In the three-paragraph statement Friday, Trump said: “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,” he continued, again referring only to “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,” he concluded. “Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”
The White House statement with Trump’s remarks “misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just ‘innocent people,’” tweeted Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the ADL shortly after the comments were released.
“Puzzling and troubling” that it “has no mention of Jews,” Greenblatt added in a follow up tweet.
Read the Transcript to:
Statement By The President On International Holocaust Day Remembrance Day (January 27, 2017)
International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established by the United Nations in 2005 to commemorate the deaths of the six million Jews as well as an estimated two million Roma and thousands of disabled and gay people at the hands of the Nazis.
A separate Holocaust Remembrance Day was established by Israel in the 1950s to mark the Jewish losses in particular, which are also traditionally marked by a presidential proclamation.
Trump's generic phrasing contrasts considerably with Obama’s fuller statements on the occasion, which always spoke about the sufferings of the Jewish people, even though Trump has consistently portrayed Obama as a foe of the Jews and Israel.
The failure of the White House to mention the distinctive Jewish losses in the Holocaust could be problematic given that Trump has been accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic stereotypes and his campaign has been accused of employing anti-Semitic tropes. He has also been criticized for failing to call out virulent anti-Semitism among some of his supporters.
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