World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder released a statement Saturday evening chiding Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt for criticizing President Donald Trump’s statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which did not specifically mention Jews.
President Trump’s statement read:
“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.”
Greenblatt, a former Obama administration official who has led opposition to Trump’s appointment of Stephen K. Bannon to a White House advisory role, tweeted on Friday: “@WhiteHouse statement on #HolocaustMemorialDay, misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just ‘innocent people’ … Puzzling and troubling @WhiteHouse #HolocaustMemorialDay stmt has no mention of Jews. GOP and Dem. presidents have done so in the past.”
In response, Lauder said:
“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 anti-Semitism 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.”
Jews were the only group singled out for destruction by the Nazis, as Nazi ideology believed that Jews were an inferior race who had used their ideas to prevent superior races from engaging in a bloody struggle to establish the fittest. However, there were millions of other people murdered in the Holocaust, including Gypsies, gays, political dissidents, and large numbers of civilians in Eastern Europe.
Though the international community observes the memory of the Holocaust in January, Jews typically observe a special Holocaust memorial day, Yom HaShoah, which occurs in spring, according to the Hebrew calendar.
The World Jewish Congress describes itself as “the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016.