Taking a page out of Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene's anti-Semitic playbook, a GOP state lawmaker in Washington who is opposed to COVID-19 vaccine requirements donned a yellow Star of David during a speech to a right-wing group over the weekend.
Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) later told the Seattle Times he had been given the Star of David — a symbol that Nazis forced Jews to wear to identify them for extermination— by someone at the "Patriot Gathering," organized by Washingtonians for Change. Walsh said most attendees were wearing the yellow stars because the group is "deeply concerned about vaccine passports and vaccine segregation."
In a Facebook post sharing video of his speech, Walsh wrote: "It's an echo from history. In the current context, we're all Jews."
Asked later whether he understands why people view the star as offensive, Walsh said, "some people are offended by having to provide vaccine documentation at their work. ... I can't control who is offended by what."
Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League reported a "shocking rise" in people using the Star of David to protest COVID-19 vaccine requirements and mask mandates.
"The utilization of this type of Holocaust imagery wrongly compares the antisemitic, racist, misogynist, xenophobic and homophobic Nazi-regime and its genocidal acts to current government measures to contain the pandemic" the ADL wrote. "Comparing the two is not only an act of moral outrage, but also represents an attempt to downplay the enormity of the Holocaust."
Greene recently apologized after equating mask-wearing rules at the Capitol to Nazi Germany.
A few reactions to Walsh from Twitter below.
#JimWalsh thinks wearing a mask is like being gassed or burnt in ovens. https://t.co/vyDoX7Oeus— BluntForceKarma (@BluntForceKarma) 1625065000.0
Jim Walsh needs to read a fucking history book. https://t.co/RJfcxkYWpX— Emily C. Singer (@Emily C. Singer) 1625064503.0
I've told you guys over the years that my buddy Jim is a stupid fuckin asshole. Well, he is, look at that big stupi… https://t.co/o8zvXLIRUt— Irritable Bowel (@Irritable Bowel) 1625065765.0
@quinncy Jim Walsh went to the same private school as Brett Kavanaugh. Walsh described Kavanaugh as “ambitious” and… https://t.co/O8UFerluFo— star gazer (@star gazer) 1625068075.0
Jim Walsh, Rep of Aberdeen you are a complete IDIOT and embarrassment to Washington State! Shame on you and those t… https://t.co/elhomymOkY— Burg6 (@Burg6) 1625065651.0