It is pretty shameless that President Donald Trump decided to wipe out all mention of the Jewish people who suffered during World War II from International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement. Doubly so, because his daughter is also a Jew.
The State Department drafted its own statement that explicitly mentioned Jews, according to Politico, however the White House blocked its release and issued their own statement, created with the help of Trump’s aide, Boris Epshteyn — who is, ironically, himself a Jew and a descendant of Holocaust survivors.
Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both mentioned the 6 million Jews who died in Nazi Germany and acknowledged the state-sponsored anti-Semitic movement that lead to their persecution.
Yet, Trump’s spokesperson Hope Hicks told CNN the wording was not a mistake and the Trump administration would not apologize for it.
“Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” Hicks said.
She then cited an article that, apart from the Jewish community, included 5 million additional victims of the Holocaust like priests, gypsies, homosexuals and people with mental and physical disabilities.
However, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum states, those victims actually numbered in hundreds and thousands, not millions, and though t they should be remembered, Holocaust Remembrance Day’s final solution was the eradication of two-thirds of European Jews through a systemic, state-sponsored genocide — and that should never be undermined.
We are in dark, dangerous times. This is what happens with anti-Semite Bannon in the White House. https://t.co/g5dXa1iCFw— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 29, 2017
So, they did this deliberately. And Pence emphasizing Lincoln for black history month. Face it: Trump is a racist https://t.co/kczad3JsRl— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 3, 2017
Didn't want to offend his alt-right nazi holocaust denying followers. https://t.co/U6wV85cPVH— Bruno Amato (@BrunoAmato_1) February 3, 2017
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, also defended the original statement.
“I don’t regret the words,” he said. “I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including, obviously, all of the Jewish people.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va) compared Trump’s statement to Holocaust denial. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum also slammed the White House insensitivity:
“Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy.”
“Especially as a child of Holocaust survivors, I and ZOA are compelled to express our chagrin and deep pain at President Trump, in his Holocaust Remembrance Day Message, omitting any mention of anti-Semitism and the six million Jews who were targeted and murdered by the German Nazi regime and others,” said the Zionist Organization of America’s Mort Klein.
White supremacist Richard Spencer fervently supported the statement, further cementing the fact it was, in fact, racist.
“Trump’s statement on Holocaust Memorial Day is, on the surface, utterly defensible within the current moral paradigm,” Spencer wrote in a post on his new site Alt Right.
It must be noted that Spencer coined the term “alt-right” for people with white nationalist views, rejects the word “Nazism” calling it the German National Movement instead and last year held a conference rife with Nazi propaganda and salute.
So if a person like him is cheering over Trump’s Holocaust statement, there is something very wrong with it indeed.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Yuri Gripas