While the calls for his impeachment are getting louder and people are beginning to wonder if it is possible to prosecute him, President Donald Trump is busy preparing for his first foreign trip since assuming office, probably ready to take a break from all the chaos and turmoil currently surrounding him and his administration.
The president, who has a uniquely obnoxious ability of making everything about himself, will travel to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium and Italy this month. He is also scheduled to speak at several high-profile events — including at the unveiling of NATO’s memorial in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall and World Trade Center, a speech about radical Islam in Saudi Arabia, the address at G7 Summit, and a few words at Yad Vashem, to name a few.
While everyone seems to be holding their breath for Trump’s speech on Islam, a religion he has targeted far too many times during his young presidency, Israeli publication YNet News has released a very interesting tidbit about the business baron’s visit to the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
“From the airport, Trump will fly to Jerusalem and meet with [President Reuven] Rivlin before making a short visit to Yad Vashem along with [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” read the newspaper. “The Americans insisted the visit be no longer than 15 minutes, which will include a brief explanation and signing of the guest book.”
Yes. Trump and his team believe spending 15 minutes at the museum, during which he will also lay the wreath, sign the Yad Vashem guest book and deliver remarks, is somehow enough. Apart from the fact that Trump’s predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, spent at least an hour each at the Holocaust memorial, the new administration’s own history of Holocaust-denial has forced people to raise eyebrows regarding this particular decision.
Case in point: On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump released a statement about honoring “victims, survivors (and) heroes of the Holocaust" but did not even acknowledge that Jews were the ones targeted by Nazis.
Moreover, the commander in chief also lambasted Jews for the wave of anti-Semitic terror attacks across the country and once refused to entertain a Jewish reporter’s question about the threats during a press conference.
It is not just Trump; his entire administration has a long history of anti-Semitism. For instance, the president’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon has been accused of referring to Jewish students as “whiny brats,” while Trump’s deputy assistant, Sebastian Gorka, has come under fire for his alleged association with Vitézi Rend, a Hungarian organization that sympathizes with Nazi goals.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer also favorably compared Adolf Hitler to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and suggested Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons to kill people. He also referred to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers,” sparking severe criticism and backlash.
I'm waiting for Trump Yad Vashem remarks: 'Nobody asks, why did the Holocaust happen?'— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 17, 2017
Donald Trump who signed an executive order banning refugees from America on Intl Holocaust Memorial Day to spend < 15 minutes at Yad Vashem pic.twitter.com/6QJVxUUjpf— Russel Neiss (@russelneiss) May 17, 2017
As for the time period Trump team has reportedly allocated for his visit to the Israeli museum, here are a few other (arguably) useless things the president has done for longer than 15 minutes.
2. Talking about the crowd size at his inauguration
3. Watching “Fox and Friends”
4. Insulting his “many enemies” on Twitter
5. Having a conversation with the New England Patriots
6. Asking media not to publish unflattering pictures of him
Given his low approval rating, who knows, showing some respect to Holocaust victims might actually boost Trump’s approval rating. However, on the other hand, it might also disappoint his far-right white supremacist fan base.
The president is supposed to visit Jerusalem on May 22.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters