Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is broadcast on a large screen as he speaks during a rally against vaccine mandates in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2022. (AP/Patrick Semansky) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Prominent anti-vaxxers Tucker Carlson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. likened vaccine mandates to the Holocaust over the weekend.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Raising Jewish ire, prominent anti-vaxxers Tucker Carlson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. likened vaccine mandates to the Holocaust over the weekend.

Carlson’s remarks came on Friday night, comparing the Biden administration’s mandates to medical experiments conducted by Nazi Germany and imperial Japan.

Speaking on Fox with guest Dr. Robert Malone, a well-known anti-vaxxer, Carlson said, “I mean, after watching what the imperial Japanese army and the Nazis did in their medical experiments, I thought that American physicians agreed that compulsory medical care was unethical, it was immoral and it could never be imposed on anyone. When did we forget that?”

To which Malone replied, “Apparently about a year ago, I think yesterday,” alluding to President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Kennedy was addressing an anti-vaxx rally in Washington D.C. in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. His remarks were first reported by NBC News reporter Ben Collins on Twitter.

“Even in Hitler’s Germany you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did,” Kennedy told a crowd of 20,000-30,000. “Today the mechanisms are being put in place to make it so that none of us can run and none of us can hide.”

Kennedy, the son of murdered presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former president John Kennedy, is an environmental lawyer, conspiracy theorist and professor emeritus at New York’s Pace University.

Inaccurate and Inappropriate Equivalence

The Carlson and Kennedy Holocaust comparisons are inaccurate and inappropriate for a number of reasons.

Anne Frank spent 761 days in hiding. She didn’t have the platform or status afforded by Fox News or the Kennedy family name. She certainly would not have been able to speak out in Amsterdam’s Museum Square, where protesters against Dutch COVID restrictions have clashed with police. Moreover, only a small number of European Jews — around 23,000 — were able or lucky enough to make it across the Alps.

Using the Holocaust to oppose masking or vaccine requirements cheapens Jewish suffering. Imagine the outrage if Carlson or Kennedy drew a moral equivalence with American slavery and Jim Crow laws.

Unfortunately, Carlson and Kennedy aren’t the first American personalities to anger Jews by drawing a skewed moral equivalence between COVID policies and the Holocaust.

In May, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to require masks in the House chamber to measures taken by the Nazis to control Jewish life.

In October, opponents of masking requirements wore yellow Jewish stars in Anchorage. Mayor David Bronson defended the use of the stars “as a credit” to the Jews.

And in November, journalist Lara Logan was frozen out of Fox News after comparing the White House’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele.

Taylor-Greene and Bronson both subsequently apologized for their remarks. Earlier in January, the United Talent Agency, which represents entertainers, athletes, journalists and other professionals confirmed it had severed its ties with Logan over her Mengele comments.

Critics on social media pointed out that Carlson is himself vaccinated, in line with Fox Corporation and New York City requirements. They also noted that Kennedy hosted a party in December where invitees were asked to be vaccinated beforehand. Kennedy claimed his wife was responsible for that request.

‘Moral and Intellectual Decay’

In a widely quoted rebuke, the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted, “Exploiting the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured, and murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany – including children like Anne Frank – in a debate about vaccines and limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay.”

Holocaust survivor Lucy Lipiner tweeted, “I had to flee the Nazis to Siberia from Poland when I was 6 years old. Robert Kennedy Jr. is so ignorant. I’m speechless. Running/hiding in the Holocaust was rare, almost impossible. I’m lucky to have survived. Anne Frank didn’t. Vaccines aren’t comparable to the Holocaust!”

Kennedy and Carlson are no stranger to stoking controversy with Jews. In 2015, Kennedy apologized for likening the effects of mandatory vaccines to the Holocaust. And last September, Carlson claimed that the Biden administration seeks “the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.” Although Carlson didn’t specifically refer to Jews, the comment was widely seen by Jews as a dog-whistle for antisemites. White supremacists believe that Jews are part of such a conspiracy.

Kennedy’s address also drew ridicule for promoting other conspiracy theories about expanding 5G technology.

“Within five years, we’re gonna see 415,000 low orbit satellites – Bill Gates said his 65,000 satellites alone will be able to locate every square inch of the planet 24 hours a day,” Kennedy said. “They’re putting in 5G to harvest our data and control our behavior. Digital currency that will allow them to punish us from a distance and cut off our food supply.”

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