Statement From Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz on Anti-Vax Rally with Holocaust Imagery Outside Home

The rally was attended by several dozen anti-vaxxers including organizers from the Autism Action Network and a fringe candidate for Governor

Bronx, NY – On Sunday, December 12, 2021, a group of several dozen anti-vaccine protesters held a rally outside the home of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. The rally appeared to be organized by John Gilmore of the Autism Action Network and featured remarks from Derrick Gibson, a declared political candidate for Governor of New York. There were several examples of Holocaust imagery observed at the rally held in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, which is home to a sizable Jewish population, including: a protest sign featuring several swastikas, a protest sign with the phrase “Stop this Genocide”, a long banner with the phrase “No Jab – No Entry? I did Nazi that coming”, a man wearing a button with the Star of David, and a man wearing Haredi attire who had pinned a yellow star to his coat and held a sign with two swastikas inside of red circles with diagonal lines through them.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz issued the following statement in response:

“For twenty-one months, our healthcare workers and many others have been putting their lives on the line to keep New Yorkers safe from a deadly pandemic. Millions of New Yorkers and human beings around the globe waited anxiously for a vaccine to be made available, and now we have three options available to us — all of which have undergone extensive testing, continuous monitoring, and are incredibly effective at reducing hospitalizations, fatalities, and transmission of COVID-19.

“Yesterday, in what can only be described as a slap in the face to every New Yorker who made sacrifices during the pandemic to keep each other safe and to everybody who lost a loved one to this virus, a couple dozen anti-vaxxers decided to come to my home and spend a few hours screaming pseudoscience, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. It is perfectly fine to protest me or policies that I promote, however I cannot abide their continued use of Holocaust imagery.

“To be clear: the Holocaust was perhaps the most devastating tragedy in human history. Six million Jews and many others were dragged from their homes, separated from their families, sent to internment camps, subjected to cruel medical experimentation, and murdered. The idea that this is at all comparable to a bill which simply proposes to add one fully tested and approved vaccine to the existing list of required vaccinations to attend school in New York is preposterous, offensive, and ignorant. Some anti-vaxxers have tried to defend the use of Holocaust imagery because around five men in Haredi attire were present and spoke at the rally on Sunday. I can only speak for myself, but as a Jew — anybody who diminishes the gravity of the Holocaust, regardless of their supposed religious belief, is not somebody who speaks for my faith.

“I will continue fighting for pro-science, pro-vaccination legislation in the Assembly. To my neighbors who were bothered by the presence of these germ advocates with megaphones, I am sorry. To those who continue to refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for non-medical reasons, I urge you to stop being selfish and go talk to a legitimate doctor about the safety and effectiveness of vaccination.”

PHOTOS AVAILBLE HERE: [Attributable to the Office of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz]