A Kentucky rabbi has criticised the state’s Libertarian Party after it compared vaccine passports to the yellow stars which Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
In a tweet, the Kentucky Libertarian Party (KLP) said: “Are the vaccine passports going to be yellow, shaped like a star, and sewn on our clothes?” This followed rumours of businesses using vaccine passports to identify those who had been vaccinated, although the White House stated that the government would not issue them.
Rabbi Shlomo Litvin of Chabad of the Bluegrass said he was disappointed by the KLP tweet, and that it was “morally wrong” to make this comparison as it minimised “the horrors inflicted on millions of people.”
Although the vaccine passport was “a controversial idea,” said Rabbi Litvin, “when you suggest it is the same as a yellow star you’re suggesting those who don’t have it will be shuttled in cattle cars to camps to be gassed…that not having one would be grounds to be shot in the streets; to be assaulted…these were things which happened to Jews on a daily basis in Europe.”
In response, the KLP said that while its tweet may have been “insensitive, it was not antisemitic.” The KLP also claimed it had started an important conversation.
Rabbi Litvin said he was dismayed by responses to the KLP tweet which suggest that Kentucky was antisemitic, when the state was at the “forefront of fighting antisemitism.”
Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.