Monday, June 25th | 12 Tammuz 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

January 29, 2017 2:35 pm

White House Takes Heat for Holocaust Remembrance Statement Omitting Mention of Jewish Genocide

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Email a copy of "White House Takes Heat for Holocaust Remembrance Statement Omitting Mention of Jewish Genocide" to a friend
Rows of bodies of dead inmates fill the yard of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp. Photo: Wikipedia.

Rows of bodies of dead inmates fill the yard of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp. Photo: Wikipedia.

The White House has faced widespread criticism since Friday, when it issued a statement in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day that omitted mention of the Jewish genocide.

Australian-Israeli Jewish leader Isi Leibler said he was “deeply disappointed” in the new president for “failing to relate to Jews in his Holocaust statement.”

However, he told The Algemeiner, “I don’t believe it was a conspiracy, but rather due to incompetence born out of the chaos of an inexperienced administration trying to get its bearings.”

“I would have expected responsible Jewish leaders to get him to rectify the situation rather than confront him,” Leibler added.

He was referring, among others, to Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who tweeted on Friday that President Donald Trump’s statement was “puzzling and troubling” because it refers to “depravity and horror” inflicted on “innocent people” by the Nazis and fails to mention that the victims were Jews.

Israeli-American academic Omer Bartov, John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University, told The Algemeiner:

First, you can compare this statement to how the Soviets spoke about the Holocaust. They always mentioned “innocent Soviet citizens,” never Jews, so that people who collaborated in the murder of the Jews were off the hook, and the specific nature of the Nazi genocide was obfuscated. Second, that America’s greatest sin again the Jews was not what happened during the war, when Americans died fighting the Germans, but before the war, when the US would not admit Jewish refugees, and even sent back an entire ship to the Germans. [Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President] Steve Bannon apparently said in an interview that he was a Leninist and wanted to “tear this country down.” And Trump has a strange liking to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Put this statement in the context of these facts, and you will be able to see the nasty underbelly of this administration.

US Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s running mate went further on Sunday, calling Trump’s statement “Holocaust denial” and linking it to the executive order the president signed the same day on vetting visitors to the US from Muslim countries.

“Remember, remember earlier administrations have done these statements and the first thing you do is you pull up what earlier statements have said and the earlier staples, president Obama, and President Bush with the slaughter of Jews and the final solution was about the slaughter of Jews,” Kaine told NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

We have to remember this. This is what Holocaust denial is. It’s either to deny that it happened or many Holocaust deniers acknowledge oh, yeah, people were killed and it was a lot of innocent people, Jews weren’t targeted and the fact that they did that and imposed this religious test on Muslims in the executive orders on the same day is not a coincidence.

Leibler called all such accusations against Trump for antisemitism or Holocaust denial “utter nonsense.”

Also on “Meet the Press,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asserted, “There was no harm or ill will or offense intended by any of that. I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust — including obviously all of the Jewish people affected, and the miserable genocide that occurred — is something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad and something that can never be forgotten.”

Zionist Organization of America President Mort Klein reacted harshly: “As a child of Holocaust survivors, I and ZOA are compelled to express our chagrin and deep pain at [the] Holocaust Remembrance Day Message, omitting any mention of antisemitism and the six million Jews who were targeted and murdered by the German Nazi regime and others. ZOA hopes that president Trump will direct his staff and COS Reince Priebus to immediately rectify this painful omission.”

In a statement to Politico, Republican Jewish Coalition spokesman Fred Brown said, “The lack of a direct statement about the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust was an unfortunate omission. History unambiguously shows the purpose of the Nazis’ final solution was the extermination of the Jews of Europe. We hope, going forward, he conveys those feelings when speaking about the Holocaust.”

American-Israeli Attorney Marc Zell, president of Republicans in Israel, openly defended Trump, telling The Algemeiner:

As a member of a family that lost over 150 souls during the Shoah, I thought the president’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day was inclusive and sensitive. That the Jewish People was not specifically mentioned struck me as unusual, but given the president’s extremely close ties to the Jewish People, including within his own immediate family, and his history of supporting and contributing to Jewish causes, it would be a mistake to impute anything but the most noble motives to him in framing the White House statement.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder also defended the Trump statement, saying, “It does no honor to the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust to play politics with their memory. Any fair reading of the White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day will see it appropriately commemorates the suffering and the heroism that mark that dark chapter in modern history. There are enough real antisemitism and true threats facing the Jewish people today. Our community gains nothing if we reach a point where manufactured outrages reduce public sensitivity to the real dangers we confront.”

The statement in question read as follows:

It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror. Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent. In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.

When asked by CNN why the White House failed to mention the genocide of the six million Jews, an administration spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, defended the statement.

“Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” she said, sending an email to CNN with a link to a Huffington Post UK article listing the other groups who were targeted and killed by the Nazis, including “priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters.”

