(JNS.org) Jewish Republican leaders expressed concern that President Donald Trump did not mention Jews in his statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) said in a statement that while “as supporters of President Trump, we know that he holds in his heart the memory of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust,” 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 Nazi's final solution was the extermination of the Jews of Europe,” the RJC said, adding that “we hope, going forward, [Trump] conveys those feelings when speaking about the Holocaust.”
Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, called the omission a “mistake” and said he hopes Trump administration officials “learn from this and not repeat this omission in any future statements they make.”
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)—which is not a partisan-affiliated group, but has generally issued statements supporting Trump and his Israel-related policies—took on a harsher tone, calling on the White House to “immediately rectify this painful omission.”
“Especially as a child of Holocaust survivors, I and ZOA are compelled to express our chagrin and deep pain at President Trump, in his Holocaust Remembrance Day message, omitting any mention of anti-Semitism and the 6 million Jews who were targeted and murdered by the German Nazi regime and others,” Klein said.
The Trump administration defended its decision to omit the mention of Jews from the statement, with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus saying Sunday, “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.”
Klein said he was “shocked” by Priebus’s comments and called them “disgraceful.”