Now we know for sure: Jews were purposely omitted from the White House’s official statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN that Jewish people weren’t mentioned because, “despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”
That explanation from the Trump administration sounds familiar to anyone who paid attention to the so-called alt-right’s campaign to belittle Black Lives Matter. They invented “All Lives Matter.”
To those peddling in this slogan, it was unfair to focus on police killing black people because others had been killed, in other ways, and no one deserves “special” attention. The subsequent “Blue Lives Matter” slogan claims it is unfair to give attention to black people killed by police so long as police are also killed in the line of duty.
Slate was among the first to report, “Team Trump Just ‘All Lives Matter’ed the Holocaust.” But Twitter lit up with people noting the similarity, especially with former Breitbart chief Steve Bannon now calling the shots in the White House.
Holee shit. They All Lives Mattered The Holocaust https://t.co/9qNhBxx5iP
— Doc Savage (@SoloChills) January 29, 2017
They All Lives Mattered the Holocaust https://t.co/3tEeXfO9WF
— Zito (@_Zeets) January 29, 2017
— Cait Emma (@CaitEmmaS) January 29, 2017
When the official White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day didn’t mention Jews, some assumed it was a terrible oversight. Turns out it wasn’t.
The White House made the decision not to list those who were persecuted by Nazis, including gays and lesbians, and instead labeled them all as “innocent people” killed by “Nazi terror.” The CEO of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, called that “puzzling and troubling” even before Hicks confirmed it was intentional.
It’s disturbing because history is factual, as pointed out by John Podhoretz for Commentary magazine in response to the Hicks comment on CNN.
“No, Hope Hicks, and no to whomever you are serving as a mouthpiece,” wrote Podhoretz. “The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups—Gypsies, the mentally challenged, and open homosexuals, among others. But the Final Solution was aimed solely at the Jews. The Holocaust was about the Jews. There is no ‘proud’ way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact. To universalize it to ‘all those who suffered’ is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.”
“There are no word limits in presidential statements,” wrote Josh Marshall, editor for Talking Points Memo. “A more logical and worthwhile approach would be to note the various groups who were victimized. This isn't accidental. The new administration is riddled with anti-Semites and those who want to cater to anti-Semites.”
Others pointed out that minimizing the suffering of the Jewish people reeks of Russia. Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who represented Edie Windsor at the Supreme Court when gutting a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, noted the history.
Exactly. Russians have a long history of trying to erase Jewish deaths from Holocaust. https://t.co/5uvgA6txSQ
— Robbie Kaplan (@kaplanrobbie) January 29, 2017