President Donald Trump issued a statement on Friday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day that left some scratching their heads due to its omission of any reference to Jews.
“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, and heroes of the Holocaust,” the statement from the White House Press Office read. “It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”
The remarks immediately drew criticism from Jewish leaders, including Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt.
1/2 @WhiteHouse statement on #HolocaustMemorialDay, misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just ‘innocent people’ pic.twitter.com/OXiFqcPi4V— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) January 27, 2017
2/2 Puzzling and troubling @WhiteHouse #HolocaustMemorialDay stmt has no mention of Jews. GOP and Dem. presidents have done so in the past. pic.twitter.com/BvZVVoPUSi— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) January 27, 2017
Former President Barack Obama’s last statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day made explicit reference to Jews, declaring that “we are all Jews.” Remarks marking Holocaust commemoration sometimes can be controversial.
Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, ran into trouble in the previous year when he also forgot to specifically name-check the event’s Jewish victims.