A Republican state representative in Washington issued an apology Thursday after comparing unvaccinated people to Jewish victims of the Holocaust while wearing a yellow Star of David on his chest.
Republican Washington state Rep. Jim Walsh made the comparison while speaking at the “Patriot Gathering” meeting, according to the Seattle Times. A Facebook video of the speech has since been deleted, according to the Seattle Times.
“I apologize for using a profound image in a way that was inappropriate and offensive to so many people,” Walsh said in his apology.
It was wrong. It won’t happen ever again,” Walsh said.
Walsh told the Seattle Times a member of the crowd gave him the star he was wearing. Many in the group were also wearing the star, according to the Seattle Times.
“It’s an echo from history. See my note below,” Walsh said in a comment under his video in reference to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to the Seattle Times. “In the current context, we’re all Jews.”
The conference where Walsh spoke was organized by Washingtonians for Change, a conservative group that describes itself as “just common residents exercising our constitutional rights to ensure freedom for all,” according to their site.
Jews during WWII in Nazi-controlled countries were forced to wear the stars so they could be identified, according to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “They (Nazis) used the badge not only to stigmatize and humiliate Jews but also to segregate them, to watch and control their movements, and to prepare for deportation,” according to the museum.
Comparing vaccinations to the Holocaust is “is offensive to descendants of Holocaust survivors and people who lost family and friends,” said Dee Simon, executive director of Seattle’s Holocaust Center for Humanity, according to the Seattle Times.
“Our government is making an effort to protect their own citizens, not kill them,” said Simon, according to the Seattle Times. “The Holocaust, when you tear it down to the bare bones, was the systematic annihilation of a people, with the intent of destroying a race.”
Walsh’s office and the Washingtonians for Change haven’t responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Some people are offended by having to provide vaccine documentation at their work,” Walsh said when asked whether he could see how wearing the star could be offensive, according to the Seattle Times. “I can’t control who is offended by what.”
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