Anti-vaxxers brandish Nazi symbols during protest outside Jewish politician’s office

Jeffrey Dinowitz condemns display as ‘repugnant and offensive’

Jon Sharman
Monday 15 November 2021 09:16
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<p>Rob Astorino, a Republican politician, speaks just feet away from a woman holding a swastika sign, who he later claimed he had not noticed </p>

Rob Astorino, a Republican politician, speaks just feet away from a woman holding a swastika sign, who he later claimed he had not noticed

Anti-vaccine protesters displayed Nazi imagery during a Covid-19 protest outside a Jewish politician’s office.

Jeffrey Dinowitz, a member of the New York state assembly, called the demonstrators’ behaviour “despicable” in a tweet overnight on Monday.

The north Bronx representative tweeted photographs of Sunday’s protest which was attended by Rob Astorino, a Republican candidate for state governor.

In the first two images a woman can be seen holding an apparently double-sided sign featuring a swastika and claims that vaccines are linked to “crimes against humanity”.

A third appears to show a man holding a small American flag wearing a yellow star on his chest – like those the Nazis forced Jews to sew onto their clothes so they could be identified and targeted.

Both of these people were also visible in a video of the event posted to YouTube. The footage further showed protesters chanting, “Let’s go Brandon!”, a right-wing meme designed to mock Joe Biden.

Mr Dinowitz tweeted: “The display of swastikas and yellow Stars of David outside my office today is repugnant and offensive.

“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.”

An anti-vaccine protester is seen wearing a yellow star on his chest in New York on Sunday

Mr Astorino, who appeared to have been standing just feet away from the woman holding the swastika sign, tweeted in response to the images: “I had no idea until I saw this photo. If I’d seen it I’d have told them to take sign down.

“No comparison to those atrocities & yes, I’ve always condemned anti-semitism.”

Mr Dinowitz is backing legislation that would make getting the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for schoolchildren, which Mr Astorino opposes.

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