State Watch

Jewish lawmaker: Nazi symbols at protest against vaccine mandates ‘repugnant and offensive’

A Jewish New York state lawmaker on Sunday spoke out against the display of Nazi symbols at an anti-vaccine mandate protest outside his office, calling their use “repugnant and offensive.”

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D), who represents parts of the Bronx, posted photos of protesters demonstrating against vaccine mandates outside his office alongside GOP New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.

One protester is seen holding a sign with a swastika and a reference to the Nuremberg Code, referring to the ten points that were used in the trial of high-ranking German officials following World War II to determine what medical experiments on human subjects are allowed.

Another protesters was documented wearing a Star of David.

“People are perfectly free to express their opinion on vaccines or any issue, but to openly display Nazi symbols outside the office of a Jewish legislator is despicable,” Dinowitz said.

He also criticized Astorino for not denouncing the displays at the time, and urged all GOP leaders to “condemn this unacceptable use of anti-Semitic imagery.”

“I am sorry to any constituents who passed by this repugnant display outside of my office today,” he added in a separate tweet.

Astorino, in a tweet on Monday, said he did not see the sign with the swastika and Nuremberg Code at the event, adding that if he did he would have asked for it to be removed. He said such a display was “absolutely inappropriate.”

Astorino, who previously served as Westchester County executive, also said the woman who was documented holding the sign had a different one in hand when he met her prior to the event. The tweet juxtaposed two photos of the women with different signs.

Dinowitz had known that the protest was scheduled to take place outside his office on Sunday, advising his followers the day before “please avoid the area” if they were concerned about potentially being exposed to COVID-19 or other diseases.

The protest was in response to a bill Dinowitz sponsored last month that called for requiring that children be inoculated against COVID-19 in order to attend school, according to The Washington Post.

Dinowitz also co-sponsored a bill in 2019 that sought to prohibit religious exemptions for vaccine requirements in schools after an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn became the epicenter of a measles outbreak, the Post reported.

A number of New York officials spoke out against the display of antisemitic symbols, including New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who called the show of Nazi emblems “unacceptable.”

Tags Antisemitism Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 Covid-19 vaccination COVID-19 vaccine Eric Adams Jeffrey Dinowitz Rob Astorino Swastika Symbols Vaccine hesitancy

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