The State Department crafted a statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly mentioned the Jewish victims of the Nazis, but President Donald Trump’s White House team reportedly blocked its release.
An unnamed Trump official said the incident was purely the product of miscommunication, Politico reported.
The State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues prepared a statement that it believed was written for Trump to use. The statement specifically mentioned the Jews murdered by the Nazis.
The Trump official told Politico that the president did not receive the State Department draft until after he released his own statement.
Trump’s statement elicited a storm of criticism for failing to mention the Jews killed during the Holocaust.
The White House statement spoke of “the victims, survivors, [and] heroes of the Holocaust,” but did not specifically mention Jews or anti-Semitism, which had been customary in statements by his predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
The Zionist Organization of America, Republican Jewish Coalition and the Anti-Defamation League were among the many Jewish groups to take issue with the omission. Sen. Tim Kaine likened the statement to Holocaust denial.
In response to the criticism, Trump administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks defended the statement as an attempt to be inclusive.
Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said the president “has dear family members that are Jewish.”
“I recognize, in fact, obviously that that was what the Holocaust was about,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last weekend.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.