alleged violation of fundamental freedoms.
Walsh told the newspaper in an interview Tuesday that he received the star from someone at the event and that most attendees wore one. Some of the organizers were “deeply concerned about vaccine passports and vaccine segregation,” he said.
Walsh also likened any different treatment to unvaccinated people to “separate but equal” racial segregation laws targeting African Americans.
Washington state has not made vaccination mandatory against COVID-19, but the state Department of Labor and Industry requires employers to verify employee vaccination status before removing masking requirements in their workplaces.
On Wednesday, Walsh said on the Jason Rantz show on KTTH AM 770, âThat gesture went too far,â added, âIt was inappropriate and offensive. I’m terribly sorry that it happened and that I was part of it. “