As The Algemeiner reported in January 2016, the official statement released by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day last year caused a storm on social media for its omission of the mention of Jews. Trudeau had assumed office two and a half months prior to the incident.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • LindaRivera

    I was shocked that on Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Trump didn’t say one word about six million Jews who were savagely murdered for being Jews. Why did Trump IGNORE JEWISH SUFFERING?

  • El Cid

    I am the son of survivors. I was not ‘triggered’ by this statement. I get it. During the communist years, the communists did the same thing. It was hurtful.

    Now we have a different fight. The left has for 30 years divided us with all kinds of identity politics. Mr. Trump has been extremely careful to speak of Americans and not different groups. The statement looks like it follows his rules for communication.

    Given that Mr. Trump is outspoken in his support of Israel and Israel security, I do not see ‘intention’ in his leaving out reference to Jews. I believe he has our back, as they say.

  • jankel

    In Fact: it is USELESS, Absolutely, to Name the Jews in a SHoah Remembrance ceremony, as IT CONCERNS ONLY THE JEWS : The WORD SHOAH tells us by itself that ONLY JEWS WERE the victi s!
    The Trial you are doing to Trump is absurd as he is TELLING BY THAT WAY that SHOAH IS JEWISH qnd other Genocide AREN T.
    I hope He will explain that matter of fact soon to ignorant lingusitically ignorqnt journalism…

  • c0mm0ncenz

    Wow, if this is such a huge gaffe for Trump, he must be doing an incredible job. As one growing up Jewish, I didn’t even pick up on anything missing in his statement. As soon as the word Holocaust is said, the next word that pops in is “Jews”. The two go hand-in-hand. Trump spends lots of time with Jews – his family – and maybe he has the same association. I’m sure he didn’t leave out the word Jew from his statement for any reasons of bigotry or Holocaust denial or any other reason. Those criticizing this statement might be projecting THEIR anti- Jewish feelings. His enemies said they would hound him, and it looks like they’re scrutinizing him for every little thing so they can find a way to demonize him. The previous president showed absolute hatred for Israel- where were these critics then? Thus they out themselves as hypocrites with double standards. There should be no more foolishness on the left by criticizing Pres. Trump for any anti-Jewishness. The lefties just look more and more stupid.

  • Basha Kline

    I am not saying it is a good thing that Trump didn’t single out just the Jews for the sheer numbers involved in his speech, but he did clump together all of those who were murdered by a fanatic despot. Trump’s speech was heartfelt and considered, if he had mentioned the Jews, the rest of the world would have come down on him so it seems the man cannot do right for doing wrong. We are critisizing a man with balls and what is happening at present with the lunatic fringe of people on behalf of the muslims is incredible – what is pathetic is the amount of Jews who are on the side of the very people who would kill them at the drop of a hat…We are our own worst enemies! No, it is not the same as when Jews were allowed to enter the US, they were escaping mass execution – here we have allowed into Europe and parts of America who knows how many terrorists and islamic sympathisers. It seems everyone wants to crap on the memories of 9/11, beheadings of captives in muslim countries, torture and ulimate death of Americans and others who were acting on behalf of the islamic causes. A bunch of flowers go give balm for those passers- by, dropped outside bombed out cafes, shops, nightclubs, anywhere a suicide bomber has acted out his/her fanaticism is all but forgtten by these idiots – As far as Trump is concerned, I hope one day that the people gathering with their cardboard statements against him, will realise they have been duped big-time by the former president into believing this is the way to act. Obama greased the tracks for yet another train full of people sympathising for the architects of their own demise. – sad to see idiocy in vast numbers…!

  • Atilla 41✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

    Get a life !

  • swek

    this is your new savior – senor ignoramus

  • brynababy

    No excuses are acceptable. The Holocaust was primarily aimed at the Jews. To eliminate any mention of them is absurd and insulting to their memory.

  • marbon67

    LIberals are totally insane!
    Of course, he was referring to the Jewish people on this occasion.

  • Art Sadin

    We can support the President for his actions denouncing radical Islam, support for Israel but we also have to speak up when he is fundamentally wrong. I agree with extreme vetting but the way he went about it was incompetent and gave support for enemies of Western Civilization

  • Art Sadin

    It was intentional. Wake up!

  • Eliot Schickler

    Trump needs to rectify his mistake!

  • Victoria Poupko

    Mr. Leibler is right. Trump did already and I am sure will do a lot for the Jews and Israel. But this incredible “democratic” obstacles and chaos, aiming to make harm to Trump and Republicans, don’t let Trump quietly think out and discuss the matter. Perhaps he just looked through and sign this statement without any deep looking. But the statement of Tim Kaine is absolutely nasty. Its lie and hypocrisy as by all Liberals. The Jews should pray on Trump and support him. He started for the first time in many years to fight against BDS, that no Jewish organization did. And on many real crimes against the Jews and Israel these organizations were blind. No Bush, no Obama mentioned Jews.