Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear on Wednesday reprimanded the state’s third-largest political party for comparing the proposed COVID-19 “vaccine passports” to the yellow star badges that the Nazi regime compelled Jews in occupied Europe to wear on their outer clothing.
On Monday, the party had posted a tweet that stated, “Are the vaccine passports going to be yellow, shaped like a star, and sewn on our clothes?” To this insensitive remark that alludes to the fearful past that the Jews have had, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) declared on Twitter, “Comparing vaccines to the Holocaust is shameful.”
Despite the condemnation of Gov. Beshear and other public figures, including Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who called the post “ignorant and shameful”, the Libertarian Party doubled down on its original stance, continuing to insist on a close resemblance between the Nazi extermination of six million Jews and millions of other vulnerable minorities with the public health measures introduced by elected governments.
“How can we say ‘never forget,’ if the people who are opposed to Government tyranny in all forms can’t speak up?” the party tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.
It continued: “The holocaust (sic) didn’t happen overnight. It was a heinous, multi-year genocide that started long before Kristallnacht. When Libertarians say never again, we mean it.”
Similar accounts of the comparison of vaccines to the Nazi regime were recently made at a protest in the French city of Avignon earlier this month, demonstrators carried makeshift yellow stars marked with the words “Not Vaccinated” instead of “Jew.” At the same protest, speakers compared a proposed EU passport reserved for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to Nazi racial antisemitism.
Lexington Rabbi Shlomo Litvin observed that the Libertarian Party’s tweet reflected a more widespread habit of casually invoking the Holocaust. “It’s morally wrong to make this comparison, but it’s not an uncommon one, unfortunately,” Rabbi Litvin told CBS. “In fact, it’s a growing issue of using Holocaust comparisons to make literally any political point you want to make.”