A judge on Wednesday ordered a Dutch right-wing lawmaker to take down four tweets in which he drew comparisons between coronavirus lockdown measures and the treatment of Jews under the Nazi regime, The Associated Press reported.
The lawmaker, Thierry Baudet, was sued last week by two Jewish organizations in the Netherlands over the comments he made on Twitter.
The two groups, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) and the Central Jewish Consultation, asked the court in a lawsuit supported by four Holocaust survivors to declare Baudet’s statements unlawful.
Among the tweets was one that called people who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus “the new Jews, the exclusionists who look the other way are the new Nazis and NSBers." NSB is the acronym for the National Socialist Movement, the Dutch branch of the Nazi party.
The judge hearing the case on Wednesday said, according to AP, “The comparison you made in the contested posts goes beyond what can be justified in the interests of robust public debate.”
“By equating in the messages, without any nuance, the situation of unvaccinated citizens with the fate of the Jews in the 1930s and ’40s, you make a comparison, as I said earlier, that is factually wrong and you wrongly use, in other words you instrumentalize, the human suffering of Jews in the Holocaust and the memories of them,” the judge added.
The court ordered Baudet to remove the tweets from his Twitter feed within 48 hours. If he does not, he must pay 25,000 euros ($28,000) each day that they remain online.
In a reaction on Twitter, Baudet called the judgment “Insane, incomprehensible" and added, "We are angry and combative. And of course we will appeal.”
Baudet leads the Forum for Democracy party, which seeks a Dutch exit from the European Union and stricter immigration policies.
In 2020, Baudet temporarily resigned as leader of the Forum for Democracy following reports that members of the party’s youth movement had engaged in anti-Semitic behavior.
Earlier this year, Baudet provoked outrage by saying that the trials against Nazis in Nuremberg, Germany, were “illegitimate.”