Jewish Groups Condemn Anti-Vaccine Protesters Seen Wearing Yellow Star Patches in Quebec

Jewish groups are speaking out against anti-vaccine passport protesters who were pictured wearing yellow stars in Quebec, Canada, on Tuesday.

Photographs and videos taken of a protest outside the Econofitness gym in the Quebec city Laval show multiple people with yellow stars attached to their clothes. "Sans vaccine," French for "no vaccine," was visibly imprinted on at least some of the stars.

Yellow Star
Protesters against vaccine passports in Quebec, Canada, were pictured wearing yellow stars on Tuesday, leading to backlash from Jewish groups. In this photo, a protester wears a yellow star reading "non-vaccinated" during a protest against the vaccination and the compulsory health pass called for by the French government, at Place de la Bastille, in Paris on July 24. Getty

Nazis forced Jews to wear the yellow star during the Holocaust, and the symbol has been appropriated by activists opposing vaccines. Jewish organizations, including the Montreal Holocaust Museum, spoke out against the Laval protesters and anyone else using the stars while speaking out against vaccines.

"Comparisons between vaccine passports and yellow Stars of David are offensive, inaccurate, and attempt to trivialize the painful history of the Holocaust," the museum posted on its official Twitter account.

"This symbol allowed the Nazis to target, persecute, and murder millions of Jews," the Montreal Holocaust Museum continued in follow-up tweets. "As a result, the yellow star has become a painful symbol of Jewish discrimination and the Holocaust."

(2/3) This yellow star was forcibly worn by George Ehrman during the Holocaust. Jews aged six years and over who lived under the Nazi regime had to wear this badge as a form of identification. This symbol allowed the Nazis to target, persecute, and murder millions of Jews.

— Musée Holocauste MTL (@MuseeHolocauste) August 18, 2021

Sarah Fogg, the museum's spokesperson, also spoke with CTV News for a Wednesday story about the Laval protesters. She said, "Unfortunately, we've been seeing the use of Holocaust comparisons, analogies and unfortunately the yellow star at anti-COVID vaccine and passport protests for a little while now, and so it's obviously upsetting, it's hurtful, it's offensive."

The Econofitness gym in Laval is part of a project to test the application of a vaccine passport system in Quebec that is expected to be launched throughout the province on September 1. Dozens of people rallied outside the gym Tuesday to voice their opposition to the program.

Canada's Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs provided CTV News with a statement about the Laval incident. In it, the organization's vice president, Eta Yudin, said protesters wearing yellow stars "trivializes the Holocaust and the lessons learned."

"The yellow star was a symbol of the repression of the fundamental rights of Jews in the context of a genocidal project to exterminate the Jewish people. We should all be shocked," Yudin said in the statement. "This isn't a Jewish issue, it is a societal one, and one that must be condemned by all."

Quebec Environment Minister Benoit Charette, who was appointed by the premier of Quebec to fight against racism, also denounced the use of the star in Laval.

"It is very wrong to know our history and make some links between the repeated, organized assaults that the Jews underwent during the Second World War" and health measures related to COVID-19, Charette told CTV News.