MP deletes tweets equating Covid restrictions to Holocaust
A Dutch MP has been forced to delete tweets comparing the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions to the Holocaust, but says he will appeal the court order, calling it a “crazy ruling.”
On Wednesday, an Amsterdam judge ruled that MP Thierry Baudet, who heads the right-wing Forum for Democracy party, was “pointlessly offending Holocaust victims and their relatives,” and ordered him to delete the social media posts within 48 hours or pay a fine of €25,000 ($28,000) for each day of delay. The court also banned Baudet from using Holocaust-related images in discussions over Covid-19 health restrictions.
“I’ve just deleted four tweets I was required to delete by a judge. Same with Instagram and Facebook messages,” Baudet wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
Adding that he was “deeply sad that I am not allowed to express what I deeply believe,” he underlined that “we will certainly appeal.” He also called it “incomprehensible” and “crazy.”
In one of the tweets, now deleted, Baudet said that the unvaccinated were “the new Jews” and “those who look away from the exclusions are the new Nazis.” He also placed side by side an image of a ghetto child with a Star of David with a photo of an unvaccinated Dutch child unable to attend a party.
Baudet’s posts sparked anger from Jewish organizations, which called the comparisons insulting and hurtful to Holocaust victims, survivors and their relatives. As a result Baudet ended up in court with a lawsuit filed against him by four Holocaust survivors and Jewish advocacy groups.The judge agreed that Baudet’s comparisons were disproportionate and that the tragedy of the Jews had been “downplayed.”
“There was no possibility for Jews to gain access with a vaccination or test,” the judge noted.
The Forum for Democracy reacted to the verdict by calling it “totally hallucinatory.” The party blamed the judge for restricting “freedom of expression” and said that it would “certainly” appeal the decision.