Holocaust tropes in COVID protests 'fuel anti-Semitism'

A sign held by a New York anti-vax protester shows syringes arranged as a swastika.

Protesters against COVID-19 measures who liken themselves to Jews under Nazi persecution - like this woman wearing a yellow star in Rome - are fostering anti-Semitism, according to the Israeli government in a report marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Such tropes have become widespread, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry found.

Danny Dayan chairs Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum:

"We see two things that we should be very clear in combating them. One is Holocaust distortion and the other is Holocaust trivialization. The COVID brought Holocaust trivialization to a summit. Those comparisons between green passes to the yellow star, comparing Dr. [Anthony] Fauci to (Nazi doctor Josef) Mengele and things like that, sometimes done by politicians, by public figures, are despicable."

Several U.S. and British politicians have apologized for suggesting vaccine or closure policies recalled Hitler's regime.

Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau survived a concentration camp as a child. His parents and brother were among the six million Jews killed by the Nazis.

"How can you compare it to a disease or to an economic problem or a political problem. Nothing to compare. Please leave the word 'Holocaust' for the Holocaust and nothing but it."

Such displays showed factual knowledge of the genocide was eroding, the report said.

It added that some COVID-19 agitators have been "consuming and disseminating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories" that say Jews are responsible for the crisis.

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