MPs complain to Saeima Ethics Committee about Gobzems' outrageous call to use Jewish badge in anti-vaccine protests

  • 2021-06-29
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - A group of Saeima members have filed a complaint with the Mandates, Ethics and Submissions Committee about MP Aldis Gobzems' (Law and Order) calls to his supporters to wear in anti-vaccine protests a yellow six-pointed star, or the so-called Jewish badge, Nazis used to stigmatize Jews during World War II. 

The application to the Saeima committee, initiated by Krista Baumane (For Development/For),

has been signed by Arvils Aseradens (New Unity), Juris Jurass (New Conservative Party), Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers) and Inese Voika (For Development/For).

Baumane told LETA that the application to the Saeima Mandates, Ethics and Submissions Committee was drawn up because Gobzems' statements and actions are not only shocking but that they also undermine the Latvian parliament's reputation. 

"When it seemed that in his desperate desire to show off and stand out he could not fall even lower, he proved that he could," the lawmaker said, adding that Gobzems has brought disgrace upon the parliament. 

Moreover, Gobzems' activities have outraged not only lawmakers but also Latvia's Jewish community and German Ambassador to Latvia Christian Heldt who expressed his surprise at Gobzems' move on Twitter. 

"The stigmatization of Jews with signs in yellow or other colors was meant to suggest that they were doomed to die, it was part of the racial policy implemented by the Nazis, the goal of which was a complete annihilation of the Jews. The restrictions currently effective in Latvia apply to visits to entertainment venues and do not affect a person's social status in any way, and they definitely do not mean that somebody is doomed to die or be murdered," the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia said on Facebook, denouncing Gobzems' actions.

The organization notes that each person has the rights to his or her opinion about the pandemic and vaccination but it asks not to use unethical, inappropriate and tasteless methods to divide society, disdaining the memory of the people who perished in the tragedies of the 20th century.