Friday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held every year on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The White House, which issues a statement on the day every year, is being criticized for the one released on Friday which honors the “victims, survivors, and heroes” of that time, but fails to make any mention of the Jews or anti-Semitism.
Many thought it was odd that Donald Trump declined to honor Jews specifically, who, history shows, were the most persecuted group during the Holocaust. When CNN asked for some kind of clarification, Trump administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks said that “despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” In comparison, both Barack Obama’s and George W. Bush’s statements mentioned either Jews, Israel, or anti-Semitism by name.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus spoke to NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday morning, further defending the President’s choice of words. “We acknowledge the horrible time of the Holocaust and what it meant for history,” Priebus said, adding, “You know that President Trump has dear family members that are Jewish, and there was no harm or ill will or offense intended by any of that.”
As Duncan says, this isn’t a minor matter. It’s Holocaust denialism:
This is textbook holocaust denial, or specifically soft holocaust denial “minimization.” Basically, it’s a denial that Jews were targeted specifically. Oh yes, it’s sad that there were so many people who died during the war, but there’s no reason to single out the Jews as victims. Wars are just tragic and sad, generally.
In retrospect, I can see an argument that the white nationalism of the Republican candidate for president was a more important issue than email server management.