SINGAPORE, Aug 13 — The Embassy of Israel in Singapore has come out to condemn recent social media posts that have likened the Singapore government’s Covid-19 response to the Holocaust, saying that such comparisons downplay the horrors of the genocide.
In a Facebook statement yesterday (August 12), the embassy said that statements that compare 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 Holocaust was a genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime to slaughter six million innocent Jews, the embassy added.
“We urge others to think twice before re-sharing such content,” it wrote, adding that “there is no equal for the tragedies that occurred during the Holocaust”.
The embassy’s comments come after former Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Brad Bowyer drew flak for his criticism of Covid-19 regulations that were recently imposed for people who are vaccinated and those who are not.
The measures, which began on Tuesday, mean that those who are not vaccinated are not able to, for example, dine out except at coffee shops and hawker centres or do certain unmasked activities indoors.
On Tuesday afternoon, Bowyer posted on Facebook his criticism of the policy, alongside an image related to the Holocaust.
After some online users condemned him for being insensitive, Bowyer handed in his resignation from PSP on Wednesday.
In the post announcing his withdrawal from the party, Bowyer, who was born in Britain and later took up Singapore citizenship, defended the use of the Holocaust image.
He said that he and his family, along with “many hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans who have concerns about vaccinations”, have been made “second-class citizens in their own country” due to the new measures.
Bowyer added that because of this, they are feeling uncertain about their livelihoods, and he added that some online users have called for his family to starve and be expelled from the country, among other things.
When contacted by TODAY yesterday, Bowyer said: “The standard protocol is to have a hissy fit when anyone mentions the Holocaust. I do not dishonour it, I acknowledge it and I see the patterns even if the end-goal may turn out different.”
He added: “I understand what (the embassy) is saying but don’t agree that it is a taboo subject never to be mentioned because silence is how it happened before.” ― TODAY