ST. LOUIS – St. Louis County Executive Sam Page spoke out this morning about antisemitic comments during a recent county council meeting. He said there has been a lot of false information about the vaccine and that some involve lies about Jewish people.
Page said that in the push back against science, some people are comparing the efforts of saving lives to Nazi Germany.
“Wearing a mask or being asked to get a vaccine is not like being asked to wear a yellow star,” said Page.
Page said he has sent a letter to the chairwoman of the St. Louis County Council asking her to use her gavel to stop reprehensible behavior during meetings.
“I’ve had members of the Jewish community hurt and bewildered by the behavior allowed to proceed at recent council meetings,” said Page.
Page invited other members of the Jewish community to this morning’s briefing. Rabbi Susan Talve from Central Reform Congregation took part.
“I am afraid for my Jewish family,” said Rabbi Talve.
She said the overt antisemitism displayed at recent meetings makes me afraid for my congregation and our Jewish community in our region.
Talve says she was also upset that during the recent county council meeting none of the hate speech was gaveled down. She says nothing was done to stop the antisemitism or say it was out of order.
“By daring to dismiss the horrors of the holocaust by comparing the loss of freedom of over 11 million who were slaughtered, gassed, and burned including a million and a half children, comparing that to a mask mandate is not only disrespectful, it is dangerous,” said Rabbi Talve.
Hon. Stacey Newman, a member of the Jewish community and a former state legislator who now represents Progress Women, wants an apology to the Jewish community after hateful comments were allowed during the meeting.
She is also demanding the county council cut off and refuse any further hate speech in public commentaries.
Newman also stresses COVID is the evil that kills and harms, nothing else.
Jewish leaders across the world also are worried hate speech online could turn into real-world violence as the St. Louis area continues to reopen.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate said researchers found more than 700 messages of hate speech posted between May 18 and June 29 in 2021. The messages were viewed more than 7 million times. Some of the messages included hashtags that included #HoloHoax, #KillTheJews, and #SynagogueOfSatan.
The CCDH said more than 80 percent of these messages were still online across multiple platforms.