Outrage over Rabbi comparing Covid policy with WWII persecution of Jews
Rabbi Tamarah Benima sparked outrage in Leeuwarden on Thursday evening when she gave the annual Rede van Fryslan and compared the coronavirus policy with the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Mayor Sybrand Buma, who was present for the speech, was horrified, De Telegraaf reports.
Benima (71), the rabbi of the liberal Jewish community Noord-Nederland, said she sees "tyranny" taking hold with identity politics, demonization, and censorship on social media. She raised concerns about the coronavirus policy and far-reaching government intervention. "The state of emergency has lasted 1.5 years in the Netherlands, and the corona policy is actually determined by only three people: Rutte, Grapperhaus, and De Jonge. With whispers from a very limited group of experts."
She warned against "totalitarian thinking" by officials, scientists, and social media companies with "the very best intentions." "What did not fit into their narrative must be silenced. And Big Tech lent a hand with that, banning opinions that were distasteful to Big Pharma on internet platforms."
"I know myself too, and I say as a Jewess, warned by what had happened in Nazi Germany. The policymakers back then, at every level, right across society, wanted the best for everyone. Even when they labeled the Jews as 'a danger to public health.' Even when they started a war against the then 'virus.' So do not play with fire by now portraying people in our society as a 'danger to public health,' as Minister De Jonge regularly does."
Leeuwarden mayor Sybrand Buma called Benima's speech "shocking, completely shocking," according to the newspaper. "There is no obligation to get vaccinated. People are only asked to show a QR code. And the government is democratically controlled by the parliament. I really do not see the comparison with the Nazi regime."