Israeli Embassy decries comparing vaccine measures to Holocaust after controversy involving ex-PSP member

Former PSP member Brad Bowyer stood by his use of Holocaust imagery to claim that Singapore was now divided by Covid-19 regulations.
Former PSP member Brad Bowyer stood by his use of Holocaust imagery to claim that Singapore was now divided by Covid-19 regulations.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Embassy of Israel in Singapore on Thursday (Aug 12) said it strongly condemns recent social media posts likening vaccination issues to the Holocaust.

This came a day after opposition politician Brad Bowyer quit the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) following widespread uproar over his linking of the two matters on Facebook and Instagram. 

"The Holocaust was a genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime to slaughter six million innocent Jews and comparing the obvious health benefits of vaccinations that have benefited billions around the world is not only in bad taste, but is also Holocaust distortion by downplaying the horrors of the Holocaust," the embassy wrote in a Facebook post.

Mr Bowyer had made several posts questioning Covid-19 pandemic measures such as differentiated regulations for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

On Tuesday morning, he uploaded to Facebook and Instagram an image of the Auschwitz concentration camp, operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. Over one million people were murdered at the camp. 

The image had superimposed text that read: “It didn’t start with gas chambers. It started with one party controlling the media... One party dividing citizens into ‘us’ and ‘them’ and calling on their supporters to harass ‘them’...” 

Mr Bowyer captioned the post, which remains up on social media platforms: “Singapore is now us and them... God help our nation!” 

His post was roundly criticised, and he resigned from the PSP on Wednesday – a move that he told The Straits Times was of his own accord. 

Mr Bowyer, a member of the PSP team that lost in Nee Soon GRC at last year’s general election, has  defended his actions, saying “sometimes a shocking image is needed to wake people up”. 

On Thursday, the Israeli embassy wrote: “We urge others to think twice before re-sharing such content – there is no equal for the tragedies that occurred during the Holocaust.” 

The embassy also left a comment on the post, urging others to refrain from spreading vaccine misinformation and from continuing to draw comparisons between the Holocaust and vaccination campaigns.