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I’m a Rational Jewish Person. Marjorie Taylor Greene Is Nuts.
Al Drago/Bloomberg/GettyHello, I am a rational Jewish person. I like to think so anyway.But then I learned from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that it’s appropriate to equate Covid-19 restrictions with the Holocaust because “any rational Jewish person didn’t like what happened in Nazi Germany and any rational Jewish person doesn’t like what’s happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies.”It’s true, I don’t like what happened in Nazi Germany. Innocent children gassed to death in gas chambers and experimented on by Nazi doctors – I don’t like that. So am I wrong to like preventing people from spreading a fatal disease to others, especially children? That is certainly an interesting question. So I got to thinking:I thought of the seven members of my grandparents’ families who were rounded up by the Einsatzgruppen in present-day Lithuania, marched to the edge of their village and shot on the edges of mass graves that they themselves had dug.How different was their experience, really, from having to wear a mask in order to stop the spread of a disease? Maybe Greene has a point.Meghan McCain Makes Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Holocaust Remarks About Ilhan Omar, Chaos EnsuesThen I thought about how the Nazis regarded people like me as parasitic vermin, spreading disease among the Volk and poisoning Germany with our filth.How different is that, really, from accurately regarding unvaccinated people as capable of spreading a lethal and mutating airborne virus?True, one plague was completely imaginary, the product of a fevered antisemitic imagination that led to the deaths of six million people, while the other is an actual disease that exists. But why quibble with details?As it happens, MTG’s comments about rational Jewish people were, themselves, a doubling-down of earlier comments analogizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mask rules with Nazi Germany. “You know,” she said, “we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated as second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”In Nazi Germany, Jews were stripped of citizenship, forced to live in overcrowded ghettos, and eventually shipped off to concentration and death camps, even though they posed no harm to anyone. Likewise, in the United States, Greene has to wear a mask inside of the House of Representatives, of which she is a member, because she refuses to receive a safe vaccine that can prevent the spread of a deadly illness that disrupted our entire society, and which is presently ravaging several others.As a rational Jewish person (and rabbi!), I can certainly see the parallel.Fortunately, Marjorie Taylor Greene understands what it’s like to be persecuted. When Phoenix news reporter Bianca Buono asked MTG if she understood that some people might be offended by her comparison, she countered, “Do you understand how people feel about being forced to wear masks, or being forced to take a vaccine, or even being forced to say whether they’ve taken it or not? These are just things that shouldn’t be happening in America. This is a free country.”The Sickening History of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s HometownThat’s right! If I have contracted a deadly airborne disease and want to transmit it to you in a closed room where I yell a lot, that is my right! I’m just exercising my freedom!After all, in Nazi Germany, Nazi doctors performed horrifying medical experiments on innocent children. Now, all people like MTG want is the right to infect innocent children (and many people those children come into contact with) with a serious disease by walking around without a shot that would prevent it.So, no, I’m not at all offended by Greene comparing having to wear a mask to my great-grandparents starving naked in the snow, desperately clinging to their children as they were shot dead by their own former neighbors. That totally makes sense.I’m especially not offended because of the recent rise in antisemitic violence. What better time to point out these persuasive parallels to the Holocaust than a time at which the Holocaust feels so painfully fresh?In fact, maybe MTG should join up with the fringe of the Anti-Israel movement. They say Israel is like Nazi Germany, she says Nancy Pelosi’s House is like Nazi Germany.There’s only one thing that this rational Jewish person can’t quite understand: Republican party leaders are usually so diligent. They quash any deviation from the party line, as when Lynne Cheney had the temerity to agree with every state election board in the country, the Department of Justice, and numerous exhaustive media investigations that the presidential election wasn’t actually stolen.House Republicans even voted unanimously, back in 2019, to rebuke Rep. Steve King for asking “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” He was removed from his committee assignments, and essentially became a persona non grata in the party.And yet, when it comes to Greene, Republicans including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy voted to keep her on her committees. On Tuesday, McCarthy put out a statement scolding Greene, and saying “her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust to wearing masks is appalling” but he’s not doing anything yet past issuing a statement.Why? If her analogies to the Holocaust are beyond the pale of respectable discourse in 2021, is he going to take any action or just move on?I’m so confused. To this rational Jewish person, it seems almost… irrational.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.