North Bay’s Jewish community disappointed by PPC candidate’s tweet comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust
Members of North Bay's Jewish community are disappointed in People’s Party of Canada candidate Greg Galante, who compared COVID-19 measures to the Holocaust.
Galante tweeted that there are parallels between current public health guidelines and the events leading up to the Holocaust.
“There’s fair points to debate when it comes to COVID response,” said Larry Fuld, treasurer of Sons of Jacob Synagogue. “But, I don’t think anything that’s been said or done which comes close to comparing it to what happened in Nazi Germany.”
Before the Nazis sent the Jews to the concentration camps, Adolf Hitler’s government began isolating them from society. This included the boycott of Jewish-owned businesses, Jews were forced to identify themselves with the Star of David and they were separated into ghettos.
Half of Fuld’s father’s family perished in concentration camps, while other family members were able to flee Nazi Germany in 1941.
“I can assure you that that they weren’t fleeing the public health policy of the time,” said Fuld. “That wasn’t the issue.”
Galante was responding to a tweet posted by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson where he called out those who are comparing masks and vaccine mandates to the Holocaust.
“How did the Holocaust start?" Galante tweeted back. "Oh that’s right with a systemic and programmed stigmatization of a certain segment of society. They were demonized, labeled, targeted and then ultimately rounded up.”
CTV News offered Galante a chance to clarify his stance. He initially agreed to an interview, but then cancelled.
Fuld said the comparison has no merit.
“It’s disappointing to see a candidate for political office make what I consider an absurd statement,” he said.
Dr. Jim Chirico, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit medical officer of health, also condemned the tweet during a Thursday morning media conference.
“People recognize a statement like that for what it is: absurd,” Chirico said.
Wednesday marked the start of Yom Kippur. It is the holiest time of the year in Judaism. Fuld said the comment made by Galante disrespects everyone who suffered through the Nazi reign of terror.
“It’s not appropriate on any day, the comment,” he said. “It’s an affront to all of those poor souls who were tortured and murdered in those camps.”
Fuld said he hopes Galante will reflect on his tweet and do research on the horrors of the Holocaust.